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IBM and Moderna partner to make Covid-19 vaccine supply chain and distribution smarter

Written by Thu 18 Mar 2021

Initiative to support secure data sharing between stakeholders involved in Covid-19 vaccine delivery

Moderna and IBM are partnering to improve Covid-19 vaccine management by exploring how AI and the cloud can make the process smarter and more efficient.

First on the to-do list is a pilot of a standardised approach to vaccine distribution that improves supply chain visibility and brings ‘near real-time’ tracking of vaccine administration at the individual batch level, as they travel from manufacturing facilities to administration sites.

The overarching ambition of the partnership is to improve information sharing between governments, healthcare providers, life science organisations and individuals, so vaccine delivery can be accelerated and community transmission reduced.

US-based Moderna, which this week became the first manufacturer to test its vaccine on infants, said it plans to explore how IBM’s tech offering will improve the delivery of its vaccine in the States.

Another potential application being explored is a blockchain-enabled digital health pass designed to help individuals maintain control of personal health information and share it securely.

“Moderna is committed to working with a coalition of partners to increase education and awareness of the importance of vaccination to help defeat Covid-19,” said Michael Mullette, VP, Managing Director North America Commercial Operations of Moderna.

“We look forward to working with IBM to apply digital innovations to build connections between organizations, governments, and individuals to instill confidence in Covid-19 vaccines.”

At the beginning of the pandemic, IBM joined a White House’s Covid-19 consortium set up to donate supercomputing resources to researchers discovering and developing Covid-19 vaccines.

“If ever there was a time to rally around open technology and collaboration, it’s now,” said Jason Kelley, Managing Partner, Global Strategic Alliances Leader for IBM.

“As governments, pharmacy chains, healthcare providers and life sciences companies continue to scale and connect their tools, and as new players enter the supply chain, open technology can help drive more transparency and bolster trust, while helping to ensure accessibility and equity in the process.”

The respective fortunes of IBM and Moderna have diverged significantly since the first lockdown. In 2020, IBM’s overall revenue fell by 5% from year-ago levels, leading to a 41% decline in net income. Meanwhile, Moderna’s Q4 revenue lept from $14.1 million in 2019 to $570.7 million in 2020 as it plans to produce and sell 700 million doses of its vaccines in 2021.

Written by Thu 18 Mar 2021


Covid-19 healthcare
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