Salesforce, the global leader in customer relationship management software, is set to lift the COVID-19 contact tracing of Victoria into the digital age amid criticism from the Commonwealth government that the system of the Australian state is not up in line when it comes to detecting and responding to outbreaks.
The US tech giant will be entrusted with the task of installing a data management system within Victoria’s health department that will send automated text messages to health authorities, infected people, and potentially their close contacts to boost the speed of the process.
Earlier, the Victorian government is understood to have rejected the offer by Salesforce during the pandemic. The technology already supports contact tracing in New Zealand, Western Australia, and South Australia.
Daniel Andrews, the incumbent Premier of Victoria, remarked Salesforce would consolidate multiple platforms into one digital hub for contact tracing.
“The Salesforce product – which is about trying to consolidate and align many different platforms into one platform – that is happening now and that just means that there is less pen and paper, there is less manual data entry,” he said. “It also facilitates the notion of devolving some of our response.”
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt remarked the second COVID-19 wave of Victoria “could largely have been avoided” if the contact tracing system of Victoria had been more efficient. “If you have a highly developed contact tracing system, then you can bring us in a progressive stage way out of these curfews and lockdowns,” he said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison hit out at Victoria’s contact tracing system and questioned whether the state would have instilled such a conservative roadmap out of lockdown if their system were as efficient as the “gold standard” in New South Wales.