The publicly distributed ledger network Hedera Hashgraph is being used by a UK-based digital asset tracking provider called Everyware to provide the country’s National Health Service with a system to manage its COVID-19 vaccine storage.
Some of the currently widespread COVID-19 vaccines require ultra-cold storage conditions to remain effective, posing a significant challenge to public and private health services around the world.
To ensure that maintenance of the COVID-19 vaccine can be safely and transparently monitored by participants in the UK distribution process, Everyware will provide several NHS facilities with its asset tracking and monitoring software and use the Hedera Consensus Service as a secure, use distributed trust layer.
The Hedera base layer provides a verifiable timestamp and sequence of events throughout the vaccine supply chain, enabling healthcare facilities to securely share data with other participants in the vaccine delivery chain – including pharmaceutical companies, centralized storage facilities and transportation companies. Speaking to Cointelegraph, a representative from Everyware wrote:
“So far, other participants, e.g. B. pharmaceutical companies, communicated through existing NHS channels. Third party onboarding [to the vaccine monitoring system is] As easy as creating accounts for users and groups who have an interest in a specific set of assets. In addition, the use of Hedera opens up possibilities for integration via the Hedera Consensus Service as a publish / subscribe broker. Plus, providing mirror nodes. “
Everyware is initially deploying the Hedera-based solution to a select group of NHS facilities in the South Warwickshire area, including Stratford Upon Avon and Warwick hospitals, before rolling out more widely in the future.
The representative said that Everyware has “worked with the NHS Trust for several years, starting with monitoring refrigeration and room temperature medicines.” Assets such as blood fridges, freezers and warmers are examples of the types of assets that Everyware monitors in UK public health facilities. There are also talks with NHS trusts to implement the system in the future to reduce drug waste in various facilities.
In addition to the software and Hedera base network layer, the COVID-19 vaccine storage solution relies on hardware to monitor the resources involved in its distribution and management. The representative told Cointelegraph that the Everyware platform is based on the Amazon Web Services EC2 cloud infrastructure and offers an Internet of Things or IoT function that customers can use to integrate sensors:
“We normally use sensors on site on the individual refrigerators (or cabinets for medication with room temperature), which send data to an Everyware Smart Hub via a local mesh network. In addition to providing local alerts, the Smart Hub is also an internet gateway for devices that can connect to the cloud platform. “
Countries like Brazil have already recognized blockchain as a valuable tool for ensuring transparent and efficient tracking of vaccine dispensing. In addition to the challenges of vaccine delivery, Hedera technology has been used by scientists to understand the spread of infections in different population groups.