Improving the vaccine’s cold chain integrity with IoT analysis through SAS and NC partnership – IoT Business News

Improving the vaccine's cold chain integrity with IoT analysis through SAS and NC Collaboratory partnership

Analysis of sensor data from vaccine storage freezer minimizes waste and promises efficient vaccine delivery to underserved communities.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims that problems with vaccine storage and transport are responsible for nearly 10% of the 65 million COVID-19 vaccine doses spilled in the United States over the past two years. To address this vaccine logistics challenge, the North Carolina Collaboratory and Analytics Director uses SAS IoT analysis and sensor data from vaccine storage freezers to strengthen refrigeration chain integrity and improve dosing delivery, especially to underserved communities and rural areas.

Established by the state legislature in 2016 and headquartered at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC Collaboratory is a research and policy organization that leverages the resources and expertise of all 17 institutions of the University of North Carolina System. Among these institutions are several historically minority-serving institutions and remote campuses that host ultra-low-temperature freezers that support more equitable vaccine distribution to underserved communities. NC Collaboratory delivered 63 freezers across the state with a capacity of 9.3 million vaccine doses, almost enough for every person in the state.

NC Collaboratory approached SAS® Analytics for IoT and Microsoft Azure to select, transform and operationalize data – without coding – from sensors across 10 freezing sites at universities, in addition to third-party public health data. The project monitored the impact of factors including temperature, humidity, vibration during transport, opening and closing, storage duration and freezing capacity, while utilizing predictable insights and intelligent alarm functions to identify and address potential dose loss and regional vaccine deficiencies.

“COVID-19 created the largest and most complex medical logistics program in modern history,” said Jeff Warren, CEO of NC Collaboratory.

“One of the most formidable challenges has been protecting the integrity of the supply chain as vaccines are transported and stored from manufacturers to administration sites – especially those in hard-to-reach, underserved communities. Our project with SAS demonstrated how IoT analysis and technologies can be a game. changes in getting more vaccines for more people. “

The main results of the pilot program demonstrated included:

  • Temperature threshold monitoring which investigates temperature trends indicating deteriorating freezing conditions and generates proactive alarms that predict the remaining time before the temperature limit is reached, prevent vaccine spills and ensure the viability of the vaccine.
  • Freezer capacity warning which provides intelligent warnings when vaccine supply is insufficient in relation to virus spread in an area and provides recommendations for proactive redistribution of supply to meet demand.

Supply chain expert Rob Handfield, CEO of North Carolina State University’s Supply Chain Resource Cooperative, has advised SAS on their IoT efforts in the refrigeration chain. “With a cold supply chain, you have to constantly keep very low temperatures as vaccines that exceed the limit start to deteriorate in just five hours.” said Handfield. “The SAS approach seeks to create visibility and prediction in what is today a black box in the cold chain, helping logistics managers identify potential fault points and proactively minimize vaccine losses.”

SAS Analytics for IoT is being used to tackle a number of global challenges, such as analyzing crop data to deliver higher quality food, improving energy forecasts to reduce electricity bills and protecting people and property from dangerous floods.

This project lives up to the promise of innovation by quickly and efficiently generating value from IoT data using SAS Analytics for IoT – an award-winning, cloud-native solution that uses AI and streaming capabilities to accelerate the generation of predictable insight. “ said Jason Mann, Vice President of the Internet of Things at SAS. “I am proud of our university partnerships and our focus on using proven IoT solutions to improve critical performance and strengthen the cold chain. This initiative will undoubtedly accelerate the state’s ability to prepare and respond in the light of the next pandemic, variant or implementation of future mRNA vaccines. “

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