Google, Microsoft and Amazon released cloud computing tools to help state and local health agencies accelerate the vaccination signup process as COVID-19 vaccines become available to almost everyone in the U.S, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
The report said increased demand for immunization amid the pandemic drove traffic to online appointment portals managed by nonfederal government technology professionals, resulting in website and phone line glitches.
Todd Schroeder, director of public sector digital strategy at Google's cloud business, told WSJ that agencies faced the challenge of managing large-scale vaccination appointments along with software system and database integration work.
Google Cloud unveiled its Intelligent Vaccine Impact platform in February that features virtual agents to determine whether a contact center caller is eligible to receive the vaccine, provide schedules and even send vaccine-related information and reminders.
The system is designed with an artificial intelligence “what-if” model that facilitates data collection work for public health forecasting and policymaking efforts and a sentiment analysis tool that allows government health officials to understand citizen beliefs and attitudes toward vaccination.
Separately, Microsoft introduced a vaccine management application in March for public health organizations to organize sites and monitor results. Users can also schedule their appointments and receive notifications from the tool.
Amazon announced Tuesday that its virtual assistant Alexa can now provide access to COVID-19 vaccine information and help users find vaccination centers and testing sites.