By Erika Christ | Army News Service
The Army Vantage program is playing a pivotal role in helping military leaders gain accurate insight into Soldier immunization rates against COVID-19, as well as the Army’s COVID-19 vaccine inventory worldwide.
When the Army began implementing the Secretary of Defense’s August 2021 COVID-19 vaccination mandate for service members, the Office of the Army Surgeon General (OTSG) and U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) were directed to work with Army Vantage to generate by-person/by-day immunization status for Soldiers. By importing immunization data from MEDCOM’s Medical Operational Data System (MODS) into the Army Vantage data analytics platform, the Army Vantage team was able to cross-reference the data with personnel data records from Army Human Resources Command and portray all Soldiers’ immunization status on a daily basis.
Army leaders can use the Army Vantage dashboard to filter the immunization data into enterprise-level visualizations or reports, and analysts across the Army can use the underlying data to construct local or ad-hoc reports and visualizations. They also can view data on the Army’s worldwide inventory of COVID-19 vaccines and cross-reference it on a map with geographic areas where Soldiers still need vaccinations.
“This current work complements the reports available to command teams in MEDCOM’s Medical Protection System but makes COVID-19 immunization data more widely consumable and manipulable at the enterprise level,” said Kyle Jette, lead data scientist for Army Vantage. “While our current dashboard provides a high-level view for top decision makers, any Army user community can make visualizations. MEDCOM has been a great partner in helping drive those visualization requirements and feed MODS data into the Army Vantage system.”
According to Jette, plans for future capabilities include making the COVID-19 immunization data more granular, so unit commanders can view aggregated immunization rates down to the battalion level, while still protecting individual health information. Army Vantage does not plan to enable filtering to the individual level, said Jette, to ensure that Soldiers’ sensitive information remains protected.
“Army Vantage has given MEDCOM OTSG the ability to curate, validate and synchronize all Army Soldier COVID-19 vaccination information in a single-source business intelligence platform at an expeditious rate,” said Dawn Herman, branch chief of the systems branch within MEDCOM’s Readiness Analytics Division. “With the help of the Army Vantage team, we were able to overcome a year-long barrier and accurately portray total Army COVID-19 vaccination data in under three weeks; no other capability can compare.”
Leaders from MEDCOM have authorized Army Vantage to send Soldier immunization reports to DOD counterparts, as well as the Defense Health Agency, to ensure that DOD leaders and the Joint Chiefs of Staff have access to the most accurate data. The Army’s plan is to have all active-duty personnel immunized by Dec. 15 and all National Guard and Reserve personnel vaccinated by June 30.
One key proponent of the Army Vantage system data is Robin Swan, director of the Army’s Office of Business Transformation.
“To ensure that the Army finishes vaccinating Soldiers on time and provides senior DOD officials with the latest and greatest information on immunization status, we need to provide an accurate and comprehensive picture of the situation,” said Swan. “Army Vantage has paid huge dividends in the past by empowering leaders to make data-driven decisions in the battle against COVID-19, and the platform’s ability to quickly source and display authoritative immunization data will enable the Army to meet the Secretary of Defense’s vaccination mandate as well.”
Army Vantage is part of PEO EIS’s Army Data and Analytics Platforms portfolio. By joining and enriching millions of data points into artificial intelligence/machine learning-capable applications, Army Vantage improves and accelerates decisions on everything from personnel readiness to financial return on investment. Today, thousands of operators across the Army — including senior leaders, Soldiers, staff and analytic communities — use Army Vantage to improve the efficiency and accuracy of their work.