Getting vaccines into local communities safely and effectively

Introducing: Google Cloud’s Intelligent Vaccine Impact solution

With a number of COVID-19 vaccines approved, state and local governments are now focused on executing effective and equitable immunization programs. This promises to be the largest public health campaign of a generation, and Google is committed to helping our customers and communities rise to the challenge of getting vaccines to more people.

Google has supported communities and public health organizations throughout the pandemic through research grants, telehealth support, and more. And as the global challenge to immunize millions of people continues to rise, we’re proud to extend our commitment by today announcing Google Cloud’s Intelligent Vaccine Impact solution. With this offering, we’ve created a set of core technologies to help regional and local governments deliver successful COVID-19 public health strategies, ranging from vaccine information and scheduling, to distribution and analytics, to forecasting and modeling COVID-19 cases, and more.

The Intelligent Vaccine Impact solution helps increase vaccine availability and equitable access to those who need it, and assists governments in building awareness, confidence, and acceptance of vaccines. We designed our solution to easily integrate with existing technologies, knowing that governments will administer their vaccine distributions in unique ways. 

COVID forecasting to help make better decisions on vaccine distribution and allocation 
The first part of the Intelligent Vaccine Impact solution involves COVID-19 forecasting and “what-if” analysis. Google Cloud researchers developed a novel, time-series, machine-learning approach that combines AI with a foundation of epidemiology. We also developed an AI-driven “what-if” model to be used for COVID-19 response and other infectious disease policy intervention decision-making, using our Application Modernization platform with Anthos, Kubernetes, and BigQuery.  

Using a unique set of Looker dashboards, state epidemiologists and public health professionals can now aggregate the results of these models in BigQuery with both public and private datasets to drive better policy decisions. Government leaders can then see how the forecasts change in response to policy changes (e.g., mask mandates, modified reopening plans, or vaccination programs). And public sector leaders can also create custom forecasts for their counties and public health organizations. The goal of this component of the solution is to help leaders make informed and effective decisions. 

Higher-quality vaccine information to take the burden off state & local agencies
The second core component of the Intelligent Vaccine Impact solution is the vaccine information portal. The COVID-19 vaccine release has brought a flood of questions and concerns from the public to government agencies. As people search for answers on public web pages, call health departments, and react to announcements on social media, many local governments have been overwhelmed. 

Working in partnership with SpringML, MTX, Deloitte, and other partners, Google Cloud has built several vaccine information portals—part of the Intelligent Vaccine Impact solution—that help people learn about vaccine availability, determine if they qualify, sign up for vaccination, and submit their information so that when they are eligible they can be vaccinated as quickly as possible. Using core Google Cloud serverless technologies like App Engine, Firestore, and Cloud Functions, these portal websites allow for seamless scalability to meet the needs of thousands to hundreds of thousands of constituents registering simultaneously. 

Vaccine scheduling management to seamlessly manage vaccine rollout to populations
Once constituents have visited the vaccine information portal, they then interact with the scheduling management component of the Intelligent Vaccine Impact solution. Google Cloud’s Dialogflow and Contact Center AI intelligent virtual agents provide call-in lines that can help people determine their eligibility, get registered, and schedule vaccine appointments even if they are not able to get online. And to assist in scheduling and reminders, standard text messaging notifications can help patients remember appointments and vaccine information. 

The solution also offers convenient online registration and pre-screening, location searches, and appointment setting, as well as automated reminders. And it supports QR codes or the creation of unique patient IDs that accelerate check-in, as well as the ability to quickly book booster appointments. Of course, because the response requires high levels of integration and data portability, the Intelligent Vaccine Impact solution relies on Apigee and the Google Cloud Healthcare API to transmit data securely using common formats such as HL7 or FHIR—which interoperates with existing healthcare and immunization systems. 

Sentiment analysis to help assess community sentiment around vaccines
Finally, understanding how local communities feel about the risks and benefits of the vaccine is critical to being able to increase confidence in vaccination—and ultimately end COVID-19. That’s why the Intelligent Vaccine Impact solution features a Sentiment Analysis component, in partnership with Syntasa, that offers a central source of insight for constituent sentiment and feedback. 

Constituents engage with government organizations across a wide variety of communications systems, including call centers, websites and apps, chatbots, advertising campaigns, social media, search, and news feeds. With Google’s sentiment analysis tool, government organizations can direct communications efforts that provide clear and accurate information to specific audiences, addressing specific concerns as they arise. Understanding changing beliefs and behaviors throughout the vaccination lifecycle allows agencies to enable a more tailored and informed vaccination campaign.

Intelligent Vaccine Impact solution in action
Google Cloud is already deploying the Intelligent Vaccine Impact solution in a number of states. North Carolina, for instance, is engaged with Google Cloud on several of the solution’s components to help streamline their vaccine rollouts.

“Our newest effort is to develop a process and technology to streamline accessing information for North Carolinians,” said Sam Gibbs, deputy secretary for Technology and Operations, State of North Carolina. “This technology will provide a central location for residents to find information such as when it is their turn to get their vaccine or guidance to easily locate a vaccination location.”

We’re proud to support this critical mission, and to put resilient infrastructure in place to face the challenges around COVID-19 vaccinations. Google Cloud’s Intelligent Vaccine Impact solution builds on our strong foundation of projects supporting state and local health agencies during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we remain committed to assisting public health agencies nationwide. For more information, visit cloud.google.com/solutions/government.

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