RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Moderna and IBM are going to explore technologies, including the potential deployment of artificial intelligence, blockchain, and hybrid cloud, to bolster and enhance COVID-19 vaccine management, in a joint announcement.

“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 aim is to identify ways that technology can be used to help accelerate secure information sharing between governments, healthcare providers, life science organizations, and individuals. At the core of this collaboration is a joint effort to boost and improve confidence in vaccine programs and increase vaccination rates, resulting in decreasing and reducing community spread.

The two companies have planned initial work, focusing on exploring IBM’s capabilities in the United States, including vaccine management solutions that provide end-to-end traceability to address potential supply chain disruptions. They’ll also examine how IBM’s Digital Health Pass, which is built using blockchain technology, can help individuals maintain control of their personal health information and choose to share it in a way that is secure, verifiable, and trusted, the company said.

“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 in the statement. “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.”

The collaboration with Moderna is another effort of IBM’s to help address the COVID-19 pandemic by providing access to its technology portfolio, including here in the Triangle where teams of IBM employees put technology in the hands of first responders and nonprofits to fight COVID-19.

In addition, IBM joined the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and other technology companies as part of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, a partnership to give supercomputing resources to researchers to help speed the discovery and development of COVID-19 vaccines, at the outset of the global pandemic. The company also offered its IBM Clinical Development (ICD) solution to eligible trial sponsor organizations as part of its medical community support efforts to help address the pandemic, generating interest from hospitals, CROs, and academic institutions.  IBM also topped the U.S. patent list for the 28th straight year in 2020.

IBM employs thousands of people across North Carolina, including Raleigh-based Red Hat, and operates one of its largest campuses in RTP.