Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Dubai goes smart for pharmaceutical cold chain monitoring

Steve Rogerson
July 18, 2017

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is adopting a smart system to monitor the cold chain of pharmaceuticals to preserve the quality and safety of medication.
Cold chain is a temperature controlled supply chain, which provides an uninterrupted series of refrigerated production, storage and distribution activities to maintain the desired low temperature of consumable goods such as pharmaceuticals.
Ali Al Sayed (pictured), director of the DHA’s pharmaceutical services department, said the monitoring of cold chain especially when it came to medication was considered one of the most important global issues and one of the biggest challenges that international health organisations faced as it directly affected the quality, safety and the effectiveness of the medication.
“After conducting a series of studies on international practices in the field of smart medication management systems, the pharmaceutical services department adopted an international-standard smart system that monitors and tracks the temperatures of medication through the installation of smart devices and tablets that can be controlled and tracked electronically,” said Sayed. “These systems aim to guarantee a continuous cold chain, which will maintain the quality and safety of pharmaceutical medication.”
The smart system adopted by the DHA includes computer tablets incorporated with the medical refrigerators and refrigerator rooms. These tablets will register and document the temperature automatically and they will display the data in a graph format that shows the correct temperature limits and documents them.
“The tablets will also send alerts through text messages and emails in the case that the temperature exceeded the required limit,” said Sayed. “It will provide electronic reports regarding the medical storage and safety of the medication. These systems can also be controlled electronically through their own web site.”
Smart technology will document the temperature while transporting the medication from the storage to the pharmacies. These small smart devices are connected to the computer and display in graph form the temperatures the medication was subjected to through the transportation process.
“The system was implemented by the authority to maintain patient’s safety and achieve customer satisfaction as these systems preserve the safety of the medication by tracking and controlling the temperature the medication is subjected to throughout the transportation process until the medication reaches the patient,” he said.