Cool-Tel online monitoring system protects vaccine cooling
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
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.