The National Health Service (NHS) is working with Hedera Hashgraph and digital asset tracking and monitoring provider Everyware to monitor cold storage equipment being used to store Covid-19 vaccines.
Certain Covid-19 vaccines, such as the vaccine developed by Pfizer which was approved for use in the UK in December, require exact cold storage for ideal efficacy. Centralised distribution centres and transportation units can store the vaccine at the recommended -70°C for up to 10 days unopened, with it also needing to be stored at hospitals, and other administering centres, for five days at -2.8°C conditions.
Where Hedera Hashgraph and Everyware come in is through sharing information and ensuring the strength of the supply chain. Everyware’s ‘last mile’ asset monitoring capability promises hospitals and healthcare facilities can better maintain vaccines at their proper temperature throughout the entire time of custody.
The company also enables healthcare facilities to share information with other parts of the vaccine chain, from pharmaceutical providers, to centralised storage facilities and transportation companies.
Hedera’s distributed ledger, according to Tom Screen, technical director for Everyware, “provides that tamper-proof record-keeping system, making it perfect for recording and validating results efficiently and cost-effectively.”
The system is set to be trialled in South Warwickshire, including Stratford Upon Avon and Warwick hospitals. “Everyware has already demonstrated their capability as a trusted partner, helping us monitor the integrity of a wide variety of clinical applications,” said Steve Clarke, electro biomedical engineering manager at South Warwickshire NHS.
“As we begin to prepare the rollout of these new Covid-19 vaccines, with the specific temperature requirements, we recognise the importance of utilising their same tracking and monitoring capabilities,” added Clarke. “This, in turn, will allow us to demonstrate our commitment to providing safe patient care.”
The utilisation of blockchain technologies for vaccine rollout has been espoused by various bodies, most notably the World Economic Forum (WEF). As of January 21, more than four million people have received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in the UK.