During the initial rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, it seemed everyone was trying to find the elusive vaccine. These shots, which required medical professionals to administer the dose within hours of removal from cold storage, were previously given to shoppers within the facility through frantic calls from large clinics with sudden openings or mutual connections within the center. Unfortunately, not all leftover vaccines were used before the expiration. All expired vaccines were thrown away instead of being administered in these situations.
Through new development, the Dr. B vaccine list tried to match vaccine providers with available individuals wanting to get the shot within a moment’s notice. The program was free to use for both clinics and individuals, gaining considerable traction over a relatively short period. Over 755 different clinics across the United States and nearly 2.5 million users joined Dr. B’s platform.
What Happened During the Vaccine Rollout?
As the vaccine distribution for the COVID-19 virus began in early 2021, individual states were charged with developing protocols and eligibility criteria for initial vaccination. Many qualifications looked at an individual’s health when deciding if they should qualify for the covid vaccine. Many states ended up prioritizing people with pre-existing medical conditions, age, and other risk factors above the public.
As the vaccine conditions began to expand, vaccine scarcity ensued. Unfortunately, long lines formed at clinics, with many individuals waiting long times, hoping to receive a dose of the vaccine. Without a universal standby list, many facilities were at the mercy of online scheduling and bookings. Individuals were stuck playing a lottery for available appointment times. As cancelations and no-show appointments continued to climb, the onus shifted to the medical professional to try and fill any overstock of vaccines. Due to the short expiration of all vaccines removed from cold storage, any doses unable to be administered were thrown out, despite the nationwide shortage.
What Did Dr. B’s Website Do?
Trying to locate a clinic with vaccine availability was nearly impossible during the initial rollout, with many people booking multiple appointment times in hopes of getting the vaccine. To offset these issues, Dr. B created a platform to serve as a standby list for interested candidates. The platform received daily reports of available vaccinations from registered clinics, including the anticipated expiration. From there, Dr. B’s automated system sent messages to individuals wanting to acquire the vaccine, often with same-day appointments. The website automatically prioritized registered applicants according to the risk factor.
How Did the Website Registration Work?
Registration was free for vaccine providers and individuals, removing the obstacle of cost from vaccine accessibility. Individuals wanting to register through the website could do so instantly, using the online registration form. The form included the participant’s name, contact information, chronic health conditions, geographic area, and all employment details. The website allowed community registration, enabling users to register applicants struggling with the portal on their behalf.
After an individual joins the network, the platform’s algorithm automatically determines the priority status of the candidate. When a clinic held availability within their geographic location, individuals would receive a notification from Dr. B’s site.
How Did the Notifications Work?
Dr. B’s website would automatically notify eligible participants of available to appoint times through the registration contact information (the phone number included with registration). The first eligible participant would receive the clinic address and vaccine expiration through an SMS notification and a fifteen-minute timer to confirm or decline the appointment.
When an individual accepted the appointment, Dr. B notified clinics immediately. When a participant declined the vaccination time, the website advised subsequent people on the waitlist until Dr. B filled the position.
Vaccine providers were required to complete a daily report of extra vaccines for the day, along with all expiry details. The website automatically handled all other information for the clinic, notifying potential applicants of the availability and filing the extra doses as required.
Understanding How Information was Stored
While Dr. B wasn’t governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Massoumi believed in treating all personal information to the same standard. The platform offered bank-level encryption to ensure all details were secure and all data transfer was safe.
Did the Company Help Americans During the Pandemic?
During the initial launch of the website, Dr. B only held two clinic registrations. As the pandemic continued, clinic growth exceeded 755 locations across the United States. Individual registrations exploded in popularity, especially when mainstream media caught wind of the new platform. Toward the closing of the registrations, Dr. B received nearly 2.5 million registrations. The website indicates that Dr. B sends over one million vaccine availability notifications to their registrants.
How Else Did Dr. B Help During the Pandemic?
While Dr. B connected individuals with the life-saving vaccine, they highlighted a significant gap in healthcare. Developing a standby service for medical intervention isn’t only efficient and alleviates a few inequalities among communities.
Last Updated: August 22, 2022