vial of covid vaccine (Kunal Mahto/

Cloud providers step up for vaccine management

To help manage the U.S. COVID-19 vaccination program, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is using cloud infrastructure and health management applications from Oracle.

The Oracle National Electronic Health Records Cloud will serve as the CDC's central data repository for all vaccination data in the nation, the company announced, receiving data from all U.S. jurisdictions administering vaccinations.

Oracle also developed a suite of public health management applications to help public health agencies and health care providers collect and analyze data related to COVID-19. The Oracle National EHR Database and Public Health Management Applications were first used in June to register and directly communicate with over 500,000 people who volunteered to participate in clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.

Since then, Oracle extended the capabilities of the Public Health Management Applications to collect patient data around COVID-19 vaccines and treatments and manage the entire vaccination process from ordering vaccine, tracking shipments and monitoring inventory. 

Another component, the Oracle Public Health Management System, includes a way to directly communicate with vaccinated patients via smart phones to collect data on side effects and adverse events. A new Provider Order Portal, specifically built for the U.S. government, will enable authorized federal suppliers to order multiple vaccines and help vaccine providers manage inventory and fulfill orders based on availability. Providers will also be able to manage deliveries and ensure each shipment meets the vaccine's specific requirements, such as cold storage. The system will also track returns and redistribution to reduce waste.

In November, the Oracle National EHR Cloud System was used to manage the distribution of yellow fever vaccine in Africa.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Consulting Services announced the company has developed a vaccine tracking solution of its own. The Vaccination Registration and Administration Solution enables the tracking and reporting of immunization progress through a secure data exchange that uses industry standards, such as Health Level Seven, Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources and open application programming interfaces. Health providers and pharmacies can track specific vaccine batches, and health administrators can analyze the results of vaccine deployment in large population groups.

In a blog post, Microsoft highlighted the cloud-based COVID solutions its partners have developed, including vaccine management solutions that enable registration capabilities for patients and providers, phased scheduling for vaccinations, streamlined reporting and management dashboards with analytics and forecasting. 

In September, Salesforce announced for Vaccines, a cloud-based platform to manage vaccine inventory and administration, appointment scheduling, notifications and outcome monitoring for health providers and individuals. 

Simplus, an Infosys company,  built a vaccine management solution on the Salesforce platform that covers campaign management, citizen registration, prioritization, provider enrollment, supply chain visibility, forecasting, vaccine administration, wellness surveys and adverse event monitoring. Integrated with Salesforce Health Cloud and tapping other Salesforce products and solutions, the Simplus platform serves both individuals and providers. Individuals can find information, register with state and local governments and schedule vaccine appointments. Providers can apply to become a COVID-19 vaccine provider, manage appointments, maintain inventory, log vaccine administration details and document adverse effects.

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