CEO and Co-Founder, Nexleaf Analytics
Real-time temperature data monitoring of vaccine storage fridges is a critical step towards more effective immunisation programmes in low-and-middle- income countries.
Reliable data is a key component in helping achieve greater vaccine equity. Central to that is access to and utilisation of real-time data to ensure vaccines are always stored at the correct temperatures so they remain effective and deliver immunity.
As donations of COVID-19 vaccines to poorer countries continue, there remains a gap between distribution and effective delivery of doses. This is according to non-profit technology company Nexleaf Analytics, which partners with countries to make sure they have the data they need to improve the health of their people.
Nexleaf has created a real-time temperature monitoring device that alerts health officials to fridges that are too warm, or if there are power outages, which could see vaccines kept at the wrong temperature, rendering them less effective, or ineffective. The data is stored on a dashboard, allowing health staff to remotely monitor the performance of cold chain equipment and effectively plan for fridge maintenance or replacements.
The company’s CEO and Co-Founder, Nithya Ramanathan, underlines the importance of strong data systems to monitor vaccine cold chain temperatures and also help in better planning and execution of vaccine distribution and delivery in low-and-middle-income countries.
Our goal is vaccine equity and having strong data systems and infrastructure in place is absolutely necessary for achieving that.
With increased global investment in vaccine systems in response to COVID, now is a critical time to ensure that these investments not only benefit the current delivery of COVID vaccines but for a range of vaccines needed for existing and potential future conditions.
Ramanathan also emphasises that the needs of low-and-middle-income countries have to be listened to, enabling them to take ownership of their data and health resources with sustainable country-led solutions.
She points to Kenya’s success in delivering 1.1 million doses of COVID vaccine across the country in two months, achieved by having access and ownership of its cold chain management and vaccine distribution data to find and use existing fridges that worked.
“Our goal is vaccine equity and having strong data systems and infrastructure in place is absolutely necessary for achieving that,” says Ramanathan.