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AI-Infused Vaccine Delivery Solutions to Expedite Vaccine Distribution

VirooPax Mirji, WinWire Technologies
VirooPax Mirji, WinWire Technologies

VirooPax Mirji, WinWire Technologies

Amidst relief, joy, and apprehensions, the COVID-19 vaccination drive has started in most countries worldwide. Both governments and healthcare providers are eagerly looking for scalable solutions that will efficiently and quickly carry out the immunization. SCM Technology and AI-supported solutions can play a massive role in smoothening different legs of the process, be it planning, scheduling, immunizing, or tracking.

To begin with, a self-service based automated management solution will be critical in helping key healthcare stakeholders put voluminous requests for vaccines in a systemized order. It will help in dealing with essential immunization tasks, including tracking citizen registration, maintaining inventory data, and adverse reaction tracking as new vaccines are released in the markets. The solution should be interoperable to ensure that the data being collected can be integrated with existing medical record systems (EMR). At the same time, it should be compliant with industry standards and applicable laws such as HIPAA. Broadly, a few of the important features of an AI-Infused automated vaccination process should include:

• Accelerating and smoothening the end-user (citizen) vaccination process & patient experience

• Automating backend processes to ease the load on human resources to be engaged in processes that require human touch and discretion

• Enabling improvement in patient service quality from a provider and LTCP perspective

• Aiding clinicians with healthcare intelligence and symptom-based knowledge mining

• Allowing customization, scalability, and easy integration with interoperability in mind

• Complying with applicable laws and guidelines

Image: Simplified Self-service Patient / User Experiences

Building AI-Enabled Chat Bots and Virtual Health Assistant

Hospitals and other medical institutions also need a fair and transparent way to communicate with users and share relevant information regarding the prioritized tiers, progress on vaccination and subsequent follow-ups. To make it a hassle-free experience for health professionals as well as patients, HealthTech companies are focusing on enabling their partners to build and deploy AI-powered chat bots and virtual health assistants (VHAs).

These bots and VHA service, like Azure Healthcare Bot, should be highly scalable and customizable and easy to deploy. They provide enormous opportunities to make healthcare more efficient using the capabilities of AI and NLP (Natural Language Processing). Bots and Virtual assistants with the ability to comprehend, interpret, and process medical jargon and inputs can aid clinicians like never.

For citizens, they will be helpful in reducing friction in patient engagement flows and reducing call center overload. Further, integrating healthcare AI services like a symptom-checker and and a medical database, including triage protocols will make it highly relevant and significant.

Based on Azure Health Bot Services, it is particularly applicable for public hospitals, providers, care pharmaceutical companies and telemedicine providers who keep adding new rules and policies that everyone can benefit from. It can easily be customized to suit an organization’s requirements and offer its users intelligent, personalized access to health-related information and interactions. Users can interact with the chat bot through text or voice in a self-service mode. The Bot is designed to understand the users’ intent and provide accurate information. It also adapts conversational intelligence dynamically by learning from previous interactions.

Microsoft has also created several COVID-19 response templates that can be modified by their users to personalize and create:

 COVID-19 risk assessment – Based on CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines

 COVID-19 clinical triage – Based on CDC standards and protocols

 COVID-19 reference libraries with worldwide metrics and FAQs

While providing state-of-the-art pioneering services and solutions, Azure platform also ensures that all the information and data controlled by each instance of the Healthcare Bot Service is secured to the highest standards for privacy and security. The service aligns with globally recognized standards: HIPAA, ISO 27001, 27018, and CSA Gold and GDPR. PHI data is handled effectively and with great care.

Integrating IoT Sensor-Based Monitoring

A vaccine is only as good as the solution used to store it, as many require highly specific temperatures to remain effective. Any deviation from this can have a dramatic impact on a vaccine’s viability and, at worse, render it useless.  The WHO estimates that more than 50 percent of vaccines may be wasted globally every year due to temperature control, logistics and shipment-related issues.

As many people know now, the vaccine lots being distributed have to be stored in a frozen state (-58°F and +5°F) and deployed in refrigerators at clinics at low temperatures (36°F and 46°F) when ready for use. Extending the idea of remote monitoring, health providers can further enhance vaccine delivery management using IoT sensor-based monitoring. IoT sensor devices along with the necessary infrastructure can capture and communicate location and condition of shipments at various segments of the journey.

Further, an IoT remote monitoring solution can be customized to stream sensor data directly to Vaccine Admin Command Centers to send an alert if the temperature reading in the chiller, where the vaccine is stored, reaches a specified point. This will help elongate the life of vaccines, thus saving on a lot of time, money, and effort.

The tracking and alerting process would be completely automated with no need for human intervention. It will also provide real-time data that will require healthcare workers to be actively responsive to system alerts and take proactive actions to fix the problem.

Image: Proactive Temperature Monitoring in the Vaccine Command Center

Infusing AI into WinWire’s Vaccine Delivery Solution

WinWire, a Microsoft Managed Partner, is committed to its mission to help its clients gain competitive advantage through Innovative Software Solutions. We are dedicated to continuously ideate and innovate to ensure that our partners can achieve technology leadership and execution excellence with each of their solution and service offerings for the Healthcare and Life Sciences clientele.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Management Solution by WinWire was launched soon after the news of the vaccination rollout. The solution offers a large continuum of vaccine management that includes citizen registration, vaccine administration, integration of data with existing immunization records, fair allocation and prioritization, monitoring, and so on. This Vaccine Delivery Solution is built on Microsoft Azure and MS Health Platform along with FHIR adapters that can help integrate with several existing solutions, including the Azure Healthcare Bot and Azure IoT.

Image: Scheduling Appointments

For healthcare providers, it acts as a Vaccine Command Center tool for managing queues, follow-ups, state registry, and inventory checks. It augments human call-based patient support systems and reduces the contact center overload. To support organizations, it uses a five-pronged methodology that includes tracking, reporting, educating and vaccine program engagement, supply management and consulting support. It also hooks up to our Knowledge Miner solution for cognitive search and RxNorm mapping to aid clinicians further.

Image: Day of Visit - Reminder and Queue Management

In each of these steps, there are various tasks that can be made faster, smoother, and more efficient by integrating AI-infused solutions. For example, customized AI-enabled chat bots and virtual assistants can be deployed to assist in initial registration, appointment scheduling, reducing calls into the provider offices and text-based chats, and allowing for scaling to patients needs.

Image: A smart queuing system managed using the Vaccine Command Center

WinWire’s vaccine delivery solution is aimed at enabling healthcare admins and key stakeholders to get a meticulous view of their efforts through effortless integration of data from Cloud and external data across EMR/EHRs, state-specific IISs, and CDC portals. Power BI can further add value by analyzing the data through interactive visualizations and trending charts.

This data-driven digital solution is able to handle vaccine planning and delivery in a pre-integrated, fully customized, or standalone mode with a laser-focus in providing web-scale, easy-to-deploy, intelligent systems.

Our vision is to deploy purpose-driven innovative solutions for helping improve the patient journey and experience in these pandemic times. The new-normal expects tactical measures using data-driven digital technologies while ensuring the long-term viability of vaccine solutions for the many coming years of our mission.  In short, there are endless possibilities that can be explored to smoothen, accelerate, and improve the vaccine delivery and management process using a range of Microsoft Azure services and MS Cloud for health best-practices. Together with AI-infused solutions, the management system can be used to offer an efficient, easy to deploy and holistic vaccine delivery solution.

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