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The past few months have been a difficult time for people, governments and businesses as COVID-19 has continued to impact countries around the globe. Some areas are finally emerging after its onslaught, while others are now dealing with the growing force of its impact. No-one knows exactly what the future holds, but as a global organization, Oracle is helping its customers step up to the challenges of the pandemic first-hand, and I have consistently been impressed by how our colleagues have worked together with customers and partners, to solve problems and help an incredibly wide range of organizations adapt to a new landscape.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, our customers—large and small, private and public—are working to help those in need, to ensure people who require medical help can get it, and to further critical scientific research, so that when this pandemic passes, we are all in a better position to manage our lives and future crises than we were before.
The CDC Foundation, which at the beginning of the COVID-19 emergency, received more donations than it was capable of handling using existing processes. A non-profit organization established by the US Congress to help support the work of the Centers for Disease Control during emergencies, the Foundation turned to Oracle NetSuite—and a team of NetSuite professionals working pro bono over nights and weekends—to automate the processing and allocation of all those donations. Thanks to this influx of technology and volunteerism, it was able to slash processing times and expedite funds to the appropriate programs in hours instead of days, getting people get much needed aid at a time of critical need.
On the research front, we are supporting immunology experts at Flinders University, in Adelaide, South Australia, and Vaxine Pty Ltd, a biotechnology company based at Flinders, as they work towards the development of a vaccine candidate for COVID-19. We’re providing them with the infrastructure and high performance computing needs to model the COVID-19 virus proteins and thereby helping to reduce vaccine development timelines from years down to a matter of months.
Our employees are also helping governments to operate effectively online.
When Oklahoma was hit with a stay-at-home order, it needed to ensure some 30,000 state employees were able to access the technology and IT help needed to continue serving their constituents. Our solution engineers built a chatbot that allows users ask basic questions, such as how to reset a password, set up a VPN at home, or download/access approved productivity applications. We also built a low-code mobile app for the state’s Department of Human Services using Oracle APEX that tracks time and purchases related to COVID-19.
Oracle staff in Croatia responded to a government appeal by leading a team of partners spanning local tech providers, the Croatian epidemiologist Branko Kolarić, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Public Administration. In concert with those partners, they launched an automated advisor that reduces the burden on overextended care givers by helping Croatians to self-diagnose if they might have COVID-19.
Another automated advisor, this time in Spain, helped frontline workers do their jobs more effectively. Many more thousands of people than usual answered the call when Cruz Roja, the Red Cross in Spain, called for volunteers, making it hard for the rescue organization’s coordinators to decipher who had signed up for what. Thanks to swift teamwork and an innovative approach to solving multiple problems at once, our team used Oracle technology to provide a more efficient way of tracking and directing volunteers, directing people who come to the website in need of help, and guiding first-time volunteers quickly through the registration process.
Lastly, as part of our ongoing collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) we have extended our Therapeutic Learning System (TLS) which allows physicians and patients to record responses to promising COVID-19 drug therapies. In partnership with health systems such as Wake Forest Baptist Health and Javara Research, the initiative was extended to include patient monitoring.
Most recently we’ve developed a Cloud System called the Volunteer Screening Registry to support the NIH’s COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN). The registry will identify and screen volunteers who want to participate in COVID-19 clinical trials. This program is expected to support hundreds of clinical trial sites across the United States and internationally by the end of the year. The trials are inclusive of people from all communities, with a focus on those who are at higher risk for COVID-19. In the week since it was launched, over 140,000 people have already registered.
We encourage you to visit the CoVPN website, learn more about the vaccine trial program, and volunteer if you are able at http://covpn.oracle.com/survey.