Keeping Tabs on Life-saving Vaccines: NexleafAnalytics Monitors the Medical Supply Chain

Vaccines can play a life-saving role in preventing serious illnesses, including devastating childhood diseases like polio. But if they are not shipped, stored or monitored properly, they can lose potency or spoil altogether. For the developing countries, this challenge is a critical one as the nearly 1 in 5 children that are not vaccinated are concentrated within their borders.

Both government entities, such as national health ministries, and individual medical clinics are realizing just how challenging it is to track and monitor the quality of one of their most important resources: vaccines. For many low-resourced rural clinics, a staff member might have to literally be in the same room as a cold storage unit to see if it’s working or not. NexleafAnalytics has created a temperature-monitoring sensor, called ColdTrace, which remotely alerts personnel if a temperature change threatens the vaccines being stored there.

When the Vodafone Americas Foundation selected Nexleafas a 2013 winner of the Wireless Innovation Project, we had reached a turning point in our development. We had a prototype, but we faced a gap before we could seek larger scale funding to scale up and deploy into the field. Vodafone recognized the promise in ColdTrace and the bridge funding we received has allowed us to move toward a production-ready product.

To date, ColdTrace is in use in Kenya, Mozambique and India at a small scale. But within the next two months, we will scale up to 200 devices and there are plans to start a project in Tanzania later this year. This swift acceleration is due not only to funding we’ve received from Vodafone, but also the technological expertise and counsel offered by the Vodafone xone team. As a six-person company, we’ve been extended the resources and contacts of a global enterprise to help us achieve our goal of scaling ColdTrace to larger and larger areas.

The Vodafone Americas Foundation has been catalytic to ColdTrace’s development. Demand from government entities is high and we believe we’re meeting them with the right technology and at the right time to make a significant difference in the lives of thousands, if not millions of people.