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Cold-Chain Logistics Monitoring System

Cold-Chain Logistics Monitoring System

(Thermal-Insulation Box + Powered RFID Tag + Hand-Held Terminal)

 

【System Background】

 

The increasing popularity of cold-chain logistics in the pharmaceutical industry has triggered further development of computer information system, which, as a day-to-day management tool, is focused on temperature/humidity control of pharmaceutical drugs (especially vaccines) throughout the whole supply chain. Besides, the new version of GSP (Good Supply Practices) has established significantly higher requirements for drug quality control, especially supply chain control. The Speedata system for cold-chain logistics monitoring is a solution to cope with all of the challenges above. In the Speedata system, temperature/humidity/sensors are installed on facility and equipment of cold-chain logistics and hand-held terminals are used to collect data from the sensors throughout the various phases of supply chain (purchase, storage, sales, and transportation), so the system can automatically monitor, display and record temperature/humidity data during storage and transportation of drugs. The system can also send out alarms whenever things go wrong, whereby the abnormal temperature/humidity can be adjusted. 

 

【System Components】

 

1. Hardware

1) Wireless temperature/humidity sensor

     - Powered RFID tag with built-in temperature/humidity sensor 

     - Industrial-grade design (water-proof, anti-static, anti-shock, anti-vibration, and anti-drop) 

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2) Hand-held terminal

     - RFID reader with built-in GPS for positioning and GPRS for data transmission 

     - Built-in barcode scanner to enable control of any single product (esp. vaccine)      

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     3) Thermal- insulation box

- Temperature/humidity monitoring with built-in alarm

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2. System solution

 

It is critical to monitor cold-chain transportation of pharmaceutical drugs, which are stored in thermal-insulation boxes and then loaded on to transportation vehicles equipped with an alarm system. The temperature/humidity, air-tightness, and shelf-life of the drugs in the thermal-insulation box can be monitored real-time. The transportation vehicle is equipped with wireless sensors, whereby all of the thermal insulation boxes in the vehicle can be monitored by a hand-held terminal and, hence, all of the drugs in the vehicle can be monitored. In summary, the temperature/humidity monitoring system in a hand-held terminal is mainly to monitor the storage temperature/humidity of drugs 24*7.

 

A hand-held terminal with LCD display for temperature/humidity has built-in memories for data storage. The data stored in the terminal can be transferred to a computer via a temperature/humidity monitoring software and then uploaded to the data servers of PDCA (China Food and Drug Administration) via internet. When there is no access to a computer or the temperature monitoring software is not opened on the computer, the hand-held will automatically save the data, As it is required by CPDA that temperature and humidity data shall be available real-time to PDCA every day and relevant data shall be uploaded to the provincial watchdog of PDCA, the system is equipped with UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) in case of broken city supply.

 

The temperature/humidity monitoring system is an integration of quite a few sophisticated technologies as follow: sensing technology, internet technology, information management technology, and communication technologies, among others. As the signals are digital, the system has good reliability and maintainability. The temperature/humidity data received by the monitoring software is displayed, analyzed, uploaded, and backed up, to realize real-time monitoring of the changes of storage environment. The temperature/humidity data monitored and managed by the system include data of cool stores and refrigerating stores and data during transportation. When there is any incident or emergency during transportation, corrective actions can be taken.

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【Features and advantages of the system】

 

1. Wireless identification and automatic collection of temperature/humidity data

2. Automatic monitoring of temperature/humidity sensors, no manual intervention needed

3. Temperature/humidity monitoring throughout the entire process, intelligent data recording, no data loss

4. 24*7 real-time monitoring of drugs (esp. vaccines) during transportation in whatever weather conditions

5. System alarm to users whenever there is any parameter out of control limits

6. Cloud-based system for information management, meeting PDCA’s data management requirements