The COVID-19 2020 crisis has put an added unprecedented strain on the global medical supply chain. Millions of people around the world have died because they didn’t have timely access to safe and affordable medicines, vaccines, and other health services. There have been widespread reports of fraudulent production and fraudulent claims of PPE and other critical supplies across the chain.

The medical supply chain is long, costly & multilayered, resulting in a lack of communication, transparency and trust between supply and demand. There are risks that products may not arrive in the right condition at the right locations at the right time.

The current situation is really a broader story about weak supply risk management and lack of governance and integration across the supply chain.

According to the WHO, it is estimated that up to $200 billion worth of counterfeit pharmaceutical products are sold globally every year and 50% of these drugs are purchased online. There are counterfeit medicine cases in every part of the world. Interpol officer Aline Plançon says “there is a flow of products coming from everywhere and going to everywhere, there are so many hubs."

The FDA’s Drug Supply Chain Security Act, part of the Drug Quality and Security Act, was first implemented in 2015 and sets drug and pharmaceutical product tracing, verification and identification requirements and implementation benchmarks that will roll out through 2023.

Similarly, the E.U. is putting the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) into action by 2019, requiring drug companies to adopt mass serialization, which encodes drug packages with a unique identifier, like a scannable barcode, serial number or radio frequency identification (RFID) coding, allowing for easy tracking by companies and regulators.

What it does

GMedChain is here to solve the medical supplies and medication shortages and fraud problems with our blockchain supply chain solutions to improve trust, efficiency, and transparency of the healthcare supply chain system.

By integrating Blockchain technology & IoT into the healthcare supply chain ecosystem, we are developing a fully transparent and decentralized platform offering safer, more efficient ways to connect with all medical supply chain stakeholders as well as to track and trace medical supplies.

Our solution provides product authentication to prevent counterfeit vaccines, cold chain monitoring management with real-time data, and advanced analytics to respond quickly and intelligently to market disruptions.

It can track and manage resources at the ecosystem level, which provides greater accuracy and better forecasts, reducing waste and preventing stock-outs, supply-side shortages, delivery time variability, and supply-chain disruptions. Especially in developing countries where no efficient system is in place, and the combination of infrastructure issues could create supply chain dysfunction.

How we built it

IOT demo explanation

The demo hardware prototype consists of a package, a pallet and 2 locations. Each location has an RFID radio and bluetooth beacon enabled base station. In addition, the base stations at the two locations have a BME280 sensor which detects environmental conditions (temperature, humidity and air pressure). A location could be defined as a warehouse, a vehicle, a storage unit or a facility. The pallets are also equipped with RFID radio and bluetooth radio. Each package has an NFC/RFID tag which identifies it and tags the current location. Pallets are equipped with a DHT11 (measures temperature and humidity), a 6 axis accelerometer/gyroscope sensor (detects shocks and falls) and has the ability to connect to other sensors. The microcontroller in the pallet is an ESP32, powered by a LiPO battery pack (~2400mAh). All the sensors in the system periodically send data to Azure IoT Hub, which in turn stores this data on the Azure CosmosDB backend. The data can then be put as transactions on the blockchain and can be viewed by the frontend. In the demo, we show readings being continuously updated to Azure IoT hub, as the package in the pallet moves from one location to the next. The package and pallet location details are also updated at each checkpoints, and each of these is a transaction on the blockchain. A potential smart contract can stipulate certain conditions of safe carriage which can be enforced by having the system automatically detect violations of these conditions as detected by the sensors in the different components.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We have two customers signed up

What's next for GMedChain

Beta-test with the First Supplier Work with hospitals to design and refine the UX Public Beta Launch: Select and roll-out to Public hospitals & large manufacturers Scale to hospitals globally through targeted LinkedIn campaigns, media, and word-of-mouth Scale solution to vaccines and other pharma products

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