Digital Innovation in Pandemic Control (DIPC)
Digital solutions for the fight of the pandemic and for demand-driven vaccine distribution
At a glance
The COVID-19 pandemic can only be brought under control through a joint global commitment. Vaccines are central to this, as they reduce the severity of the course and the further spread of the virus. In developing and emerging countries in particular, quite few people have yet been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Against this background, the global network initiated by WHO to accelerate the development, production and distribution of COVID-19 medical products (ACT-A – Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator) is a historic example of international collaboration. The goal is to provide at least 900 million PCR tests or SARS Cov2 antibody tests, 100 million medical treatments and 2 billion vaccine doses to low- and middle-income countries by the end of 2021. As the second largest donor, Germany is funding ACT-A with 2.2 billion euros, making a critical contribution to multilateral health system strengthening in global pandemic prevention.
With the delivery of vaccines, medicines and tests at national ports and airports, recipient countries assume responsibility for distribution. This task poses a major challenge: many of our partner countries lack effective digital solutions in their health systems that could support pandemic prevention and control.
This is where the DIPC project comes in, supporting COVID-19 pandemic response through digital solutions. DIPC strengthens digital health systems in three interlinked strands of activity:
Strand 1 – the Digital Pandemic Preparedness Assessment (DPPA) – captures existing digital applications in 5 countries (Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire) that can be used for vaccine distribution.
Strand 2 aims to strengthen vaccine distribution through digital solutions in local health systems. To this end, DIPC has launched an idea competition together with the World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator to provide financial, technical and methodological support for the further development of promising digital solutions in coordination with the respective government partners until around September 2022.
Strand 3 serves to establish a multilateral Digital Health Center of Excellence (DICE), together with WHO, UNICEF and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The body provides targeted advice with an international pool of experts on the use of digital solutions in developing countries. The advice enables rapid modification and expansion of digital approaches.
Our goal within the framework of DIPC are digital innovations to solve country-specific and global challenges in health systems with a focus on pandemic response, especially effective and transparent vaccine distribution.