How COVID-19 Has Prepared Us for the Monkeypox Vaccine Rollout

By Gil Dror, Chief Technology Officer, SmartSense by Digi
Twitter: @SmartSenseHQ

The monkeypox outbreak has accelerated with more than 3,000 cases in the US (according to CDC data) and the vaccine nationwide has been hamstrung by logistical and technical errors. The World Health Organization has declared the monkeypox outbreak to be a global health emergency. While the CDC has expanded their vaccine push to prioritize those most at risk, the Biden Administration has only ordered 7 million vaccines, and many are stuck in a national stockpile – leaving the present supply far short of meeting demand. With Americans becoming fearful there won’t be enough vaccines to contain the growing outbreak, and public health officials noticing the hotspot cities that have massive waitlists leading to additional online booking system technical problems, it’s clear there’s a need for IoT-enabled digital decisioning and operational visibility across the vaccine supply chain.

Lessons learned from the COVID-19 vaccine rollout can help healthcare providers streamline the monkeypox vaccine rollout leveraging IoT Sensing as a Service. The healthcare industry needs digitalized workflows and rapid mobilization for effective monkeypox vaccine distribution. Given the need for monkeypox vaccines to be chilled and frozen, remote quality control and operational visibility is essential throughout production and transportation. Hospitals and pharmacies can improve efficiency, performance, and safety with continuous monitoring solutions that preserve the efficacy of critical vaccines needed to curb a large-scale monkeypox outbreak.

Vaccine Transport

Refrigerated and frozen vaccines must maintain their optimal temperature values to preserve efficacy. Transporting them increases the risk for damage due to the potential of uninsulated packaging, warm storage spaces in transport vehicles, or improper coolant materials. Being able to monitor the vaccines’ temperature directly inside the container is essential to ensure they remain both safe and effective.

Appropriate conditions must be maintained at every touchpoint of the supply chain. Otherwise, failure to store, handle, and transport vaccines properly can result in inadequate immune responses in patients and poor protection against the disease.

Empowering Healthcare Employees with Digital Workflows

Automating critical workflows for vaccine administration through digital decisioning and task management increases operational efficiency in a way that saves invaluable labor hours that can be redirected to patient care. Operational task management can be improved through digitization. Real-time data from IoT sensors combined with digital workflow management and prescriptive actions supports healthcare organizations’ efforts to remain compliant and protect vaccines and other critical inventory items.

Not only does access to additional data insights contribute to improved patient care, but guided actions generated from the data empower healthcare employees to focus on the work that matters most. Endless reports and dashboard views fail to reduce the burden on healthcare workers. With IoT powered platforms, healthcare employees do not have to make their own interpretation of data, dashboards, or reports. Both training and task management are available on demand, and when a problem arises, prescriptive actions are generated in real-time to guide employees on what to do next.

Continuous Operational Improvement with Data-Supported Insights

Improving operational efficiencies contributes substantially to better health outcomes for those in need of the monkeypox vaccine. The ability to access care sooner rather than later is crucial. Equipping medical staff with timesaving technology allows them to spend more time attending to the needs of patients.

With the actionable insights and guidance generated from telemetry data, healthcare professionals are more equipped to enhance their operational efficiency. Redundant manual tasks can be eliminated, and costly equipment failures can be prevented.

During the COVID-19 crisis, the healthcare industry learned the importance of IoT-enabled preservation of critical vaccines to maximize efficacy and improve operational efficiency. Those lessons should be applied to the monkeypox vaccine rollout to ensure the general public receives the protection it needs. With the short supply of monkeypox vaccines, it is essential to ensure every dose is effectively preserved and administered.