How the IoT Can Help to Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines
03 May 2021 / by Roelof Koopmans
The year 2020 brought extraordinary challenges that forced many to overcome and find atypical solutions. As 2021 is being welcomed with open arms, there is a renewed sense of hope and optimism, knowing that governments and pharmaceutical companies are working tirelessly to roll out the COVID-19 vaccines with the intent of safely returning people to everyday life and a sense of normalcy soon.
When it comes to the development, shipping and distribution of the vaccines, there are a few key challenges that pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, logistics service providers and distributors must be mindful of to ensure the vaccines' safe dispersal: tracking shipments to ensure their timely arrival, as well as proper temperature control to make sure they will be safely distributed. The worldwide distribution of the vaccines—in some cases at -70 degrees Celsius (-94 degrees Fahrenheit)—is putting a spotlight on how Internet of Things (IoT)-based sensor technologies can help to enable a challenging supply chain process.
Different use cases in logistics, specifically cold-chain logistics, have unique requirements that need to be independently addressed. In some cases, power must be prioritized, so IoT technology that offers long range and low power consumption qualities may be the right choice. This type of technology also leverages new and better ways to provide geolocation services, which allow cargo, vehicles and other assets to be easily monitored over large geographic regions and within harsh environments.
In scenarios in which long distances may not be traveled, battery life may be a lower priority for a customer, and the user might consider utilizing other types of IoT technologies that are more suitable for their specific use case. IoT technologies can make it easy and affordable for enterprises to track assets throughout supply chains in combination with condition monitoring, which is not limited to temperatures but could also include humidity, shock and other parameters.
This is an excerpt of an article originally published in RFID Journal by Roelof Koopmans. Learn how IoT sensors, such as those using Semtech’s LoRa® devices and the LoRaWAN® protocol, can help in COVID-19 recovery by reading the full article at the link below.
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