Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Imperial Logistics uses blockchain to secure medical supply chain

Steve Rogerson
March 28, 2018

South Africa-based Imperial Logistics is using blockchain and a cloud platform to provide an end-to-end fulfilment backbone that manages the entire distribution process of essential medical supplies.
The technology comes from Dallas-based One Network Enterprises, a provider of multi-party digital network platform and services. It includes serialisation and authentication of critical drugs such as anti-malarial medications.
By establishing One Network's RTVN real-time value network and serialisation and tracking technology for country-wide fulfilment, Imperial Logistics is safeguarding the distribution of medication. This means it can increase visibility and security throughout the global pharmaceutical manufacturing and supply chain process.
"Counterfeit or contaminated medication that contains the wrong or no active ingredients has long plagued the global, pharmaceutical supply chain," said Iain Barton, healthcare strategy executive at Imperial Logistics. “New regulations are coming into effect around the globe and mandates such as mass serialisation and track-and-trace are quickly becoming the worldwide standard for regulators. One Network's RTVN greatly enhances the serialisation and authentication processes by allowing companies, NGOs and government entities to see and respond to supply chain problems anywhere, anytime, no matter the location. This is critical to ensuring the integrity and proper disbursement of life-saving medication and supplies."
RTVN's chain-of-custody and serialisation authentication capabilities let Imperial Logistics track the control, transfer, management and distribution of anti-retroviral and anti-malarial medication and supplies in real time, as they flow throughout the supply chain all the way to the individual patient. It will also be used to comply with incoming national regulations in South Africa and other countries.
According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report, substandard and counterfeit drugs cause improper dosing, compromise the effectiveness of medicines and can lead to overdosing and death. WHO says 100,000 people in Africa die every year due to counterfeit medicines. With improved visibility and the chain-of-custody and serialisation authentication capabilities of the RTVN, pharmacies and health facilities ensure the continued flow of vital and authentic drugs so patients with chronic conditions receive pure drugs and the proper dosages and treatments they need.
The serialisation and authentication chain-of-custody technology is based on One Network's blockchain platform, One Blockchain. This enables real-world chain-of-custody with support for serial tracking, lot tracking, lot splitting, tracking through consolidation and deconsolidation, blending, mixing, targeted recalls, IoT integration, and partial chains-of-custody.
"The global implications of substandard, falsified and counterfeit medical products are huge, especially for areas such as South Africa which has the largest HIV epidemic in the world according to UNAIDS," said Ranjit Notani, CTO of One Network. "One Blockchain allowed us to build a completely secure application with the ability to maintain confidentiality at all levels, while maintaining a single version of the truth for every transaction."
Founded in 2002, One Network is headquartered in Dallas and has offices in Japan, Europe and India.