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Health Innovation with the Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things (IoT) refers to turning every-day items into interconnected objects through the internet. So that mundane objects, like your coffee cup, could be connected to a network of your other belongings and feed in data from several data points. With microchips and nanotechnology, every object can be digitised. The Internet of Things is now quickly taking over industry and shaping what the future could look like. Health, is not left out either.

A major concern in the transportation of pharmaceuticals is the precise logistical requirements they can have, such as specific temperature requirements. If the drugs are exposed to different levels of temperature, sunlight or humidity, it could deteriorate their effectiveness or even make them harmful in some cases.

Logistical issues are a big deal in the pharmaceutical industry, for human and animal health both. Without the right supply chain, drugs may be destroyed, or tampered with. Drug counterfeiting is a major problem, particularly in developing countries. This is a challenge vHive is attempting to resolve with Blockchain. Counterfeit drugs cause not only financial loss, but if antibiotics are tampered with, it results in resistance to antibiotics which is even more harmful.

One technology cannot solve all problems. But how can we resolve the issue of transportation conditions affecting drug efficacy? Is this an area the Internet of Things (IoT) can resolve?

On paper, the issue is easy to solve. A continuous monitoring of the conditions of the shipment, such as temperature and humidity, can allow any compromised shipments to be identified and taken off the market. But such rigourous monitoring isn’t possible over long duration in shipments that changes hands between multiple parties… until now!

The boom in the Internet of Things makes such a challenge possible to achieve! A storage container can be made a digital object, by incorporating sensors into the container itself; or dropping a sensor within the container.

That’s exactly what a company called Sensefinity is trying to achieve with their product Perfect Cool. Sensefinity offers hardware, which can monitor the temperature in any environment. It comes with a SIM that works with over 600 operators worldwide; ensuring that no matter where your shipment is going, your data will be available.

Sensefinity Perfect Cool Dashboard
Sensefinity Perfect Cool Dashboard

With an easy-to-use interface, you can monitor the situation in real-time and see historical data as well. You can also setup alerts, if the temperature of your shipment reaches an undesirable level, either too high or too low.

Sensefinity’s approach is a great example of how the Internet of Things is making its into the health and pharmaceutical industry. Implementations like this can shape the future of the health industry, and vastly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of operations.

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