The world is still anxiously waiting for a tried and tested vaccine to help ease us all back into a normal way of living and doing business. Governments, companies and third sector organisations are already ploughing money into manufacturing the potential vaccine, with factories being built especially for the virus fighter.
The Gates Foundation, for instance, is
spending billions on such an initiative for seven novel coronavirus vaccine candidates. Much debate and media coverage have focused on these two areas: R&D and manufacturing.
However, little attention has focused on how these potential vaccines actually reach the end users – you, men and our friends, colleagues and family. This is very much an issue for the pharmaceutical supply-chain and something where the Internet of Things (IoT) can help out a lot.
The problem is that vaccines are biological substances that can lose their effectiveness or turn dangerous when they become too hot or too cold.
The most risky part of their journey from lab to nurse? While the vaccines are being transported and in-cargo. Fortunately, ‘cold chain’ supply management is well established. But it can become even safer and more reliable because of IoT.
TAG Sensors, for instance, we have developed a low cost temperature logger that enables people to intervene at supply check-points after being alerted to adverse temperature rises or drops. It’s something we have been using with McDonald’s and Havi Logistics since 2015.
The low-profile sticker, which has dual-interface, can even be read by smartphones. It’s this sort of easy-to-use innovation, which is already used by some US pharmaceutical companies, that will be crucial in bringing an end to the Covid-19 pandemic by holding transport and storage facilities accountable for temperature fluctuations and to provide documentation of quality assurance at the final destination.
So, as the business and political worlds continue to map their way out of the crisis, it is important that they don’t overlook the supply chain and the great benefits IoT can immediately provide. We alongside our investors like European-focused IoT investor Breed Reply, are ready to play our part.
Knut Nygard is CEO of TAG Sensors