The crashes of online vaccine scheduling systems have become a sad symbol of how technology has hampered the nations COVID-19 vaccination campaign, leaving people unable to sign up or find out when and where they can get their shots.
But it doesnt have to be that way. The technology and expertise to schedule people and line them up according to priority levels is widely available, health data experts said. It just needs to be implemented based on a set of best practices, so that people can be moved through the system efficiently.
We have to rethink some of the existing strategies, David Rhew, a physician and chief medical officer at Microsoft, said during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week. We need to make sure were not setting it up so that all these people come, all at once. We have to understand how to be able to organize this.
But what does that system look like and whos responsible for getting it off the ground? During interviews with STAT, and in discussions at CES, where the vaccine distribution failures frequently came up, industry experts said an overhaul of the existing systems must be guided by the federal government, which they say should develop standards for scheduling vaccinations and tracking doses digitally as supplies increase in the months ahead.
On Thursday, President-elect Biden is scheduled to release new details on his plan for ramping up the vaccination campaign once he takes office next week. The transition to his administration offers an opportunity to hit the reset button on the lackluster efforts to date, and to incorporate better technologies, and the funding and command structure to support them in communities nationwide.
Several health information specialists said the federal government should make technology a core component of the vaccination campaign and take the lead on convening experts as soon as possible to devise quick solutions.
READ MORE: Bidens COVID-19 team reconsiders pandemic plan in light of more infectious coronavirus variants
What you need is national policy and guidelines that are setting the framework and template for how things get rolled out, said Ashwini Zenooz, a physician and chief medical officer at Salesforce, a provider of cloud computing services.
Many of the largest technology companies from Salesforce, to Apple, to Amazon are already employing physicians and health technology experts to build these types of products. Inviting them to devise fixes to the existing underperforming systems is a simple and obvious step. But its one that has not been done during the vaccine rollout.
There is no time to waste, said Zenooz. Big technology companies that have experience doing this need to sit at the table with federal health policy folks to say, This is what we can offer.
That type of effort could help establish criteria for how scheduling sites should be set up, how to make them accessible and easy to use, and how to ensure they reach and remove barriers for marginalized populations.
Many of the online portals created to schedule vaccinations in health systems and cities are running into problems because theyre not backed up with enough computing power. Thousands of people are converging on these sites at once, causing servers to crash under the weight of the stampede.
The solution, health data experts said, is to tap into widely available cloud computing infrastructure that is lacking in hospitals and local health departments that dont typically deal with such high traffic volumes. The same problem occurred earlier in the pandemic, when a sudden crush of telemedicine visits overwhelmed hospitals data systems.
Your best bet would be to have an experienced tech company thats using appropriate cloud-hosted technologies run a robust scheduling system, said Ken Mandl, director of the computational health informatics program at Boston Childrens Hospital. This would be a good opportunity to bring in some fully professionalized solutions.
Those arrangements typically bring with them options to introduce more modern tools, such as chatbots that rely on artificial intelligence to answer questions about the vaccines, their availability, and local prioritization rules.
Rhew said Microsoft is developing a system with a chatbot to help address vaccine hesitancy. Once the questions are addressed, he said, users could be directed into a pre-registration process whereby theyre put into a database and receive emails to help them schedule appointments based on their place in line.
That allows us to improve the workflow and throughput so we dont overwhelm the clinics and hospitals, he said.
Scheduling people to receive their first doses is only one part of the technology problem. States and local communities also must be able to track the available supply of multiple vaccines and match them with unvaccinated community members and those who are waiting for a second dose. They also need to be able to track crucial outcomes, such as whether vaccinated people, even if they dont fall ill with COVID-19, can still transmit the virus.
It is an extremely complex undertaking that has already exposed several shortcomings in public health technology.
Every state in the nation has a vaccine registry to help track immunizations. But those systems lack the bandwidth to be able to support the unprecedented demand posed by a pandemic. They also lack the ability to communicate easily with other software systems, making it in some cases impossible to share data about vaccinated individuals and their health outcomes across different platforms.
READ MORE: A side-by-side comparison of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines
Mandl said this problem is the consequence of a national health records infrastructure that is built around large hospitals, health systems, and registries that keep the data in their own silos, rather than giving control to individual patients whose data travels with them.
There is no easy way to fix that amid COVID-19, he said, but the solution might be to build a kind of digital wallet, or vaccination passport, that could be tied to individuals so their data can be kept secure and portable.
Wouldnt it be nice if there was a routine workflow that didnt rely on some very specific, vendor-managed state-run registry to help make this happen, he said. Couldnt this be a very lightweight set of transactions where were able to get a verified result and create an immunization report.
On Thursday, a coalition of health and technology players including Cerner, Epic, Microsoft, Oracle, and Salesforce announced a new effort called the Vaccination Credential initiative with those needs in mind. The group is working to give the public digital access to their own vaccination records in a secure, interoperable format.
Apple has also built technology to allow individuals aggregate and store health records from multiple institutions to their smartphones, so these capabilities do exist. Its just a matter of scaling them with federal leadership and investment that has been lacking for so long.
COVID uncovers the weaknesses in our system, Mandl said. I think we do have the opportunity to both work on the rapidly stood-up systems now to address the need, but also to plan much more durable systems as we go forward.
This story was published by STAT on January 14, 2021. You can find the original article here.
Go here to read the rest:
- Global Automotive In-Cabin 3D Sensing Technology Market Report 2021: Market Penetration for Level 2 Cars and Expected Market Penetration for Level 3... - March 3rd, 2021
- Security Technology Strategies at the Core of Business Operations - SecurityInfoWatch - March 3rd, 2021
- CoSN2021: Technology in the Classroom Promotes Equity in Education - EdTech Magazine: Focus on K-12 - March 3rd, 2021
- Lumen Technologies to present at the Morgan Stanley 2021 Technology, Media and Telecom Conference - The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel - March 3rd, 2021
- Here's the Technology Government Needs in 2021 - Government Technology - March 3rd, 2021
- How criminal investigations have evolved along with technology - THV11.com KTHV - March 3rd, 2021
- Chatbots that resurrect the dead: legal experts weigh in on disturbing technology - The Next Web - March 3rd, 2021
- How technology can help us achieve at least 30% ocean protection (commentary) - Mongabay.com - March 3rd, 2021
- Recovering from the SolarWinds hack could take 18 months - MIT Technology Review - March 3rd, 2021
- Leading facial recognition technology provider Corsight AI announces expansion into the Asia Pacific region - PR Newswire India - March 3rd, 2021
- Microchip Technology Announces Changes to Its Board of Directors - GlobeNewswire - March 3rd, 2021
- Parallel Flight Technologies to Participate in the Federal Aviation Administration's BEYOND Program - PRNewswire - March 3rd, 2021
- Bryce Space and Technology Rebrands to BryceTech - Via Satellite - March 3rd, 2021
- Artificial Intelligence Technology Solutions Announces Executive Team Expansion - Business Wire - March 3rd, 2021
- Unifrax, Backed by Clearlake Capital, Announces Lithium Ion Battery Anode Technology Coming Early Next Year - Business Wire - March 3rd, 2021
- How beers and Vikings gave Bluetooth technology its name - Yahoo Finance Australia - March 3rd, 2021
- Exro Technologies Inc. - Integrity Statement from the CEO - Yahoo Finance - March 3rd, 2021
- Relivion Wearable Brain Neuromodulation Technology Cleared by FDA for the Treatment of Migraine - Business Wire - March 3rd, 2021
- China eyes next-generation chip technology to take on global rivals - The Japan Times - March 3rd, 2021
- Need a break from technology? Participate in a National Day of Unplugging scavenger hunt - SILive.com - March 3rd, 2021
- Horizon Technology Finance Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Financial Results - PRNewswire - March 3rd, 2021
- Gary Wojtaszek, Former CEO of $12 Billion Data Center Technology REIT CyrusOne, to Join Quantum Loophole Executive Board - Business Wire - March 3rd, 2021
- Elys Game Technology Comments on the Status of Legislation to Legalize Single Event Sports Betting in Canada - Business Wire - March 3rd, 2021
- U.S. to Impose Sweeping Rule Aimed at China Technology Threats - The Wall Street Journal - February 27th, 2021
- What Technology Would Catch Your Eye If You Won the Lottery? - Drovers Magazine - February 27th, 2021
- Technology Landscape, Trends and Opportunities in the Global Motion Sensor Market, 2021 Report - ResearchAndMarkets.com - Yahoo Finance - February 27th, 2021
- Learning from history: How forward-thinking legal professionals approach technology - JD Supra - February 27th, 2021
- Farm-Tested Technology a Win for Grower and Startup - Agweb Powered by Farm Journal - February 27th, 2021
- Facebook is 'looking at' facial recognition technology for upcoming smart glasses, executive confirms - CNBC - February 27th, 2021
- Leveraging Technology to Manage Big Data in Antitrust - JD Supra - February 27th, 2021
- KULR Technology forms partnership with the CSA Group to develop a new battery safety standards - Proactive Investors USA & Canada - February 27th, 2021
- AMSE and Dept. of Energy partner to teach history of technology and science in Oak Ridge - WBIR.com - February 27th, 2021
- Camp Hill-based company to use partnership to develop technology platforms for client institutions - PennLive - February 27th, 2021
- Integrating nature with technology to strengthen climate adaptation - Daily Planet` - February 27th, 2021
- Proposals to meet global challenges in artificial intelligence and technology regulation - Brookings Institution - February 27th, 2021
- Is Technology Changing The Real Estate Industry? - BOSS Magazine - February 27th, 2021
- Engineering student's technology could revolutionize the use of drones - University of Miami - University of Miami - February 27th, 2021
- Ideas, technology and a fire in the gut fuel young entrepreneurs - Jacksonville Daily Record - February 27th, 2021
- Technology and Art of Light in the Spotlight: Artists from around the World Gather at Shenzhen International Light Art Forum - PRNewswire - February 27th, 2021
- Chevron launches $300 million fund to focus on low-carbon technology - Reuters - February 27th, 2021
- Sweden's KTH Royal Institute of Technology Selects Hewlett Packard Enterprise to Build New Supercomputer to Advance Academic and Industrial Research -... - February 27th, 2021
- 10 Information Technology Stocks With Unusual Options Alerts In Today's Session - Yahoo Finance - February 27th, 2021
- Dots and Bridges Launches New YouTube Channel to the Highlight the Technology, Humanity and Culture Intersection - Business Wire - February 27th, 2021
- Desert Storm attack pilot integrates 30-years of tactics with new technology - Robins Rev Up - February 27th, 2021
- The Pellicano Hotels Group Selects Lybra as a Preferred Technology Partner, Implementing Lybra's Assistant RMS in all 3 of Their Luxury Properties in... - February 27th, 2021
- Is It Time To Consider Buying Amkor Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMKR)? - Yahoo Finance - February 27th, 2021
- 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2021 - MIT Technology Review - February 25th, 2021
- New Year, New Technology Priorities - Ward and Smith, PA - February 25th, 2021
- Technology and Innovation Report 2021 - UNCTAD - February 25th, 2021
- Wearable Technology Market Expected to Exceed $74 Billion By 2026 As Wellness Craze Kicks into High Gear - PRNewswire - February 25th, 2021
- OneConnect Financial Technology and Singapore Exchange collaborate to address the region's ESG reporting needs - PRNewswire - February 25th, 2021
- GRAPHISOFT Empowers Mission of 400 Forward as Official Software and Technology Partner - PRNewswire - February 25th, 2021
- Taking future wireless technology from science fiction to scientific reality - Penn State News - February 25th, 2021
- CRN Names BetterWorld Technology to 2021 MSP 500 List in the Pioneer 250 Category - PRNewswire - February 25th, 2021
- GSCW chat recap: Naeem Zafar on using technology to feed the world - FreightWaves - February 25th, 2021
- What Old Technology Do You Think Is Cool? - The New York Times - February 25th, 2021
- New brain scan technology hopes to help people recover from addiction - WBIR.com - February 25th, 2021
- How Technology Will Fuel the COVID-19 Vaccine Administration - Healthcare IT News - February 25th, 2021
- Rackspace Technology Named Cloudflare Worldwide MSP Partner of the Year - GlobeNewswire - February 25th, 2021
- Lattice and Future Electronics Collaborate on Virtual Technology Sessions for Machine Learning/AI, Embedded Vision, and Secure System Control -... - February 25th, 2021
- Baldwin-Whitehall's Peretin named Technology Administrator of the Year - TribLIVE - February 25th, 2021
- Christian Poellabauer appointed to lead new Applied Analytics and Emerging Technology Lab at Notre Dame - ND Newswire - February 25th, 2021
- The 6th Wave of Advertising Technology: Privacy - AdExchanger - February 25th, 2021
- Global Hydrogen Aircraft Market and Technology Forecast to 2029 - Featuring BAE Systems, Bell Helicopter and Boeing Among Others -... - February 25th, 2021
- Northern Refrigerated Transportation Adds SmartDrive Video-Based Safety to Technology Suite - Business Wire - February 25th, 2021
- How Nanoemulsion Technology Is Drastically Affecting the Food & Beverage Industry - PRNewswire - February 25th, 2021
- AI could have profound effect on way GCHQ works, says director - The Guardian - February 25th, 2021
- Analog Devices, University of Limerick and Stripe Collaborate to Leverage Software Technology for the Transformation of Engineering Education -... - February 25th, 2021
- Adhesive Tapes Market Research Report by Resin Type, by Technology, by Backing Material, by Category, by End-use Industry - Global Forecast to 2025 -... - February 25th, 2021
- NUBURU Establishes Advisory Board of Seasoned Technology Experts - Business Wire - February 25th, 2021
- Joby Aviation to List on NYSE Through Merger With Reinvent Technology Partners - Business Wire - February 25th, 2021
- The U.S. Needs a Federal Department of Science and Technology - Scientific American - February 21st, 2021
- Treasure hunting with technology add geocaching to your outdoor activities during COVID-19 - ABC27 - February 21st, 2021
- AIM Institute Offers Free Introduction to Technology Course to Demystify IT - kneb.com - February 21st, 2021
- SAG-AFTRA Leaders Explore Promises & Threats Of New Technologies And Their Impact On Residuals Labor Innovation & Technology Summit -... - February 21st, 2021
- Mobilaris & Lule University of Technology working together to improve AI-based positioning in mining - International Mining - February 21st, 2021
- Apple is already working on developing 6G wireless technology - Ars Technica - February 21st, 2021
- Local buses equipped with technology said to remove 99.9% of COVID-19 from air - WTAE Pittsburgh - February 21st, 2021
- Why Osprey Technology Acquisition Stock Popped Again Today - Motley Fool - February 21st, 2021
- Meet College of Health Sciences and Technology Dean Yong 'Tai' Wang - RIT University News Services - February 21st, 2021