Cool-Tel online monitoring system  protects vaccine cooling systems

11 February 2010

For vaccines to be effective, it is important that they are stored within the temperature range recommended by manufacturers [+2°C to +8°C]. Cool-Tel systems quietly monitor and record the temperature of pharmacy fridges, or medicines in transit. Early warning of potential problems are provided to those responsible, giving peace of mind that precious vaccines and medication are safely stored.

The UK National Patient Safety Agency issued an alert (NPSA/2010/RRR008) on 21 January that requires all NHS organisations to ensure that they implement appropriate procedures for monitoring and responding to alerts in vaccine cold storage by July 2010.

The real-time out-of-range alerts from the Cool-Tel electronic temperature monitoring system allow a rapid response to the problem. Compared with the traditional minimum / maximum temperature readings taken every 24hours, with Cool-Tel the vaccines can be moved to safety and clinicians can be confident that they remain potent and avoid wastage.

The battery operated Cool-Tel temperature monitor, when placed in any fridge, monitors the temperature at regular intervals, and uses mobile phone technology to upload the data to a secure website where the data is analysed, alerts are raised and audit logs are stored.

The technology behind Cool-Tel was supplied by Eseye Limited, a supplier of cellular machine to machine (M2M) solutions. Ian Marsden, CTO of Eseye explained “The M2M+ platform is ideal for battery powered GSM applications such as Cool-Tel. It handles all the communications from the Cool-Tel unit and stores the data securely online. Using Eseye’s AnyNet SIM card inside Cool-Tel means that we have completely avoided the problem of phone coverage black spots; Cool-Tel simply picks whichever network has the best signal.”

With the contents of an average pharmacy refrigerator being worth up to £50,000, discarding vaccines that are deemed non-potent is wasteful and expensive. Incorrect vaccination storage, and lack of rigour in monitoring, can also lead to ineffective vaccination programs, which is cause for concern for patients and their families and could potentially increase the risk of disease.


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