RFID sensor-based tags track COVID-19 vaccine right in to your arm!

Lyngsoe Systems, headquartered in Denmark, has developed a solution to track every COVID-19 vaccine vial from receipt at a clinic to a patient's arm, using UHF RFID sensor-based tags to detect the temperature and liquid level of each vial being stored and then used to administer vaccines to patients, says a report in RFID Journal. 

Additionally, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) enables the real-time management of temperatures within a clinic's coolers and freezers. The solution is intended to automate data collection regarding the administration of vaccines, as well as to help users confirm the temperature of a given vaccine, along with its authenticity and expiration date, and whether it has been properly diluted prior to being administered to a patient.

Customers using this technology are typically governments and vaccine manufacturers, according to Lyngsoe. The firm developed the solution based on its existing cold supply chain tracking technology, which is used by the fresh food industry. 

The vaccine-management system includes RFID sensor labels developed and manufactured by  Omni-ID, with built-in temperature- and liquid-sensing functionality, using chips and sensing capabilities from  Axzon (formerly RFMicron). These sensor-based passive UHF RFID inlays are integrated into a drug company's printed vaccine labels.

Users need to acquire Lyngsoe’s Healthcare Mate workstation which comes with its own RFID reader and antenna arrays. Handheld RFID readers can be used to interrogate tags at smaller clinics. Data is captured and managed via the company’s software on an edge server or in the cloud. Finally, Lyngsoe provides BLE beacons that can be installed in coolers and freezers. 

"We believe this is something which has not been seen before," says Keld Ole Nielsen Refers, Lyngsoe's director of business development, “and we now have the capacity to manufacture both tags and reader stations in large numbers." The tags are capable of both long- and short-range reads. Bulk-quantity reads can capture all tags within a box at distances of up to 1.5 meters.

The inlay is equipped with a perma-locked vaccine vendor identifier, with a unique serial number encoded on it. This enables users to create a perma-locked digital signature so the inlay data can be captured, updated and locked in the software.  The software manages "first in, first out" (FIFO) data to ensure that vaccines closest to their expiration dates are used first. 

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Once a vial is fully administered, the software updates its status as empty, after which the reader disables the tag ID so the vial can never be reused. Users are instructed to discard it. This information is automatically stored and can be retrieved on a regional or national level.

Nielsen Refers says, the tags could also be used for a variety of vaccines and other drugs that must be administered in high volumes. "We feel that combining the ability to read the label with temperature plus fluid level is groundbreaking," he added. The company says the price for the RFID-enabled label and for all other components of the solution, would typically amount to 0.5 to 1 percent of the total vaccine's cost.

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