Keeping Vaccines Viable: Zyter’s Intelligent IoT Solutions Monitor and Alert on Vaccine Temperature Conditions
The announcement of FDA approval of two COVID-19 vaccines came as a relief and a harbinger of hope for 2021. However, the temperature requirements to keep the vaccines viable during transport and in storage have created an unprecedented logistics challenge for hospitals and transportation companies alike — not to mention the critical need to track the chain of custody of these potentially lifesaving medical assets.
From the very start of the pandemic, Zyter has been on the frontline of developing secure, cloud-based solutions, such as our COVID-19 Suite™, to help healthcare organizations and businesses create a safer environment for staff, patients, and customers. Today, Zyter has yet another potential way to help. The Asset Monitoring capability in both of the company’s Smart Hospitals™ and Smart Logistics™ solutions can track, monitor, and alert on the temperature condition of medication assets, such as COVID-19 vaccines.
Ensuring that the recommended temperature is maintained is critical to the viability and safety of vaccines, especially those that require extreme storage conditions. For example, according to the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine U.S. Distribution Fact Sheet, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine can be shipped in temperature-controlled thermal shipping containers at the recommended temperature of -70°C±10°C for up to 10 days unopened. In storage at a healthcare facility, that temperature must be maintained for up to 30 days, after which vaccine vials may be thawed and stored at 2–8°C for five additional days.
In another example, according to the Storage and Handling Summary from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine is also shipped frozen with specific and somewhat less extreme temperature requirements at -25°C and -15°C (-13°F and 5°F). The summary indicates that Moderna’s vaccine must also be stored frozen at this temperature. The vials can also be stored in a refrigerator between 2°C and 8°C (36°F and 46°F) for up to 30 days before they are used.
How Zyter Asset Monitoring Protects Vaccine Viability
The temperature requirements for the two approved COVID-19 vaccines are extreme, but with all types of vaccines, any variation of the recommended temperature range at any point in the chain of custody could potentially damage its viability and safety. That’s where Zyter’s Asset Monitoring capability can help ensure the safe shipping and storage of potentially lifesaving vaccines and other medical assets — and even track when each vaccine vial is used and given to a patient.
Within Zyter Smart Logistics, the Asset Monitoring capability monitors the real-time temperature, humidity, and vibration affecting transported medication assets while the truck is in motion on the route. If a temperature threshold change is detected in a shipment of frozen vaccines, for example, the Zyter solution sends an alert to the shipper so that the vaccines can be rerouted to a closer delivery point to avoid spoilage and a total loss. Zyter Smart Logistics provides a complete chain of custody for medical vaccines from pick-up point to delivery destination to ensure timely and safe delivery.
In addition, when drivers are using the Zyter Smart Logistics mobile app, shippers of medication assets will always know where the vaccines are in transit and will be instantly alerted and notified on Zyter’s enterprise dashboard if any issues arise along the route that could delay delivery. This real-time tracking of both the vehicle and the assets gives shippers end-to-end visibility of the chain of custody to guard against asset loss or theft.
Once medical assets arrive at the hospital, Asset Monitoring in the Zyter Smart Hospitals™ intelligent IoT solution provides a single interface for better visibility, maintenance, control and safety of all medicines and vaccines, as well as the real-time location availability of critical medical assets such as wheelchairs, defibrillators, and more. Smaller than a penny, Zyter’s wireless asset monitoring devices can attach to a small vaccine bottle to constantly monitor the temperature and alert on any changes. For example, Zyter’s solution can monitor the chain of custody of a vaccine all the way from production, to the hospital, to the time it is given to the patient.
As researchers and scientists continue to develop medical breakthroughs in the fight against COVID-19, medical asset monitoring and tracking will become even more important to their timely delivery to the patients who need it most. Zyter is ready to meet the challenge today with our Smart Logistics and Smart Hospitals solutions.
To learn more about Zyter’s asset management capabilities, please visit www.Zyter.com/IoT.