New technology helps monitor drugs in transit

17 March 2015

Cambridge Consultants has developed a service that tracks and monitors the condition of drugs in transit. The new service uses the firm’s wireless app-based DropTag technology which consistently uploads and updates the condition of the medicine, allowing logistics companies to intervene when necessary.

Drugs shipping
During shipping, drugs often need to be kept between 2°C and 8°C in order to be preserved. Products like biological vaccines that come above or below this range might deteriorate and become less effective. As a result, shipments might be rejected and patients might have to wait for their much needed medication. To prevent this, end-to-end monitoring of the drugs in transit is needed. This is especially crucial when there are multiple carriers, transport modes and climates involved, as even the smallest change in temperature might have large effects on the product.

Cambridge Consultants helps to preserve medicine

Journey loggers exist to track and monitor drugs while being shipped, however, 20% of these loggers get lost en route or don’t have their data uploaded. To help improve the monitoring system, product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants has developed a new monitoring technology for cold-chain logistics in healthcare industry, making use of its DropTag condition monitoring technology.

The wireless DropTag* uses smart sensor pucks to monitor the environment inside drugs packages (are sensed) and continuously uploads the data to a secure server within logistics companies or any smartphone. The technology senses temperature, vibration, humidity and shocks, giving the companies the opportunity to intervene during the distribution process if a problem is flagged up.

Cambridge Consultants’ DropTag used to help preserve medicine

Pharmaceutical company Accord Healthcare has been involved in the DropTag trials. Commenting on the technology, their Senior Director of European Strategic Operations Tony Cordrey says: “We strive to be ahead of the game in improving our processes and ensuring quality assurance – and this new DropTag application has been a tremendous enabler of that. It’s revealed some opportunities for real improvements in our shipping process – by improving the transparency of information where temperature variations are most likely to occur during a journey and giving us the confidence to safely optimise our use of shipping routes.”

* DropTag is a wireless, app-based condition-monitoring system, comprised of smart sensor pucks, an app and a secure server. The solution allows individuals and businesses to understand how goods have been treated at any given point during the journey.