Remote Monitoring the Cold Chain Distribution of Vaccines
Nithya Ramanathan from Nexleaf Analytics in the U.S. will develop a low-cost mobile phone-based device to remotely monitor the temperature of refrigerated units that store and transport temperature–sensitive vaccines and drugs. In Phase I, they produced and tested a simple prototype temperature-sensing device and associated software that enables the wireless uploading of accurate temperature data for real-time monitoring, along with the ability to send SMS alerts upon reaching critical temperatures. They also undertook pilot studies in 17 clinics in Kenya and Haiti to test accuracy, usability, and efficacy for protecting cold-sensitive therapeutics specifically in low-resource environments. In Phase II, they will work towards further reducing costs, ensure that it can be widely used to monitor the entire cold-chain, and facilitate data sharing. They will also conduct larger pilot tests in Kenya, Haiti, Mozambique and India, and develop a commercialization plan including pricing and implementation models.