After a year since the pandemic began, the entire world continues to deal with cascading effects on human lives. As a big relief, the moment we have all been waiting for is here. India kicked off the world’s largest vaccination drive for Covid-19 on January 16, 2021. Healthcare and frontline workers will be a priority for vaccination and initially, nearly three crore doctors, healthcare and frontline workers would be inoculated. Vaccine administration to 1.3 billion people in India is a mammoth task and digital platforms can play an integral part in the entire process of its implementation.
To start with, digital support would be required for registration, vaccination centre selection, slot booking, beneficiary profile, vaccination certification, and recording e-Health records. Through digital interventions, we would also be able to manage adverse effects, feedback, and grievance redressal mechanism. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning would be helpful in mining real-time data to assess the safety and efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines and adverse patient monitoring.
Realising the importance of digital disruption for the smooth function of the vaccination programme, India had developed an Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) in 2015. The network was initially deployed in 12 states. Now, for Covid vaccine, the Centre has launched CO-WIN, another digital platform, to plan, implement, and monitor the drive. The digital platform would facilitate real-time information of vaccine stocks, storage temperature, and individualised tracing of beneficiaries. CO-WIN is an extension of the government’s eVIN and it digitises vaccine stocks and monitors the temperature of the cold chain through a smartphone application. It supports better vaccine logistics management at cold chain points.
The CO-WIN is an app designed by the Government of India, to enable citizens to self-register for the Covid-19 vaccination processes, initially will be accessible to healthcare workers and frontline warriors alone and will be open to usage for the general public within a month. Along with healthcare providers and the Covid warriors, the app will be effectively used by Central and State Governments to implement the inoculation drive. It provides much-needed information in bulk for healthcare workers. CO-WIN app would provide beneficiary details and update vaccination status. Digital interventions in the world’s largest vaccination campaign would surely be replicated globally.
Digital platforms are also geared up to support providers to manage post-vaccination adverse events in a better way. Hence, not only vaccination but digital platforms would strengthen the entire continuum of care in post Covid period. Healthtech service providers are ready to provide support as the vaccination for Covid-19 would be a long term event. As per the official schedule, Phase II of the vaccination would continue till December 2022, when the rest of the adult population nearly 50 crore would be covered. Healthtech companies such as DayToDay Health (DTDHI) and many more are all set to collaborate with the government and expecting the issuance of guidelines for leveraging CO-WIN app which would enable them to build on and build around the app. Healthtech service providers would invest in a strong analytics engine for not only tracking purposes, but also for planning and predictive analytics related to prioritisation of beneficiaries, areas to be targeted, reduce drop-outs, and improve vaccine efficacy across target segments.
The writer is CEO and founder of DaytoDay Health.