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Wireless Wednesday Exclusive: Jason Kelley, General Manager, IBM Blockchain Services

Rick is joined by a great guest, Jason Kelley of IBM Blockchain Services this week.

Earlier this month, we heard the news of the completion and approval for some of the first successful COVID-19 vaccines. With vaccines for Covid-19 now in approvals for global distribution, there is heightened focus on the need to distribute it safely, rapidly and equitably – whether consumers are getting the vaccine at their local small town pharmacies, or major chain drugstores in big cities. Now, the distribution of the vaccine, which includes the tough work of delivering it from production facilities to people around the world, is set to begin. That means the need for a highly sophisticated and scalable supply chains using blockchain, hybrid cloud, IoT and AI technology, providing trust and accuracy through shared data and transparency across federal, state and local agencies, distributors, dispensaries, healthcare providers and others.

Listen to Rick and Jason:

Ecosystems like these will be particularly important going forward. For context, unlike traditional vaccines, many of the strongest COVID-19 candidates, including Pfizer’s, were developed using mRNA technology, a relatively new innovation that tries to teach the body how to make its own proteins to combat viruses like COVID-19.To remain effective, these vaccines need to be kept very cold in transit, roughly 70 degrees below zero through a supply chain known as a “cold chain.”

Importance of Cold Chain:New vaccines are extraordinary and rare. Scaling their availability is an incredible challenge, even when you are not in a crisis situation. These cold chains exist today but not at the scale needed to distribute a vaccine to every person in the US, much less every person in the world. And if these cold chains fail at any point during the journey from manufacturer to the point of disbursement, doses could go bad, putting individuals at risk and casting doubt on the efficacy and safety of the vaccine itself.

Technology’s Role: IBM blockchain and supply chain technology will be used to aid in the distribution of the vaccine providing a new approach that is unparalleled in its scale, adaptiveness, and security. Leveraging technologies like hybrid cloud, AI, blockchain and security enable each vaccine to be authenticated, andinformation about every vaccine to be securely recorded, including their temperature handling history, throughout every step in the supply chain. It also helps the entire supply chain react quicker in the event of a threat or a recall.With the ability to share secure information in real-time, governments, private industry, and health professionals can better orchestrate the time-sensitive task of shipping vaccines, tracking its geographic locations, handling, even its temperature.

From local doctor’s offices to chain drugstores, the roll out of the vaccine is an important next step in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and technology is vital to ensuring it’s safety, efficiency and successful distribution. We’re making IBM’s Jason Kelley, available on Dec. 21 to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine supply chain, and the role blockchain and AI technology is playing in supporting citizen trust, and the integrity of the vaccine. He can also discuss how the cold chain parallels other supply chains like prescription drugs, retail goods and food.


What does a vaccine supply chain look like?

How is technology playing a role in modernizing the supply chain needed to distribute vaccines at scale?

What are other concerns within the supply chain?

How is this supply chain similar to others, like food and retail?

Where can listeners go for more information?

Jason Kelley leads IBM Global Blockchain Services, partnering with client organizations and consortia to unleash the exponential business value of blockchain technologies and reinvented business process. His teams provide the thought leadership and consultive capabilities needed to design, develop and rapidly adopt digital ledgers, digital identity, trust and transparency with IBM Blockchain offerings and solutions.

Mr. Kelley has been a successful entrepreneur, as well as a business unit creator for IBM having led IBM Global Business Services Solutions, Design & Innovation, and helping clients transform to differentiate and lead in the market through digital reinvention with the application of Agile, DevOps and innovative technology. His teams bring endless energy, creativity, and outcomes for IBM clients around the world, delivering unique business capability with the marriage of analytics, automation/robotics, Watson, and cloud technologies.

A holder of 4 U.S. Patents Jason is also a U.S. Army Airborne Ranger veteran, serves on a number of boards, is Co-Chair of the Nation Security Innovation Council, and leads the community of black employees & mentors (BEAM) globally for the IBM Services organization.

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