Developing a health care IoT solution to monitor vaccine temperatures
Keeping vaccines cold
Dulas, a renewable energy provider, sought a machine-to-machine (M2M) solution that would allow it to record and report the temperature inside vaccine refrigerators to prevent the vaccines from losing their potency, according to a case study provided by IoT One. Applying IoT technology to vaccine storage is a way to improve the reliability of cold chain health care, facilitating maintenance and ensuring fewer vaccines are spoiled.
Health care delivered by IoT
Eseye developed the Vaccine Guard for Dulas, modifying their existing CoolTel device to better suit developing parts of the world. As a result of the work undertaken, two iterations of product emerged: Vaccine Guard and Vaccine Guard Advanced. The first product, the Vaccine Guard, is a self-contained wireless device that can record and report the temperature inside vaccine refrigerators, sending information to a web portal that enables customers to monitor their fridges. Suitable for use in both static fridges and moving cold boxes, the Vaccine Guard automatically records and logs the temperature every ten minutes, and if the temperature varies from a specified range the Vaccine Guard immediately alerts the customer via SMS and/or email.
The Vaccine Guard was created as a “plug and play” product, with installation just requiring the removal of the plastic tag between the battery and the battery holder, and then placing it in a convenient location within the refrigerator. The customer can create a Vaccine Guard Account on the portal, register their device and configure their alerting thresholds. This enables them to access all the temperature records remotely, seeing stored results online in real-time web based reports. Dulas and Eseye have also introduced a mains powered version called the Vaccine Guard Advanced, with increased functionality in static locations.
“Vaccines save and improve lives and Eseye is proud to be working with Dulas, a leader in solar refrigeration and cold chain solutions,” said Ian Marsden, CTO Eseye according to the case study. “In remote areas where power and other infrastructure is unavailable, it is important that the Vaccine Guard can still pick up a signal. Our AnyNet SIM keeps the device working by using the GSM network when necessary. As the SIM card can choose from a variety of networks it will always have the best signal possible ensuring connectivity is available in even the most challenging locations.”
Eseye’s AnyNet SIM is a main element of Vaccine Guard. Dulas needed connectivity in challenging environments, as they work with global organizations in low resource settings. The AnyNet solved Dulas’ customer’s challenges related to sourcing and managing local SIM cards and boosting reliability as it’s always on the right network, according to the case study. The collaboration has seen Dulas running field trials in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania, testing the Vaccine Guard in challenging environments.
“The team at Eseye really know IoT and M2M inside out and they understood immediately what we needed,” said David Elliot, senior engineer at Dulas. “The simplicity and reliability of their solution is perfectly tailored to the needs of our customers and enables us to offer a product that is truly revolutionary.”