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How IoT Supply Chain Management Can Help Vaccine Distribution

4 minute read

Many countries around the world are facing supply chain issues surrounding the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, but this is nothing new. The design and operations of vaccine supply chains have always been complex - inadequate storage, transportation, and personnel capacity are a few challenges that can ultimately lead to the vaccine not ending up at it's destination. This area is so critical, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has highlighted immunisation supply chain and logistics as a priority of the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), and details a "6 rights of supply chain management system" to ensure "the uninterrupted availability of quality vaccines from manufacturer to service-delivery levels."

However, the pharmaceutical industry has benefited from technology innovations that help advance vaccine research and production, speed time-to-market in clinical trials, and mitigate supply chain risks. Many of those benefits can be attributed to the adoption of IoT technology.

“Vaccine distribution involves a long, complex chain of events,” according to a recent article from the Associated Press. “Every dose must be tracked.” IoT supply chain management solutions, including cold chain monitoring and critical asset tracking, provide the visibility needed to ensure temperature compliance, mitigate risks, and optimise supply chains.

Temperature Monitoring

COVID-19 vaccines have temperature monitoring requirements and many like the National Health Service (NHS) have shared policies and procedures for maintaining the 'Vaccine Cold Chain'. The goal being to ensure that vaccine quality quality throughout the supply chain is maintained, no vaccine is wasted due to hot or cold temperatures either in storage or during transport, cold chain equipment adheres to recommended standards and if problems arise - they are detected quickly and corrective measures are taken. This why many organisations are looking to IoT supply chain management solutions to ensure temperature compliance is met.

Real-Time Alerts

When pharmaceutical shipments require adhering to strict temperature control, passive condition monitoring solutions such as data loggers don’t provide the real-time visibility and alerting needed to ensure quality control and risk mitigation. With IoT supply chain management solutions, like Critical Asset Monitoring, real-time notifications enable stakeholders to take action before a temperature deviation occurs, ensuring that valuable and urgently needed supply is not lost.

In addition to temperature and condition monitoring, IoT supply chain management solutions can alert stakeholders to departure and arrival delays, route deviations, and more. This visibility ensures that vaccine shipments in transport are not lost, stolen, or sent to the wrong location, improving distribution efficiency.

Visibility and Reporting for Risk Management

The real-time visibility of IoT supply chain management enables stakeholders to take proactive action based on data. In addition to notifying of transport events as they happen, IoT supply chain management solutions provide the reporting and dashboards needed for better planning with actionable analytics, which is critical to developing comprehensive risk management plans for vaccine distribution.

Sophisticated IoT Supply Chain Management

KORE Critical Asset Monitoring (CAM) helps supply chain managers preserve, protect, and monitor important pharmaceutical shipments from source to their final destination. The CAM solution includes hardware, communications, cloud analytics, and reporting tools as a service that is ready to use, requiring no setup or infrastructure installation.

To learn more about how IoT supply chain management solutions like Critical Asset Monitoring can help mitigate risks, watch our on-demand webinar “IoT for Medical Supply Chain Visibility.”

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