The Victorian government will pay Microsoft almost $6 million to use its Covid vaccine management platform, as the state prepares to immunise its first residents next week.
The newly-renamed Department of Health (DH) revealed details of the $5.8 million contract for a ‘vaccination management tool’ this week, which will run for an inital six months.
It comes three months after the then Department of Health and Human Services went looking for a cloud-based software solution in a quick-fire market approach.
First reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, the department will use Microsoft’s recently annouced vaccination registration and administration solution (VRAS).
DH is already a heavy user of the Microsoft stack as part of it’s ‘platform + agile’ strategy, which was adopted in 2017 to replace traditional waterfall methodologies.
According to Microsoft, the VRAS “enables the tracking and reporting of immunisation progress through secure data exchange that utilizes industry standards, such as Health Level Seven (HL7), Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) and open APIs”.
“Health providers and pharmacies can monitor and report on the effectiveness of specific vaccine batches, and health administrators can easily summarise the achievement of vaccine deployment goals in large population groups,” the company said in a blog post.
Microsoft Australia’s managing director Steven Worrall told the SMH that the solution would allow DoH to “reach out to Victorians… through their communication channel of choice as the rollout progresses”.
“Importantly, this information will also be made available to clinicians, so that they can ensure Victorians get the right vaccine at the right time based on the latest data available,” he added.
iTnews has contacted Microsoft and DoH for further comment.
Australia is set to begin its vaccination program on Monday, starting with frontline health workers, hotel quarantine staff, border force officers and aged care residents, who will all recieve the Pfizer vaccine.
All Covid vaccination information will be required to be uploaded to the Australian Immunisation Register to help track and trace who is and isn’t protected from the virus.
Despite being introduced in 1996, it wasn’t mandatory to report vaccination to the national register until earlier this month, meaning that it did not contain a complete picture of vaccinations.
Vaccination records are viewable through Medicare Online, myGov, the Express Plus Medicare mobile app or My Health Record.
Ahead of the vaccine rollout, federal government services minister Stuart Robert on Friday called on Australians to link their Medicare accounts to myGov.
He said data from Services Australia indicates that only around half of the 19.7 million active myGov accounts have Medicare linked (9.9 million).