Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Tata and SAP use IoT to transform surgical kit handling

Steve Rogerson
June 20, 2019
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has teamed up with German software company SAP to transform surgical kit handling using IoT and blockchain powered by SAP Leonardo.
The intelligent field inventory management system can help medical device manufacturers gain visibility of surgical kit inventory across the value chain, improve patient outcomes, increase revenues and enhance compliance.
Medical devices are manufactured and delivered across the globe. As a result, the supply chain process of distributing surgical kits to hospitals as well as collecting unused inventory is fragmented. The complex logistics make it challenging to ensure the right kit is delivered at the right place and at the right time. Another problem is ensuring surgical kit efficacy and sterility throughout the supply chain.
TCS, an IT services and consulting business, has developed iFIM, powered by SAP Leonardo, using the IoT to build traceability of inventory and blockchain to enable greater visibility of that inventory to all stakeholders in the ecosystem – manufacturers, distributors, representatives and hospitals. This should streamline and simplify surgical kit handling, improve patient outcomes, optimise field inventory, and ease regulatory compliance.
Additionally, quicker turnaround of returned kits boosts revenue recognition for the manufacturers. SAP Leonardo IoT business and technical services enables iFIM to integrate with core systems and to scale effectively to meet the dynamic business requirements of the life sciences supply chain.
"We have been partnering customers in the medical devices and life sciences industry, using our deep domain knowledge and expertise in digital technologies to reimagine key elements of their value chain and launch innovative products that give them competitive differentiation in a Business 4.0 world," said Vikram Karakoti, head of TCS’s life sciences business group. "The iFIM leverages SAP's intelligent enterprise portfolio to utilise IoT and blockchain to help our customers digitally transform their loaner and consignment kit business models and deliver superior outcomes for all stakeholders in their ecosystems."
TCS's life sciences offerings are designed to help users embrace emerging digital technologies to accelerate product innovation, enrich customer experiences and increase productivity. A part of TCS' Co-Innovation Network (Coin), the life sciences innovation lab provides an ecosystem to research emerging trends, develop proofs of concept and co-innovate.
"TCS's iFIM supports our life sciences customers in accelerating their Business 4.0 digital transformation journeys," said Akhilesh Tiwari, global head of enterprise application services at TCS. "Our partnership with SAP, and our willingness to continually invest in building innovative industry-specific solutions leveraging the power of new-age technologies, make us the preferred innovation partner for our customers."
Carol Mackenzie, global vice president at SAP, added: "We are excited to partner with TCS on this solution for the medical device industry. By leveraging TCS's industry expertise and commitment to quality delivery and customer focus, we are helping life science businesses make the transformational move to an intelligent enterprise."
A part of the Tata group, India's largest multinational business group, TCS has more than 424,000 consultants in 46 countries. The company generated consolidated revenues of US$20.9bn in the year ended March 2019.