Dr. B is a new text service that connects those individuals who would like to be vaccinated with doses of COVID-19 vaccines that would otherwise go to waste. Powered by a database tracking a new standby list and vaccines doses that may go to waste, already about 500,000 people have signed up for the website service founded by Cyrus Massoumi. The website’s algorithm factors in eligibility status of the individual and pairs that person to the potential vaccine dose that is headed for the trash heap. To date, the service works via two providers in Arkansas and New York but according to new reports, it will expand to 200 vaccination sites across 30 states shortly, reports the founder, who previously formed the online doctor appointment scheduling site known as Zocdoc.
The service offers individuals interested in a vaccine 15 minutes to verify that they can be at the vaccination site—they are given a two hour grace period to actually make it to the site. The site does collect data such as user name, address, birthdates, as well as underlying health conditions to help stratify the list based on priority eligibility for inoculation. As vaccines are available, the website algorithm matches specific information of individuals with vaccine provider, reports USA Today. Although this site is purportedly not a “covered entity” per the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), it’s designed to certainly safeguard personal health data and experts are quoted that the risk of not getting a vaccine is more severe than an application such as this one.
Note that Mr. Massoumi set up Dr. B as a public benefit corporation.
Call to Action: Interested in getting vaccines and ensuring doses are not wasted? Check out Dr. B.