With the end to the pandemic finally in sight, vaccine rollout has commenced nationwide, with people beginning to receive vaccination throughout the country. As distribution continues, specific parameters for monitoring and storage of the vaccine have been set while communities receive it. In response, public health agencies and suppliers for vaccinations are attempting to increase the area of locations featuring vaccination availability. Moreover, it is a necessity for clinics and pharmacies to safely store vaccines to allow for longevity and more efficient rollout, as waste could elongate waiting times for vulnerable citizens.
An integral part of vaccine management includes temperature regulation, as stated in the COVID-19 VACCINE U.S. DISTRIBUTION FACT SHEET from Pfizer. They are working closely with the U.S. government to transport vaccines. Utilizing air and road modes of transportation, they "have specially designed, temperature-controlled thermal shippers, utilizing dry ice to maintain recommended storage temperature conditions of -70°C±10°C for up to 10 days unopened."
In this vein, Austin-based Swift Sensors have designed and developed a new wireless temperature sensor and cloud-based software that endeavors to mitigate issues that may arise and lead to ineffective vaccinations.
"My customers include a national network of primary care offices and vaccine delivery providers with strict requirements for safe handling," said David Swensen, Co-Owner of Advanced Controls NY. "I'm using Swift Sensors to monitor both currently available COVID-19 vaccines for my clients."
As a provider of industrial IoT sensor solutions, Swift Sensors has created wireless and remote sensor devices ideal for regulating the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine's temperature, taking minutes to install and requiring minimal calibration, the sensor is easy and efficient to use. With a battery lifespan of 6-8 years, the sensors are accompanied by software that receive readings through sensor gateways in order to track the history of the storage temperature, allowing for increased accuracy and alleviating the opportunity for human error. Swift Sensors also account for the possibility of power outages or mechanical problems leading to redundancy issues, loss of data, and the vaccine becoming unusable. They do this by avoiding traditional DDLs, instead utilizing unique data transfer that removes the necessity for manual temperature monitoring and replaces onboard storage within the cloud. In addition to this, the sensors feature a long-life battery and alert capabilities that can help avoid these problems or minimize their impact by alerting management. With vaccine monitoring, customers can expect to be able to:
- Remotely monitor COVID-19 vaccine storage temperatures
- Automate data logging/store historical temperature readings to comply with CDC and state health department data logging requirements
- Receive instant alerts if the storage unit temperature exceeds established thresholds
- Respond quickly in case of an equipment problem or power failure
"Data loggers have historically been used in cold-chain monitoring of vaccines, pharmaceuticals, and other critical perishable items. However, they lack the low cost, simplicity, and connectivity of wireless sensors connected to the internet," said Ray Almgren, Swift Sensors CEO. "Our new sub-zero temperature sensor delivers an all-in-one, cost-effective solution for the safe and fast distribution and delivery of much-needed vaccines."
Swift Sensors' new sensor devices exponentially increase vaccine rollout efficiency by assisting pharmacies and other medical facilities with vaccine storage and monitoring requirements.
Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.
Edited by Maurice Nagle