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Route planning tool enables mobile COVID vaccination


A pilot project in Düsseldorf is currently making groundbreaking progress for COVID vaccination at home: thanks to a software solution tailored by us, mobile vaccination teams can be deployed much more efficiently and thus supply more people with the vaccines.

Ubilabs supports Düsseldorf fire department with geocoding solution for vaccination route planning

Since the beginning of the year, the city of Düsseldorf has been working to ensure that people who are unable to visit vaccination centers for health reasons can receive their COVID vaccination at home. Initially, there were some organizational hurdles to overcome: From a central location, the mobile vaccination teams of the Düsseldorf Fire Department take over the information, preventive care, vaccine supply as well as follow-up care. The vaccines are stored in a vehicle at minus 80 degrees Celsius - from there, the vaccination teams then spread out to the people who need to be vaccinated. In order to be able to administer the temperature-sensitive vaccines in time, the elderly and people in need of care have to be reachable within a maximum of ten minutes on foot. Ubilabs developed a very practical and at the same time scalable solution here in a very short time, which was the prerequisite for highly efficient planning.

Cloud and maps in perfect interaction

For the vaccination route planning application, our development team relied on so-called isochrones.

This allows us to answer the question of which locations can be reached within a ten-minute walk. Topographical conditions are also taken into account. In Düsseldorf, for example, the Rhine flows through the city center.

Jens Wille, Managing Director of Ubilabs

Thanks to the very intuitive interface, the employees of the Düsseldorf Fire Department were able to start immediately without extensive training. When planning vaccination missions, the fire department first loads all the addresses of the people to be vaccinated into the application. Using geocoding, these are then automatically located and displayed on the digital map. All of this is done in compliance with data protection laws. Based on this, the program searches for locations - for example, the parking lot in front of a supermarket - from which the fire department can reach as many people  as possible. The cloud, which plays an important role in all Ubilabs solutions, has an unbeatable advantage, especially for applications such as vaccination route planning: rapid scalability and simple setup at manageable costs. This means that whether 100 or 100 million vaccinees are to be administered, the effort hardly changes.

Implementation within a few days

"It was clear to us from the start that the time pressure was immense," explains Jens Wille. "But because we offer consulting and development in an integrated way, we were able to quickly get to grips with the situation and thus develop our solution in a timely manner." From the first conversation in February to the presentation of the prototype - which was immediately ready for use - just ten days passed. In further iterations, new functions were added continually.

I was very impressed by the agility with which Ubilabs solved our problem and the professional exchange at eye level. Up to 4,000 citizens need vaccination in our home environment. Even at this moment, one of our teams is sitting in the vaccination center planning the next vaccinations - without this tool, it would be almost impossible.

David von der Lieth, Head of the Fire Department and member of the crisis team of the city of Düsseldorf

Urgent nationwide need

Because the application is flexible and scalable, it would be usable in any other location - and in fact, other cities have already expressed interest in the meantime. The Düsseldorf Fire Department is also considering using the geocoding solution in other areas that also involve ranges and path relationships.

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