Since the coronavirus epidemic hit the planet, the pharmaceutical industry has been scouring the globe for a vaccine that will effectively tackle the virus.
It’s hard to believe that scientists competing to produce a vaccine for COVID-19 were able to do so within a year of the virus’s introduction.
In terms of COVID -19 vaccine storage and shipment, the healthcare ecosystem is encountering issues. Furthermore, the extraordinary demand for the vaccine has necessitated the development of blockchain and IoT solutions and technologies in this area.
IoT and Blockchain to the Rescue
The vaccination has been approved for use, as we all know. Still, the logistics business bears the brunt of the responsibility, as it is responsible for transportation, storage, and, most importantly, storing it at a low temperature.
This blog will look at how Blockchain IoT Solutions are being used by researchers, physicians, and third-party logistics in the pharmaceutical supply chain to unify, trace, and protect data.
The vaccine must be kept at temperatures below 20 degrees Celsius. However, it can be held at temperatures between 2 and 4 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, the vaccine must be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius, which is practically hard to do. Moreover, keeping them over this temperature ruins the dosages and renders them useless.
During storage and shipment, the two vaccinations must be kept at sub-zero temperatures. Keeping the vaccines at a lower temperature could cause them to deteriorate and cause a crisis. Meanwhile, thieves may produce counterfeit vaccines and sell them on the black market. These are the roadblocks that a covid-19 vaccination shipment is encountering.
The entire vaccination process is complicated because each person needs two doses of these vaccines to be completely cured. The patient must receive the second dosage of the vaccination within a few months of receiving the first. If the intervals are too long, the person may have to start anew.
Now that we’ve established vaccine storage and delivery requirements let’s look at how Blockchain IoT Solutions may help.
IoT and Blockchain
First, Blockchain ensures that counterfeit goods do not reach susceptible people, and second, IoT prevents fraud from occurring as a result of it. But first, let’s look at how the Blockchain functions in this environment. To begin, the transactions are recorded on a distributed ledger for transparency, security, and accuracy.
One of the most significant benefits of Blockchain is that it enables all stakeholders in the supply chain network to record transactions at each stage of the product’s (vaccine) shipping. This will prevent the distribution of counterfeit doses across the pharmaceutical supply chain.
Let’s look at an example to help us comprehend. Assume a vaccination is being delivered to a retailer by a pharmaceutical corporation. Meanwhile, the delivery driver may hand off some of the vaccines, which you won’t be able to detect unless the Internet of Things (IoT) technology has been developed.
The truck’s owner must install a sensor to detect when and where the vehicle pauses during its journey. This occurs and is recorded on the blockchain ledger, from which an issue with the shipment will be reported, and you will be able to track the situation quickly.
In this approach, the combination of Blockchain IoT Solutions prevents counterfeit products from being sold to the vulnerable.
Take a look at this real-world example.
Vaccines are being tracked via blockchain in British hospitals.
Logistics are a stumbling block to vaccination distribution promptly. But, because of advanced technology, British hospitals have been able to get the vaccine into the public’s hands straight from the factory freezer.
The British Hospitals in Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick, in Central England, utilize Blockchain technology and make extensive use of a distributed ledger to track vaccines and monitor COVID-19 vaccine fridges.
It allows them to keep an eye on the temperature-sensitive COVID-19 vaccines’ storage and supply.
Everyware, a data analysis firm based in the United Kingdom, keeps track of vaccines and other NHS treatments in the United Kingdom (National Health Service). According to Hedera, a Texas-based ledger, Blockchain will improve record-keeping and data exchange across numerous chains.
Blockchain can be used to monitor COVID-19 logistics effectively.
Blockchain’s decentralized ledger allows for close coordination between various parties, such as vaccine distributors, vaccination providers, and the general public who have yet to receive the vaccination. It also guarantees that the temperature is accurate and that the vaccine is kept at the correct temperature throughout the supply chain.
The technology provides a crystal clear picture of the vaccine’s cargo from manufacturing to distribution to avoid vaccine counterfeiting. Unfortunately, it is more likely to happen quickly when demand increases and logistical services may fall behind.
Because vaccine demand is expected to rise in the future, logistics businesses may be required to demonstrate the legitimacy of dosages and confirm that the vaccine was carried in a safe and prescribed manner.
Growing Vaccine Cold Chain with IoT
During transport, the vaccine must be kept in a temperature-controlled environment. If the temperature falls outside of the recommended range, the vaccination doses may deteriorate.
IoT, on the other hand, comes to the rescue. Its sensors are attached to the vaccine’s container, and they track and provide a variety of shipping environment data, such as the needed temperature, vibration, humidity, and acceleration.
It informs healthcare practitioners and vaccine distributors about the container’s temperature and assists them in identifying the problem when the temperature exceeds the safe storage range. As a result, the chance of damage will be reduced, and losses will be avoided.
The Bottom Line
Investing in technologies that will enable logistics businesses to shore up the supply of the COVID-19 vaccination will be a sensible decision. Logistics companies can now better track items and shipment information thanks to the combination of Blockchain IoT Solutions. As a result, IoT could be a viable tool for logistics professionals to identify and correct problems in the supply chain.
While the two technologies have made a notable appearance in COVID-19 vaccine storage and shipments, the supply chain industry dealing with the vaccine should implement the two technologies to improve its supply-chain operations and see how it exponentially increases transparency between them and vulnerable populations.