Innovative ‘mobile’ solution increases data integrity, eliminates human error, reduces costs whilst maximizing patient safety.
The bane of healthcare professionals: Damage to medicines unseen to the naked eye, related to unfavourable transport conditions. Technology innovator Dyzle is about to release a new gadget on the market to address exactly that. PharmaTag enables pharmacists and other healthcare professionals 24/7, live monitoring of pharmaceutical products during their entire journey, from factory to patient.
Almere, 6 September 2011 – The journey taken by a vaccine, clinical trial material or other pharmaceutical product is often long and arduous. From manufacturer to hospital or pharmacy, the medicines may leave the USA, transit through Singapore or Geneva only to arrive much later at their final destination from Amsterdam to a hospital in the north of The Netherlands. It is imperative that vaccines are kept in perfect condition, in order to maintain their integrity. In most cases, temperatures must remain constant, between 2-8 degrees Celcius for example. Currently, the manufacturer, logistics service provider or pharmacist cannot be sure that the product was kept at the right temperature at all times.
Vaccines may lose their active healing or preventative abilities when certain conditions are not maintained during transport. What’s more, health institutions could save a fair proportion of their medicine bill, avoiding unnecessary medicine wastage by being able to assure the quality of recycled medicines – those unused or left over from patients who stayed at the hospital for example.
How PharmaTag works
Dyzle’s approach with the PharmaTag is simple: a thin measuring device, the size of a credit card, travels with the product during its entire journey. Upon arrival, it provides the receiver with the shipment temperatures during its entire transport chain. If the vaccine temperature has been exposed during transportation, an instant alarm is sent from the PharmaTag to the hospital. All stakeholders in the transport chain can receive information or alerts over the internet – the PharmaTag can be programmed that way, by entering relevant contacts beforehand.
Mark Roemers, CEO of Dyzle, explains: “We are aware that the pharmaceutical companies and healthcare professionals are first and foremost concerned with patient safety. It is critical that drugs adhere to their specific cold chain requirements at all times. PharmaTag allows customers to monitor and manage their cold chain and enhance compliance to regulatory requirements.”
He adds: “Manually passing on data using a traditional cradle operated data-logger, for example, is no longer necessary. The chance of human error in this type of process is significant. The Dyzle PharmaTag is unique in that it shows in an instant whether the pharmaceutical product has maintained correct temperature conditions. Patients are provided with medication of the very highest product quality and integrity. Logistics service providers can also make use of the information that is stored centrally in the Dyzle database, to continuously improve the transport chain, if and when required”.
Pilot projects well-received
The Dyzle PharmaTag is to be introduced to the market this fall. A pilot project with the device at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in the Netherlands has been successful. Teva is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of generic drugs. Willem van Wijk, logistics manager at Teva, is pleased: “We have one less issue to worry about, now that the temperature of the entire transport chain is monitored. All stakeholders in the chain have access to the same data at the same time. The chance of error is, therefore, ruled out. Dyzle’s PharmaTag enables us to ensure the highest level of quality, right from sender to receiver. This way, our medicines reach patients in an optimal condition. Patient safety and product integrity are the key to our success.”
Dyzle in Singapore (ASPAC) has also successfully completed pilot projects with two major pharmaceutical companies. The results of these pilots have been very encouraging in terms of enhanced control and reduced costs. Customers are particularly pleased with the device’s user friendliness. PharmaTag is in that sense unique compared to other more traditional products in the market. Roemers: “This has given us great confidence that PharmaTag will quickly be adopted by more companies in the pharmaceutical industry across the region.”
Rosalind Lim, CEO ASPAC, adds: “The Dyzle PharmaTag couldn’t be easier to use. One of its key features is that the user does not need to make any investments in expensive software or interfaces.”
A simple computer connected to the internet is all that is required. The hospital or pharmacist can quickly assess whether temperature conditions have been compromised during transportation. The party shipping the medicines just needs to enter the temperature range within which the medicines have to be transported , the destination and who needs to be informed about transportation. This is easily done via the customer dashboard, linking into Dyzle’s central database. The information is then saved to the PharmaTag and downloaded via a USB port upon arrival. The Dyzle PharmaTag’s data can be downloaded upon arrival of the shipment. Key stakeholders are automatically informed by e-mail, receiving all required shipment delivery information and its temperature during its entire journey. Lim explains: “The shipment details provide the complete history of the journey. This valuable data provides pharmaceutical companies insight into how to continuously improve the transport chain, whilst providing them enhanced control of the distribution process.”