Secure cold chain monitoring for COVID-19 vaccines
Founded in 2017, iotech is a Greek based system integrator for IoT projects. One of their first project was to set up an air quality sensor network in Thessaloniki on an environmental monitoring application. Iotech’s specialty is to develop smart solutions for smart cities such as smart parking, smart lighting but also setting up smart metering applications for water or gas monitoring.
While the company usually has a focus on LoRaWAN networks, they broke new grounds with their latest project, a cold chain monitoring solution for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
To be able to seamlessly control and monitor the temperature of the vaccine refrigerators, iotech uses mobile cellular connectivity powered by 1NCE.
The secure distribution of COVID-19 vaccines is a logistical challenge. Depending on the vaccine, safe storage temperatures vary between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius. At that temperature, vaccines from Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson last between 30 days up to 6 months. An exception is Pfizer/Biontech where storage should not exceed 31 days at that temperature. Safe storage and transportation is of utmost importance, a seamless monitoring of the cold chain is mandatory to guarantee the efficacy of the vaccines when administered. The Greek Ministry of Health assigned iotech with the seamless cold chain monitoring of the vaccines.
Seamless Monitoring means seamless availability of network connectivity to transmit sensor data from the fridge to the cloud. In this case, setting up additional network infrastructure would not only cost extra time and consume additional resources but would also constrain cold chain monitoring within the range of the local network. IoTech needed a solution that allowed for an easy and quick setup of monitoring capabilities with no unnecessary restrictions in availability.
The 1NCE IoT Lifetime Flat delivers mobile cellular connectivity via all available technologies in over 100 countries worldwide. In Greece network coverage via 2G, 3G, 4G and NB-IoT are available with 1NCE and therefore perfect for the needs of the IoTech cold chain monitoring use case. The simple pricing model allows 10-year connectivity for a fixed price of only 10 Dollars and enabled iotech to easily calculate the operating costs of the devices into the business case. No extra network setup or maintenance made the solution ready for use in only a short time.