How a pharmaceutical supply chain company is taking advantage of the Internet of Things

In 2014, during a routine check from the Ministry of Health in the U.S., it was found that only 55 percent of vaccines were stored and transported in the temperature conditions that ensured the medication maintained its quality. To put that into perspective, every baby born receives vaccines to prevent diseases such as small pox and measles. If only 55 percent of those vaccinations maintain safety requirements, that creates a situation where a majority of babies don’t get the quality dosage and medication they need to protect them from diseases.

To overcome this challenge, organizations are turning to technology. More specifically, the Internet of Things (IoT) is making it possible to ensure the safer transportation and delivery of medications. Dutch pharmaceutical services company, AntTail, is paving the way for building innovative IoT applications that more effectively track the conditions of medications while in transit.

The team at AntTail built an IoT application using the Mendix low-code application development platform. The application collects sensor data from medication shipments to provide information on temperature, as well as send push notifications to patients with reminders on when to take the medication.

One of the barriers for creating IoT apps is the requirement of many disparate technologies. AntTail uses a central router as a hub for all of the sensors, collecting the data when there is a connection and storing the data when there is no connection to ensure that no data is lost. The Router uses Vodafone’s Managed IoT Connectivity Platform as a way to connect to AWS, and has a Java service running that puts the data into Hadoop.

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Socialbakers bakes its data analytics down to a Social Health Index

Can social media analytics be compressed into an elevator pitch?

That was a question Lenovo asked its social analytics firm, Socialbakers. The result, launching today, is a Social Health Index that presents a few top-level indicators of a brand’s standing in social media vis-a-vis any competitors.

“When you’re with a VP, you have to [quickly] give them a very clear idea of where we stand,” Lenovo’s director of the Digital and Social Center of Excellence Rod Strother told us. Given that need, Lenovo then provided input to Socialbakers for developing the Index.

It offers a single top-level number on a 100-point scale, as well as single numbers representing the client’s — or a competitor’s — social health on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. Other platforms will be added at some point, the social analytics firm said.

Additionally, an area graph visually depicts the four groups of data that go into the scores — participation, follower/fan/subscriber acquisition and retention, and shareability.

“We find it’s difficult for clients to comprehend all” the statistics in ordinary social analytics reports, Socialbakers’ CEO and co-founder Jan Rezab told VentureBeat.

“It’s very, very complicated,” he said, noting that his firm tracks over 180 metrics for social media.

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7 Reasons to Merge Revenue Cycle and Supply Chain Management

Using technology to merge supply chain management and revenue cycle departments may help advance cost-to-charge transparency and increase accuracy in terms of managing reimbursement costs. “In most provider organizations[,] supply chain management (SCM) and revenue cycle operations function in silos, occasionally responding to anecdotal evidence to make improvements in the processes linking the two areas,” confirms HSRC-ASU. “Hospitals and health care systems that become proficient in managing the revenue environment achieve strategic advantage by reaching their financial goals and assuring a stream of revenues to support their clinical efforts,” the researchers explain.

According to HealthITAnalytics, supply chain management should be considered as a marathon endeavor, not a short-lived sprint. Successful supply chain involves connecting costs with analytics to enact substantial long term change. Additionally, hospital executives claim non-EHR health IT acquisitions strengthen the supply chain, states HealthITAnalytics.

Consistency is an essential key to ensuring accurate coding and pricing efforts. “Linking the traditional aspects of supply chain management (e.g., strategic sourcing, logistics, and inventory management) to margin management decreases the probability of lost charges occurring,” the researchers state. “Prices should be strategically set to optimize maximum allowable reimbursement. Charge capture processes should be incorporated in pricing strategies in each of the targeted areas,” they add.

HSRC-ACU confirms seven reasons to combine revenue cycle management and supply chain management:

  1. Increased and more accurate reimbursements
  2. Strengthened contract negotiations and enhanced contract compliance
  3. Improved transparency
  4. Streamlined cross-check utilization of supplies and ease of monitoring supply revenue
  5. Capturing cost-to-charge data visibility will be smoother
  6. Billing will be more accurate
  7. Labor will be wisely utilized and not wasted

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