How can Smart Temperature Sensors Help in Vaccine Distribution?
A new sign of hope is insight with the development of COVID-19 vaccines. Yet, reports on new virus strains are glaring. The mutation may become resistant to vaccine makeup in the long run. Can the vaccine be effective for new strains? Will it have an efficacy difference because of the mutation? These are some of the worries the public is facing. The reality is vaccination is a fight against time. Smart temperature sensors are technology-sent solutions to hurry vaccine rollout. Some examples of these are real-time tracking, analytics reports, and environmental sensors.
As it is no longer enough to depend on cold chains alone. It is imperative for these facilities to install these kinds of smart temperature sensors, not just for efficient operation, but also to hasten the vaccines’ distribution and reach the people in time.
The challenge to large vaccine shipment distribution now lies in the hands of logistics stakeholders. There is a combination of factors that will address these hurdles. The existing development in public health capacities is ideal. Incorporating innovative technology in the distribution process will also be helpful.
Technology Benefits for Vaccine Distribution
Digital innovation is a way to improve the process flow. This is helpful for processes that include parameter requirements. The incorporation of technology will lessen disruptions to environmental preconditions.
Security and Safety
A successful vaccine rollout should maintain safety and security. Critical to the distribution process is the physical security of vaccine storage. This is because the vaccine will go through several touchpoints. During transit, quality checks are necessary. This step assures that storage is still running in peak conditions.
Another component of quality checks is vaccine inventory. The inventory process during transit checks on the physical condition of vaccines. One inventory indicator checks the number of vaccine vials before and after transit. Any difference in the figure is a security issue.
Security checks will need alert notifications. This alert will adhere to specific safety regulatory guidelines. It is integral to conduct regular security checks along the way. This will prevent issues from arising.
Innovative technology can help detect problems in real-time on the ground. Digital monitoring can also track unauthorized intrusion. Digital monitoring incorporates the use of cameras for better visibility. Through these technologies, accounting for any safety issues is more manageable. Preventing these safety issues lessens the risks of vaccine loss.
Documents are a significant component of vaccine distribution. It is part of the regulation during border checks. But it is also one of the challenges in the process. Because vaccines are high stake commodities, proper documentation is imperative. The documentation will serve as verification.
The COVID-19 vaccines have specific storage conditions. Any excursions to the storage parameters will compromise the distribution’s integrity. This is why it is important to get a real-time account of all the possible data on the ground.
A comprehensive report is solid evidence accounting for all details during distribution. In line with comprehensive documentation, the report should always be data-driven. We can use smart technology in the form of digital security documents. Graphic reports on storage conditions provide data accounts during the rollout. Reports can detect issues and document them. Geographic information systems can also track the vaccines while in transit. This granular visibility is a means of verification through a report. Through the data reported, action steps will be more thought of.
Supply Chain Requirements
As provided by vaccine manufacturers, there are storage conditions for COVID-19 shots. The Pfizer vaccine needs to storage at -70°C. Moderna has a different temperature need at -25°C. Logistics needs to stay true to necessary parameters. Going below or beyond specific figures will cause vaccine wastage. Apart from that, other supply chain factors need checking. Power outages also pose harm to vaccine storage. Any electrical fluctuation will mean a loss of power to the storage facility. This will affect the environmental conditions set to maintain the vaccine’s quality.
An adequate storage facility will have a good account of these risks. Seamless delivery of vaccines would need supply chains to incorporate smart technology. Smart devices can detect and track these potential risks and raise warnings. The use of supply chain software can check environmental conditions. It can be a standard process during the whole distribution activity.
Vaccine Temperature Monitoring
Vaccine distributors are no stranger to specific logistic requirements. But the COVID-19 vaccines present a new challenge for them. It evolves the distribution process from cold to colder chains. The colder preconditions necessitate them to improve their facilities. A usual cold chain can store vaccines around 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. The COVID-19 vaccines will need colder temperatures to maintain their efficacy. The strict temperature controls enhance development in ultra-low freezers.
Furthermore, the technology used for most COVID-19 vaccines has low stability makeup. There is a risk of degradation once conditions are beyond the required range. Couple that with some possible handling errors, and vaccine quality will deteriorate.
Temperature sensors are one smart technology needed to improve a cold chain. Adding these kinds of technologies can enhance the cold chain capabilities. The use of smart temperature monitoring is part of a digital retrofitting strategy. Retrofitting is a means to incorporate temperature sensors into existing equipment. Using these sensors improve digital capacities for cold storage equipment.
Smart temperature sensors are monitoring tools to ensure vaccines are within temperature range. The temperature sensors are tangible devices used throughout the distribution process. They are helpful whether cold storage is stationary or in transport. A network of temperature sensors can analyze temperature excursions. It can track temperature fluctuations during the transport course. It can also compute if the current temperature would lead to the possible excursion. Through the software, a network of temperature sensors can do comprehensive tracking. These sensors can check temperatures down to specific vaccine vials. Of course, this all depends on your tracking indicators.
Demand for Cold Chain
There is significant growth in global pharma cold chain spending. It looks to increase to 24 percent between 2020 and 2024. Spending for cold chains may reach $21.3 billion. The published forecast from Biopharma cold chain sourcebook reports.
The vaccine rollout for COVID-19 will impact the cold chain market. It will pave the way for a lot of innovations in the industry. The development of cold storage facilities will continue to grow. As an effect, monitoring technologies will need to keep innovating as well.
There is also a trend in utilizing temperature sensors. They come especially handy in tracking shipments. Moreover, there is a booming demand for monitoring software in the market right now. Vaccine manufacturers are linking with vaccine distribution firms to ask for monitoring tools. The use of cloud-based technology will enhance quality checks and lessen vaccine loss.
AKCP is the world leader in remote monitoring solutions. AKCP provides a top of line cold storage monitoring. They have over 30 years of sensor monitoring experience. Their monitoring solutions include:
- temperature and humidity sensors
- easy installation of wireless sensors
- data logging solutions during transport
- delivery live tracking
- control and security access
AKCP also has specific environmental monitoring technologies capable of any monitoring requirements. The AKCP’s wireless sensors can do comprehensive monitoring in different situations. Whether it be monitoring the cold chain distribution or the storage warehouse. It is capable of easy data logging from the wireless sensors through the AKCPro server. This is a central monitoring software to reference information about your cold chain. It displays the vehicle’s locations and temperature values. This information is necessary to maintain quality distribution operations.
There are particular prerequisites to good vaccine transport. Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are a must for this fast-paced process. But this is beyond the grasp of any person, especially in a remote setting, much like vaccine transit.
Part of the SOP is calibrating your sensors to get a precise reading. Any damage to the sensor can affect the temperature reading as a whole. This will, in turn, result in incorrect reports. Maintaining comprehensive environmental monitoring accounts on an excellent reporting SOP. But SOPs can only do so much, they will be more significant when complemented with monitoring solutions. This will improve the implementation of such SOPs. A smart temperature sensor is only a few of the solutions we can use to better our monitoring capacity.
In a race against time, digitizing some steps is a big jump to hurdle the logistical obstacles. The general picture will need every stakeholder to work together. But the distribution firms will need to harness innovation to keep up with COVID-19. A big collaborative effort will result in a better process. Only then can we assure that we have a plausible solution to fight it.