Bay Area tech companies switch gears to help track COVID vaccine distribution

David Louie Image
ByDavid Louie KGO logo
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Bay Area companies switch gears to help track COVID vaccine distribution
Bay Area technology companies that track your shopping habits are adapting data gathering to the nation's massive COVID vaccination program. It could track trends, irregularities and even help with future pandemics.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Never have we seen such a global effort to develop and deploy vaccines to stop the COVID pandemic.

As the immunization programs roll out in the U.S., there will be a need for information - where and when vaccines will be available locally, for example.

RELATED: Bay Area company monitors side effects, adverse reactions for future safety

Bay Area technology has developed ways to help with that and to collect useful data to track the success of the vaccines.

"How do they get that real-time info? And that's what we really are focused on is getting that information out in an effective, rich way," said Tony Bates, CEO of Genesys.

The San Francisco-based company specializes in customer service platforms for business. They've already rolled out a solution for health plans, pharmacies and others that consumers will likely turn to.

VIDEO: Should a 'vaccine passport' be required?

It's the dream on the horizon, a world without masks, where you glide through the airport or sit down to dinner wherever you want. The question now is, will you need a so-called "vaccine passport" to get there?

"We can offer voice as part of that process, but it also includes knowledge bots, AI, chatbots, virtual agents. It's full integration of all the technologies that we have available today," Bates said.

At the same time, health providers, government agencies and others involved in immunization will want to gather data to keep track of the vaccines administered, patient reactions, antibody results and other pertinent information. That's where San Francisco 1health can help, It has created a platform to manage a mountain of data that will be useful for the short and long term.

"We're capturing who gave you the vaccine or the test, who was the prescribing physician, what kind of test did you take, which lab ran it, what kind of vaccine you took, any adverse event you provide to the system is being captured," said 1health CEO Mehdi Maghsoodnia.

RELATED: Building a Better Bay Area: Vaccine Watch

The database will also help researchers deal with future pandemics and to create algorithms to predict the best response.

"The aggregating is going to enable the type of improvement in health care that you have not seen, I think, in centuries," Maghsoodnia said.

If you have a question or comment about the COVID-19 vaccine, submit via the form below or here.

Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here