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Koldchain

patient_child_vaccination_koldchain

Koldchain is the world's lowest-cost, patent-pending, GAVI-endorsed, solution based on thermosensitive polymers that leave distinct patterns upon exposure to temperature shifts. These patterns are interpreted by our smartphone algorithm to detect whether temperature fluctuations have damaged vaccines or other sensitive maternal health biotech products, and thus prevent infant & maternal mortality. The same tech applies to dairy, meat, and many other products where temperature affects quality.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

Sensitive biomedical products like vaccines, blood and uterotonics, need to be kept within a temperature band of 2 to 8 degrees or they lose their potency and stop being the most vital public health items that they are. In many parts of the world, cold chains are poorly managed due to weak controls. The vaccines and biomedicals given to infants and pregnant women are thus of low quality, leading to millions of deaths from preventable diseases. A similar problem occurs in all food cold chains.

Koldchain is the world's lowest-cost, patent-pending, GAVI-endorsed, solution based on thermosensitive polymers that leave distinct patterns upon exposure to temperature shifts. These patterns are interpreted by our smartphone algorithm to detect whether temperature fluctuations have damaged vaccines or other sensitive maternal health biotech products, and thus prevent infant & maternal mortality. The same tech applies to dairy, meat, and many other products where temperature affects quality.

We have projected that if Koldchain reaches 2% of its potential scale in 3 years, it will save 100,000 infants and 30,000 pregnant women every year. Based on the $1:$16 return on investment ratio for vaccines, its reduction of wastage shall amount to $30 million in savings annually. If the concept is successfully extended to dairy, meat and other cold chains, the commercial value created at 1% penetration shall exceed $200 million, of which Koldchain can capture 2.5% ($5 million)

The initial target customer base is composed of 36 uterotonics and vaccine manufacturers such as GSK, Sanofi, Merck etc., to be reached through major global biomed purchasers like UNICEF. The product value base is: $2.5 billion. We have already secured GAVI endorsement through their InFUSE Pacesetters program. GAVI is the world's leading vaccines agency. The next stage of engagement is an updated tech platform incorporating GAVI's feedback.

Koldchain's patent-pending polymer-based tech is 10% of the cost of the next cheapest item-level tracking solution. It uniquely aggregates all the data generated when the validation occurs at the point of care in realtime, generating risk stats. We are developing proposals for PATH and social enterprise organisations that provide special vials for vaccines and other biomeds to smooth the process of incorporating the Koldchain cypher into the biomed packaging.

Innovation Description

What Makes Your Project Innovative?

Koldchain's patent-pending polymer-based tech is 10% of the cost of the next cheapest item-level tracking solution. It uniquely aggregates all the data generated when the validation occurs at the point of care in realtime, generating risk stats.

In comparison with static systems like VVM, Koldchain:
1. Can update its advisories in real Bme based on changing dynamics in the supply chain.
2. Is digital thus removing ambiguity and reading errors.
3. Relies on the thermocypher, a cryptographically enhanced, machine- assisted, module, which is theoreBcally ‘ungameable’ at scale.
4. Interpretation is done through a dynamic algorithm, impossible to mimic or predict.

Essentially, Koldchain’s thermo-sensititive labels can be applied to any product in a cold supply chain to provide real-time monitoring and analytics to address the issues of counterfeiting, diversion and temperature inconsistencies for products that need to be kept at certain tempertaures in order to stay safe for use.

What is the current status of your innovation?

The Koldchain application is fully developed and has undergone successful pilots. It went through complete development cycles at the Harvard Innovation Labs (https://innovationlabs.harvard.edu/current-team/koldchain/) and the Masschallenge Accelerators (https://masschallenge.org/announcement/masschallenge-boston-names-top-20-startups-in-2019-cohort). It is now being set out for further, wider, rollouts in countries such as Ghana (West Africa operations hub) and Kenya (East Africa operations hub) pending some regulatory approvals.

Innovation Development

Collaborations & Partnerships

They include GAVI Alliance, through their INFUSE programme. GAVI brings to the table a rich ecosystem facilitating access to technical, implementation and financial support. Gone through complete development cycles at the Harvard Innovation Labs and the Masschallenge Accelerators. Country-level government implementation partnerships with KEPI (Kenya) and through the Ghana Medical Association (Ghana). Technical and implementation support from the Aspen Institute's Braddock programme.

Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

Initial target customer base is composed of 36 uterotonics and vaccine manufacturers such as GSK, Sanofi, Merck etc., to be reached through major global biomed purchasers like UNICEF. State partnerships with KEPI (Kenya) and through the Ghana Medical Association (Ghana), in both cases Koldchain providing the technology infrastructure to secure critical cold chain products.
Private and public health administrators and citizens also use the solution validate vaccines and other cold chain products

Innovation Reflections

Results, Outcomes & Impacts

We have already secured GAVI endorsement through their InFUSE Pacesetters program. GAVI is the world's leading vaccines agency. If Koldchain reaches 2% of its potential scale in 3 years, it will save 100,000 infants and 30,000 pregnant women every year. Based on the $1:$16 return on investment ratio for vaccines, its reduction of wastage shall amount to $30 million in savings annually. If the concept is successfully extended to dairy, meat and other cold chains, the commercial value created at 1% penetration shall exceed $200 million, of which Koldchain can capture 2.5% ($5 million).

Challenges and Failures

Encountered challenges included breaking into the procurement systems of developing countries where our innovation can make the most impact quickest. Vaccines are highly impacted by intergovernmental and public sector procurement systems, and to make headway we require a strategic allies with influence in that regard. However, once we have successfully navigated the channels of entry, normal commercial levers such as pricing, industrial fit and technical readiness become the dominant determinants of success, which is precisely the basis of our confidence in entering this fairly regulated space. In fact, we have a very profound affinity for regulated industries in view of our highly evolved multi-stakeholder model, which has seen us partner with multiple regulators over the years.

Conditions for Success

Successful navigation of the channels of entry, normal commercial levers such as pricing, industrial fit and technical readiness. Other conditions include a relentless commitment to innovation. Having a very profound affinity for regulated industries in view of our highly evolved multi-stakeholder model, which has seen us partner with multiple regulators over the years, we are confident in our successes.

Replication

Koldchain implements a world-first approach at holistically solving the deficiencies of cold supply chains by simultaneously addressing temperature fluctuations and its subsequent product quality tampering, addressing supply-chain bottlenecks such as theft and diversion while integrating consumer-side offering such as patient record management and child vaccination scheduling.

With regards to others in the space working around some or one cold chain deficiency, our primary competitors are manufacturers of electronic temperature monitoring tools like thermostats, special thermo-RFID tags, and TTI thermologs. Some companies are also promoting special coldchain boxes with electronic notification alarms.

Lessons Learned

Lessons learnt from this exciting Koldchain journey resolves around a commitment to innovation and product excellence, exploration to align with key partners sharing a common vision. Also, the capability to identify insights into markets and continues innovation to adapt and expand offering and scale.

Year: 2017
Level of Government: National/Federal government

Status:

  • Implementation - making the innovation happen

Innovation provided by:

Media:

Date Published:

2 November 2021

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