Gates Foundation Sponsors Logistimo Technology for Vaccine Supply Chains

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: [1] “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 [2] “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: