case

AntTail using sensors & IoT to monitor the medical supply chain

Case

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About AntTail

AntTail designs, develops and delivers products and services to monitor and track the origin and temperature of medicines throughout the cold chain. AntTail cloud computing and SaaS based solutions help to ensure product quality and prevent counterfeiting. Pharmaceutical, transportation and logistic service providers, healthcare providers and retail outlets can follow shipments and deliveries, checking temperature every step of the way. AntTail works within existing cold chain quality procedures, eliminating the need for complex implementation and capital investments.

Challenges

Critical medicines are vulnerable to temperature variation and counterfeiting. This vulnerability was getting worst because of the long and fragmented medical supply chain. On an average, a typical pharmaceutical supply chain has to deal with 30 hand-overs, 15 warehouses and 15 trucks, reefers or planes, end-to-end. In addition, the total lead-time from manufacturing to patient varies from a few days to months. Temperature-sensitive medication is wasted in this value chain and the quality of returned medication can not be ensured and is thus destroyed, resulting in loss of expensive and life-saving medicines.

AntTail provides real-time global security and temperature monitoring services to protect high-value medicines and vaccines. The AntTail application, designed and developed by Vanenburg, is the backbone of this infrastructure. AntTail consists of the (mobile) application, database, pheromone network and sensors. It is a cloud computing and SaaS-based solution which helps to ensure product quality and prevent counterfeiting.

With AntTail, pharmaceutical, transportation and logistics service providers, healthcare providers, and retail outlets can follow their shipments and deliveries. They can check the temperature during every step of the lifecycle. AntTail works within existing cold chain quality procedures, eliminating the need for complex implementation and capital investments.

Solution

AntTail`s LastMile solution is a comprehensive monitoring solution that checks and records temperature and “un-packing” events of shipments, online and in real-time. The sensors are packed along with the medication in sealed bags and travel together until the patient opens this sealed bag and takes out his/her medication or stops the treatment and returns the rest of the medication. Because of the compliant monitoring of the medication, the returned medication of high value can be reused instead of being destroyed.

The sensors/chips, attached to the medicine, are part of the pheromone network and are measuring conditions and registering events. Each chip acts as a repeater in the network. All registrations are sent out and repeated by chips in the neighborhood. Ultimately the signal is picked up by a router which will send the data by GPRS/UTMS to the Big Data server in the cloud.

In order to run this service reliable and properly, AntTail needed a proven solution provider we could architect, develop, maintain and operate the entire platform for them. In Vanenburg, they found the all-inclusive managed service provider who is taking care of the entire platform.

The AntTail portal, designed and developed by Vanenburg, makes the information globally available and accessible anytime, anywhere. The AntTail IoT cloud receives the sensor data and stores it in a robust and scalable big data platform. Monitoring and alerting mechanisms are developed on top of the big data in order to trigger the corresponding alarms or actions for handling the medicines. This proven Internet of Things application for the pharma industry offers critical traceability with temperature monitoring from manufacturer to patient, and vice versa.

Mark Roemers, co-founder of AntTail comments: “We are very glad working with Vanenburg and being able to leverage their expertise in the area of sensor technology, big data and cloud. Their heritage in the software development sector allows us to build and deliver solid and innovative solutions to our customers.”

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