Keeping vaccines safe with smart cold chain technology
Disease rates are low in the United States today. But if we let ourselves become vulnerable by not vaccinating, a case that could touch off an outbreak of some disease that is currently under control is just a plane ride away. This is why it's important to ensure that immunizations make it to their destinations around the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 56% of cold chain equipment in low and middle income countries is poorly functioning or non-functional. Improving tech that keeps these vaccines cold and alerts providers to any issues can save billions of lives, directly and indirectly.
ColdTrace is a system developed by Nithya Ramanathan, Martin Lukac and Ian Leong with support from the likes of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google and The World Bank, which aims to solve the problem.
A temperature sensor probe is placed inside a vaccine refrigerator, and connects to a nearby ColdTrace device, usually mounted on the wall. The device uploads temperature and grid power availability to a server, which sends SMS messages to key personnel like nurses, managers and maintenance technicians when the fridge starts to fail.