First came the good news: a vaccine was on the scene and the end of the pandemic was in sight. Even better - there was more than one vaccine! Amazingly quick innovation from pharmaceutical companies would rescue the world from its plight. But then, the actual logistical roll-out of the vaccines hit multiple speed bumps.
We've got problems - but if we're nimble, there are also healthtech solutions, explains Xcelrate UDI Founder Joan Melendez in The Story Exchange: This Health-Tech Founder Wants to Bring Data — and Dignity — to the Vaccine Rollout:
Now, the Washington State resident is moving quickly to introduce a new app, UDIVitals, to track vaccine doses — from when they’re shipped to how long a dose has spent in the freezer, a crucial piece of information about its viability.
“We don’t want to throw vaccines out, we want to be able to use them,” said Melendez, a certified minority and women-owned business owner who grew up in New York and California before settling in Seattle 25 years ago.
“You have two hours when you take the vaccine out of the vial and put it into the syringe after it’s thawed,” she added. “We’re marking those syringes with a scannable barcode so we know exactly when that syringe was pulled and when it’s going to expire.”
The founder, who travels frequently to demo her new product and has degrees in medical assisting and management information systems from San Jose State University, said she decided to get involved when the news emerged that Pfizer and Moderna would seek emergency use authorization for their vaccines at the end of 2020.
As with every system designed by humans, the vaccine supply chain needs some tweaking. With some help from innovative medical device companies, we can get back to normal ASAP.