Several COVID-19 vaccines are close to getting regulatory approvals in different countries. Currently, there are more than 50 COVID-19 vaccine candidates in trials according to the WHO. Administrations and Pharmaceutical companies need to ensure safe and effective delivery of these vaccines to citizens. Many of these vaccines need to be refrigerated during storage and transport (Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine needs minus 70°C or lower, Moderna COVID-19 vaccine requires -25°C and -15°C range); presenting some unique challenges in tracking a large amount of vaccines being transported, monitoring of uninterrupted cold chain network, real-time alerts for adverse events in transport, etc. which can be addressed through advanced technology solutions.
How IoT can help
Vaccines are fragile drugs that require strict temperature controls lest they spoil. According to the World Health Organization, about half of the vaccines distributed around the world go to waste, in large part because of a failure to properly control storage temperatures. “They (vaccines) lose effectiveness and their potency if they’re exposed to temperatures outside of the range that they’re supposed to be kept in,” said Michelle Seidel, UNICEF’s immunization supply chain specialist.
The vaccine distribution network requires end-to-end monitoring and automation which can be achieved though IoT-based solutions providing:
- Detailed Insight
Temperatures are monitored during each leg of the journey, improving management and actionable insights.
- Temperature validation
Provide alerts of any excursion outside of validated range and enables remediation.
- Increased Automation
A high degree of automation enhances operational efficiency and lowers cost.
A tamper-proof solution on product packaging helps track integrity in real-time, right from the manufacturing site to the point of dispensation.
Cold Chain Monitoring Platform
A highly scalable platform built on cutting-edge IoT, AI, and blockchain technology that transforms supply chain security, regulatory compliance, and cold chain wastage by generating geospatial alerts in real-time in the event of a temperature excursion or counterfeiting attempt. IoT-based sensors can monitor temperature and humidity periodically to ensure compliance. Sensors push the real-time temperature data through cellular connectivity, in case of any connectivity disruptions sensors can store the data. The platform uses blockchain technology to provide immutable alerts on any temperature variations and adverse events.
The platform can provide benefits like:
- Improves patient safety: Minimizes drug spoilage during cold chain transportation with highly accurate temperature monitoring.
- Reduces waste: Improves adaptability throughout the entire supply chain and gives quick notifications of issues if they arise.
- Preserves brand reputation: Protects against counterfeit products entering the system
Wipro Smart Track
Wipro’s Smart Track solution addresses some of the major challenges faced by the pharmaceutical industry in the drug supply chain. The solution stack comprises custom sensors, an IoT platform as well as blockchain to transform supply chain security, increase compliance, and reduce cold chain wastage by generating geospatial alerts and breach notifications in the event of a temperature excursion or drug counterfeiting attempt. The solution is extendable to other industries where integrity of supply chain has to be maintained.
Link to Smart Track webpage - https://www.wipro.com/engineering/wipro-smart-track/