Smart Temperature Sensors in Protecting the Cold Chain

Published by Mikaela Fernandez on

Newly developed and smart temperature sensors systems and information technology (IT) systems in the pharmaceutical cold chain are becoming crucial in safeguarding pharmaceutical shipments, whether in terms of product integrity or combatting theft of these drugs while en route to their supposed destinations.

Not only is the pharmaceutical cold chain an expensive industry, but it also a very sensitive one prone to temperature excursions and black-market theft. In order to manage risks in the pharmaceutical cold chain and maintain the safe transportation of life-saving drugs, it is important to maintain the integrity of the pharma supply chain from end to end. Therefore, transparency and visibility are also important in order to adequately monitor the shipment status with respect to the location, temperature history, and circumstance.

In protecting the integrity of the high-value and temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical drugs during transportation, it is important to do this while mitigating costs and tracking the assets through a complex cold chain system. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the global regulatory standards are met throughout the entire process.

Given that more complex drugs are being developed, there is a growing need to incorporate IT solutions in the supply chain. Additionally, it is important to develop better packaging and improved efficiency. Ultimately, it’s important to ensure that the cold chain remains secure from the packaging line, distribution center up to the last mile

Bulk and passive systems are gradually integrating IoT in their operations in order to track location, temperature, and relevant data throughout the duration of the trip.

Should the shipment be opened or tampered with, the IoT devices can send alerts to warn the staff concerned regarding when the shipment was opened, what duration, and possible risks.

Furthermore, these IoT devices can be linked to containers which will serve as an isolated monitoring option that will gather data that can be uploaded to the Cloud through a Bluetooth device of Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID).

Should the shipments encounter delays or get lost en route, the staff can take the necessary measures to intervene before the accepted temperature excursion duration is exceeded. Staff can replace or recharge the coolants. Through IoT devices and supporting software, possible temperature excursions can be avoided.

Temperature deviations can have disastrous effects on the entire shipment content and reduce the efficacy of the pharmaceutical products before they reach the patients. Therefore, temperature monitoring is a must. This is becoming more and more commonplace due to the affordability and accessibility of IoT devices.

 Pharmaceutical packaging companies often use advanced asset management software. This makes sure that the products are shipped on time and reach the correct destination in good condition. 

Data sharing between logistics providers, packaging providers, and pharma companies lead to the production of better solutions in order to resolve some of the challenges the pharmaceutical industry is facing. Through gathered data, solutions to these challenges are met.

The Basics of Temperature Monitoring

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Industrial wireless and smart temperature sensors are able to detect and respond to a wide range of conditions such as temperature, pressure, and humidity. These sensors provide information in real-time that will help staff to understand how the storage space functions. The gathered historical data and statistical analysis tools will outline the company’s day-to-day procedures.

Through this integrated system can operate by utilizing cloud technologies. This allows for access to the data stored from any device at any needed time. This integrated cloud technology enables stakeholders to manage a wide pharmaceutical business spread across multiple facilities simultaneously. Every data in each location will be easily accessible in an instant. A wireless monitoring system will significantly save the company time and reduce pharmaceutical operational costs.

Pharmaceuticals and Smart Temperature Tracking

The latest innovations in IT and the emerging technologies that allow easier supply chain monitoring and remote tracking which are crucial in ensuring compliance to the Good Distribution Practice (GDP) regulations for cold chain logistics. These technologies are a vital support to the evolution of smart temperature-controlled packaging that protects pharmaceutical shipments all around the globe.

There is also an increasing trend of utilizing reusable systems that have asset management SaaS (software as a service) since they are proving to be helpful in managing the pharmaceutical cold chain. These technologies collect and analyze the data gathered through the company’s smart data loggers. They are becoming widely used by pharmaceutical companies in their cold chain due to their affordability and accessibility. Thus, stakeholders are thrilled at the opportunity to reduce costs through the savings that they are getting due to minimal drug loss products and a fine-tuned distribution model through the use of smart temperature devices.

The Pharmaceutical Industry and IoT

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A major development in the pharmaceutical industry is the real-time monitoring of payloads through smart loggers and smart temperature devices, which are all interconnected through the IoT. This enables easier access and assessment of the shipment condition at any point of its journey. The alerts it delivers regarding temperature excursion in the shipment enables staff to do corrective actions that were not immediately possible previously.

The use of real-time monitoring devices is helpful in gathering accurate data about a shipment regardless of location. However, they may have downsides such as cost, limited battery life, and size. Additionally, they also tend to rely on two-way communication through a mobile phone which reduces the battery.

There is also another category of smart temperature and location devices that can track the shipments without the need for the exact condition and location called Just In Time (JIT) devices. These JIT devices usually communicate through other forms of communication when going through a physical IoT gate or a download of data through bar codes, Bluetooth, QR codes, USB connection, and the like. An assessment of the information at the end of the journey to check for the logged temperature throughout the trip, including the location, number of opens in the payload area, and others.

Smart Temperature Sensors

Real-time or JIT devices can be suitable depending on the condition, location, and temperature data as needed by the shipping lane or individual shipment. This is particularly important when determining the urgency of data in contrast to cost and reduction in shipment size in order to accommodate the device.

Depending on the location, condition, and temperature data needed by the shipping lane or even individual shipment, real-time or JIT devices can be an ideal fit when weighing the urgency of data need versus cost and reduction in payload size to accommodate the device.

The gathered data can aid pharmaceutical manufacturers in making better decisions regarding the most suitable packaging systems to utilize depending on the shipping lane and route type.

Ideal Temperature Control for Pharmaceutical Products

Regulation compliance and product integrity are important. The cost savings due to the protected inventory and better climate control will be advantageous to a company. AKCP’s smart temperature sensors provide optimum performance suitable to the needs of any industry.

Wireless Temperature Monitoring System

Smart Temperature Sensors

When choosing a wireless temperature monitoring system, it is important to choose a provider with years of certified experience like AKCP. AKCP smart temperature sensors have built-in calibration checks which feature 2x NIST traceable, which work as pairs to check each other’s values every second to ensure accuracy. If these sensors are outside their acceptable tolerances, an alert will be sent to the staff indicating that it needs. These sensors can monitor temperature and humidity. They also have easy-to-install wireless and smart air quality sensors and air differential pressure sensors for sterile areas. Air Differential sensors and air quality sensors determine whether a company’s cleanroom and sterile environments are properly maintained.

Reference Links:

https://www.epmmagazine.com/news/how-to-protect-the-pharma-supply-chain/

https://www.ubibot.com/news/3088/the-importance-of-pharmaceutical-temperature-monitoring/

Categories: Temperature Sensor

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