Yesterday Moderna and IBM said they plan to explore using blockchain, AI, and other technologies for COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
The pharmaceutical company is planning a blockchain pilot to provide vaccine traceability so that government and healthcare providers can see the current status of specific vaccine batches as they go through the supply chain from the manufacturer to the destination.
One of IBM’s in-house enterprise blockchain offerings is IBM Food Trust which provides similar results in a different sector. IBM also previously participated in an FDA pharmaceutical pilot and launched a blockchain consortium, the Pharmaceutical Utility Network (PhUN), with Walmart, Merck, and KPMG.
Another collaboration area between Moderna and IBM is for the Digital Health Pass, an IBM solution that leverages blockchain to enable vaccine or test credentials to be verified. It recently unveiled a pilot with the State of New York, including for events at Madison Square Garden.
“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,” said Michael Mullette, VP, Managing Director North America Commercial Operations of Moderna.
Several companies offer health credentials for COVID-19, including GE Digital’s TrustOne app, IATA’s Travel Pass platform, and the ICC AOKpass. But there are many more. ID2020 has setup the Good Health Pass Collaborative to help the solutions to interoperate.
We also note that some big consultants like IBM are starting to offer broader solutions beyond health certificates. The Moderna example here is one. Yesterday Tata Consultancy Services launched its COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Management offering. Like IBM’s, it uses multiple technologies, and the verification aspect is one of five functional areas of the solution.