Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Gates Foundation awards 1.7 million to inspire supply chain innovation
Gates Foundation awards 1.7 million to inspire supply chain innovation
by Raja Rao, [The] Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Earlier this year, 17 different proposals on how to optimize immunization systems were each awarded $100,000 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through its Grand Challenges Explorations initiative. Raja Rao gives an overview of each proposal.
A “bulletin board” for broadcasting vaccine supply and demand
Arun Ramanujapuram of Logistimo in India proposes to develop a mobile phone-based “bulletin board” for capturing and broadcasting availability and demand information for vaccines and medicines. By bringing real-time visibility to these essential goods, stock can be appropriately redistributed to areas of need, and waste can be reduced.
A mobile cloud system to achieve universal vaccination
Alain Labrique of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the USA will develop and field test in rural Bangladesh a cloud-based mobile phone system that will allow for universal access to vaccination records, send vaccine reminders and messaging, and provide incentives to parents and health care workers via a phone application. This new strategy could increase the reach, coverage, and public acceptance of immunization.
A passive solar thermal standard for vaccine storage rooms
Loriana Dembele of Eau et Vie Jiduma in Mali proposes to develop new architecture and construction guidelines for vaccine storage rooms in hot climates that incorporate passive solar thermal technologies to keep vaccines at recommended temperatures. The team will construct and test prototype storage facilities using a variety of building materials to determine new standards that prevent vaccine spoilage, reduce operating costs, and improve refrigeration capabilities.
Development and first field-testing of battery-free solar freezers
Steve McCarney of the Solar Electric Light Fund in the USA proposes to accelerate the development and field-testing of two solar-powered, battery-free, ice-pack freezers to provide a missing link in the cold chain where outreach efforts require frozen packs to cool vaccines during transport and immunization sessions.
An anti-vaccine surveillance and alert system
Seth Kalichman of the http://www.uconn.edu/ in the USA will establish an Internet-based global monitoring and rapid alert system for finding, analyzing, and counteracting communication campaigns containing misinformation regarding vaccines to support global immunization efforts.
A geospatial optimization tool
Payal Kamdar of http://www.vsolvit.com/ in the USA proposes to develop a customizable geographical information system web application platform that integrates existing data in a particular region (e.g., population, locations of vaccines stores, health care facilities, transportation options, even weather) to maximize delivery of vaccines to target populations.
Compostable vaccine packaging
Claire Dillavou of the University of California, Los Angeles in the USA will develop compostable vaccine packaging to diminish the environmental impact of residual debris from mass vaccination campaigns in developing countries lacking adequate disposal infrastructure.
Net-zero energy warehousing systems for drugs and vaccines
Jonathan Colton of Georgia Institute of Technology in the USA, with John Lloyd, Andrew Garnett, and Steve McCarney, will solicit proposals from industry to create a full set of requirements and engineering specifications for the development of a new “net-zero energy” warehouse and distribution system for vaccines and drugs in developing countries.
On-demand vaccine delivery via low-cost unmanned aerial vehicles
George Barbastathis of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology in the USA will lead a team to develop unmanned aerial vehicles that can be deployed by health care workers via cell phones to swiftly transport vaccines to rural locations and alleviate last-mile delivery problems and improve cost, quality, and coverage of vaccine supplies.
Phase change material freeze-prevention liner for vaccines
Profitable vaccine distribution in emerging markets
Lisa Ganley-Leal and Pauline Mwinzi of Epsilon Therapeutics in the USA will test the hypothesis that selling vaccines through medicine shops in emerging markets can lead to profits for both vaccine developers and small business owners. Demonstrating profitability may lead pharmaceutical companies to invest greater resources in vaccine development and distribution and develop local partnerships for profitability strategies.
Remote monitoring of the cold chain distribution of vaccines
Nithya Ramanathan of Nexleaf Analytics in the USA, working with Direct Relief International and Medic Mobile, is developing cell phone sensors that monitor refrigerated vaccine stocks and generate geo-tagged alerts when vaccines reach critical temperatures. The sensors could enable affordable, remote monitoring of vaccine safety throughout the supply chain.
Robust mobile component for logistics
Anup Akkihal of Logistimo in India proposes to develop a cloud-based mobile supply chain platform that allows real-time data to be accessed by mobile phone and web-based applications, enabling information sharing and optimized decision support that can maximize immunization coverage for children worldwide.
Spyridon Tsakas of Eulysis UK Limited in the United Kingdom will test an innovative single-vial system technology that allows for easier transport, reconstitution, and storage of vaccines with lyophilized components. Data gathered on its packaging, transportability, and in situ lyophilization potential will help optimize the technology for safe vaccine delivery to the developing world.
SMS mobile technology for vaccine coverage and acceptance
Edwin Asturias of Children’s Hospital Colorado in the USA will test a mobile phone short message service (SMS) system that will provide messaging texts to parents of infants in Guatemala in an effort to improve timely immunizations, increase vaccine acceptance, and provide a tool for reporting of side effects.
Use of bar codes for vaccine introductions in poor countries
Vaccine freeze-damage assessment for improved supply systems
Richard Gilstrap of Innovar Scientific in the USA will develop and test a device for rapid detection of freeze damage in widely used adjuvant-type vaccines. This device could provide critical information needed for cold chain optimization and effective immunization programs.
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