Gates Foundation Sponsors Logistimo Technology for Vaccine Supply Chains
The Logistimo team is humbled and privileged to receive support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “Grand Challenge Explorations” program to advance new approaches to optimize immunization systems. It is a tremendous opportunity to apply mobile and cloud technology to improve vaccine supply chains in low-resource settings, with the aim of maximizing immunization coverage of babies & young children worldwide.
The two supported projects are:  “Bulletin Board For Broadcasting Vaccine Supply/Demand”, which is an experiment to test the self-organizaing nature of health systems under maximal information symmetry; and  “Robust Mobile Component for the Logistics Management Information System (mLMIS)”, which will measure the efficacy of cloud-based supply chain algorithms to quantitatively optimize stocking and replenishment decisions, and make opportunistic recommendations for users throughout the system.
The first proposal acknowledges that vaccine/medicine shortages are often a result of mismatched supply and demand, and inadequate distribution. The proposed solution is a “Bulletin Board” that digitally captures vaccine availability and needs from any and all locations using low-end mobile phones, and broadcasting this information to potential inventory managers, suppliers, physicians or nurses. By bringing real-time visibility into supply and demand, the system is expected to “self-organize” in a manner where stock is appropriately re-distributed. The system is novel in the sense that it empowers anyone subscribed to the system to be a supplier, consumer or distributor of vaccines and essential medicines. Further, it is flexible enough to be deployed in a public distribution systems or in the private sector (or a combination of both).
The second proposal recognizes that vaccine delivery system performance is today constrained by lack of real-time visibility of inventory and demands. Minimal connectivity with health workers and long information delays of traditional logistics management information systems (LMIS) limit the efficacy of immunization systems – culminating in waste and under-coverage. Coordinating agile and efficient logistics for massive and growing global immunization needs requires a novel approach. This proposal advances the concept of a robust & resilient mobile supply chain platform to turn practically any mobile phone on the planet into a bi-directional information portal – reliably extending visibility and optimized decision support into the last-mile, and enabling real-time data sharing between health workers and managers across all levels of the supply chain.
Meanwhile, the GCE Round 9 deadline is May 15th. There is still time to apply, so please inform your networks and colleagues now: http://tinyurl.com/immunizationsystems