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09-06-2021

Blog Post: IoT & Covid Vaccine

Now that there are multiple Covid-19 vaccines available on the market, a challenge is properly storing and shipping them before administering them. We in the IPC industry know nothing about how to develop a vaccine, nor do we claim to, but we do know that the Internet of Things (IoT) is something that has proven useful to the process of tracking vaccines and keeping them safe.

A Forbes piece by software corporation SAP from late 2020 detailed how the challenge of transporting vaccines can be understood and streamlined via asset performance management. To summarize, vaccine manufacturers need to understand that the ultra-cold freezers for the vaccines are their critical assets, and need to use sensors to monitor the environment within these freezers as they make their way to vaccination sites.

The sensors, which form a part of the IoT network in this scenario, can monitor key metrics “such as temperature, vibration, moisture levels, uptime, etc.” to provide valuable data that can be used to prevent the freezers from failing. This idea that IoT sensors are the suitable solution to making sure these ultra-cold freezers stay cold, thus keeping the vaccines from degrading, has been reiterated by news outlets and experts in the IoT sector.

The real-time communication between smart devices and the instantaneous flow of data can and have been applied to multiple stages of the efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, the Cervoz Blog wrote about the importance of the digital infrastructure, which consists of IoT devices and network, to monitor, track and respond to detected cases of the coronavirus. 

Insights from Vodafone Business, part of British multinational telecommunications company Vodafone Group, highlight how IoT can facilitate and even expedite clinical trials of vaccines. A mobile platform can eliminate paper records and digitally record important data such as “symptoms, reaction and wellness.” The connected devices all linked in can instantaneously flag anomalies to the medical staff, thus assisting doctors as they work on the vaccine. 

As we know, the ability to collect, transmit and use data is so important in today’s society. It is thus not surprising that even in a pandemic, IoT plays a vital role in developing and transporting the vaccine so people can get their shots.

 

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