The healthcare industry continuously fights to solve the common supply chain management challenges it faces, including the lack of real-time package tracking solutions, optimising time-critical shipments, and securing environmentally-sensitive medicine. Unfortunately, the outcome of this problem often comes down to costly services for the end recipients. Patients, the most vulnerable category, become the bumpers for unforeseen circumstances in the supply chain.
It is an impossible task to put a price tag on human life. When health and wellbeing are concerned, no soon is soon enough. And since more and more people are in need of an urgent ailment fix due to rising prescription drug rates, the costs for delivering indispensable remedies to patients can skyrocket.
The High Value of Prescription Drugs
The optimisation of healthcare supply chains is additionally burdened with the advent of personalised medical care and speciality pharmacies, putting the patient’s health on a pedestal, which is, without doubt, an objective we all must strive for. However, they also challenge hospitals with higher costs, making group purchasing or planning of bulk prescription drug supplies difficult.
When a sensitive package such as an implantable medical device needs to arrive at its destination from the manufacturer to the patient, every hour counts. For blood from matching donors, hours turn into minutes. Here, it’s vitally important to make the best use of precious time. For the maximum consumer’s benefit, pharmaceuticals must also meet strict industry standards. Package handling is just one of them. Patients’ benefit is also the ultimate goal of encouraging competition in the pharmaceutical industry. Therefore, healthcare companies need to consider plenty of alternatives for getting the best prescription drug to patients and providing reliable medical care, even when it means optimising the supply chain by reaching out worldwide and collaborating with multiple suppliers of medical goods.
How to Optimise Precision Medicine Tracking
There is one area of supply chain management that can help medical institutions optimise the supply chains for high-value prescription drugs, especially precision medicine. Precision medicine has unparalleled value simply because it is often used as a life-saver in emergency procedures or to alleviate the conditions of terminal illnesses. Precision medicine can also include customised equipment that requires many pieces coming together on time to be assembled together and perform their intended function well.
ParceLive IoT package trackers can keep track of what happens with a fragile package at every point of passing through the supply chain by establishing a direct link to the sender, all the way until the sensitive medical shipment reaches the recipient. This is made possible by placing a postcard-sized device with embedded sensor technology on a particular package.
ParceLive trackers contain 7 types of sensors connected with an application via a cellular network. The tracker sends real-time alerts about the changes the package has been exposed to the sender. For example, temperature and humidity sensors report whether a parcel has been placed into unsuitable containers that don’t guard against high temperatures or whether it has been moved around in a humid wagon. Tilt, shock and light sensors track if a parcel has been opened or dropped or suffered a similar disadvantageous mechanical force.
An extra advantage of ParceLive trackers is their size. The size of a postcard makes them convenient for placing on small sized-packages that are often necessary for healthcare logistics. They are discreet, which is of key importance in healthcare that deals with sensitive data, The traceability of the package starts once the sender initiates tracking and ends once the recipient turns off the tracker and returns it to the solution provider on the included return address. Overall logistics costs go down because ParceLive trackers are used on a rent basis – couriers don’t need to buy them.
Benefits for Precision Medicine
The real-time tracking alert system helps participants in the supply chain remain vigilant. Healthcare facilities can act upon a setback or an imminent hazard immediately by implementing a plan B solution. Having package data readily available can be crucial for calming worried patients, and, if necessary, proportioning responsibility for a mishap.
However, we shouldn’t look at these IoT trackers only in terms of reactive care. The capital advantage of being able to track your package globally with ParceLive is in its capability to overcome the “It’s too late to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted” situation. It does this by identifying poorly optimised points in the supply chain management system and revealing hidden costs before it’s too late. As the number of IoT devices in global use increases, tracking individualised precision medicine and prescription drugs, in general, will become a matter of preventive care. The healthcare industry will be able to respond faster to fluctuating changes in medical technology, in turn improving people’s health in new ways for lower costs.