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Tracking, Securing, and Optimizing Securing Valuable Healthcare Assets, Through the Supply Chain

By Arti Loftus
October 25, 2021

Blending hardware, software, sensors, and blockchain, the Industry IoT Consortium (IIC) last week announced a new test-drive project, the "Valuable Asset Tracking (VAT) for Healthcare Networks).

The test drive combines tamper-proof hardware and blockchain software to create a trusted and transparent asset tracking solution for valuable assets within a medical facility or among entities of a healthcare network.

According to the announcement by IIC, the project was initiated by IoTeX, an IIC member since 2018, and aims to facilitate collaboration among supply chain stakeholders, improve supply-chain efficiency and user experience, and achieve substantial cost savings.

"A lack of transparency, integrity, and availability of supply chain data has restricted operational efficiency and prevented collaboration among stakeholders," said Howard Kradjel, Vice President, Industry Programs, IIC. "The Valuable-Asset Tracking for Healthcare Networks test drive addresses these industry-wide challenges. It creates a trusted system to track assets in a facility and provide visibility to the flow of medical goods and services from manufacturer to consumer in the supply chain."

"The test drive combines tamper-proof hardware and software and creates trust among stakeholders in supply chain applications," said Xinxin Fan, Founding Member and Head of Cryptography, IoTeX, and Co-Chair of the IIC Distributed Ledger Task Group. "The test drive shows how healthcare organizations can improve supply chain efficiency and user experience and save a substantial amount of money."

IIC test drives are short-term, rapid-engagement pilots for technology users to employ and adopt IIoT technologies. The IIC Test Drive program fosters collaboration with partners to address leading-edge IIoT use cases in 3-6-month projects based upon technology end users' real problems.

The learnings from the solution, which ensures end-to-end trust and transparency across multi-tiered healthcare supply chains, can be applied to other business fields. You can find more information on the Valuable-Asset Tracking for Healthcare Networks on the IIC website.

The global pandemic tested the limits of the healthcare and medical equipment supply chain, putting immense strain on the production and movement of everything from masks and gloves to ventilators and ICU equipment.

This emergency resulted in innovations emerging to deal with new and unexpected challenges, like this new IIC project.

Supply chains in the medical field have become increasingly global, multi-tiered, and regulated. Security is also important, and the use of distributed ledger technologies to ensure immutable transactions and tracking data has tremendous promise going forward.

"The VAT for Healthcare Networks test drive demonstrates how healthcare organizations can track the location and availability of valuable medical equipment within hospital wards and in the supply chain," said Kradjel. "It shows how tracking valuable healthcare assets can improve operational efficiency and collaboration among stakeholders."

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 Luke Bellos

Special Correspondent

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