Manual Recording vs Data logger’s vs Real-time monitoring

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Why temperature measurement is important at critical control points

Measuring environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity and pressure within a pre-set critical control range is fast becoming essential for pharmaceutical and healthcare companies in New Zealand. Growing public health consciousness means that nothing short of quality, reliable and safe medical products are considered acceptable by the regulatory authorities. In order to comply with the regulations, efficient and high-quality real-time monitoring equipment can help healthcare and pharmaceutical enterprises save thousands of dollars every year, which they would otherwise lose on unsellable products that have been contaminated by microorganisms.

Manual Recording

Pharmacists are well within their right to continue with the out-dated technique of manually recording the temperatures of their medical products on paper. This data collection method is ineffective and inefficient; paper records are a nightmare to keep track of; whilst simple measuring apparatus like a thermometer results in an extremely limited set of recorded conditions. Without smart alarm sensors that make real-time data visibility possible when temperature spikes take place, there will always be a risk to the quality of your products, risk of non-compliance, and a potentially hazardous situation for consumers if these products reach the market unchecked.

Data Loggers

Historically, traditional data loggers have been used in the pharmaceutical industry to log time-based environmental data. They have a processor, data-storage unit and sensing components that are built in. They often come with a range, but not all of these time-saving features: memory capacity, deployment flexibility, visual display, start and stop push buttons and battery life. Once you plug the data logger into a computer via a USB stick, you can set sensor alarms that are activated when the measured environmental conditions move out of the pre-set parameters. You will then have to go through the process of positioning it in the chosen location and reconnect it to the computer once the monitoring period is over. Inconveniently, you will have to find and launch compatible specific software on your computer to view and analyse the data. Moreover, these devices are purchased and not rented, and so become environmentally unsustainable as one-time use creates waste.

Real-time monitoring (the most time, cost-effective and environmentally friendly way)

Wireless data transfer technology is the best solution to monitoring environmental conditions like temperature in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. The most important reason for this is that it transfers collected data automatically and instantly in real time, 24/7. The data can then be transferred to a remote, cloud storage, and easily viewed by anyone with access to the software. 

Why real-time visibility is a competitive advantage

Simply, real-time data visibility reduces the risk of product recalls, increases product quality and enables pharmacies to make more accurate data-based decisions. Few data loggers monitor all the conditions that might be required – humidity, pressure, brightness, wind speed, time of use – and most incur the cost of human error as they have to be turned on and off manually.

Conventional data loggers have built-in sensors that record environmental conditions in time-based logging intervals. This means that managers will not be aware of any temperature changes between these intervals, and so final product quality might be different than what was expected (without knowing it). It then becomes impossible to solve problems like contamination before sufficient damage is done to the products, increasing the financial and environmental cost of wastage. Moreover, there is always the risk that false data might be collected from when the products were not placed in the temperature-storing unit. Inaccurate data will also distort data analytics and reduce your company’s chances of compliance and survival over time.

Real-time visibility is likely to build trust and reduce transaction costs between invested parties, as information becomes more readily transparent and reliable. Multiple users can access the recorded data through a cloud-based storage system in real-time, reducing asymmetric information between investors and company managers. That means no more emails to stakeholders, and no apparatus is required for data transfer or data analytics! Pharmaceutical products can be handed over to the buyers straight away without any risk.

A recent study taken by Accenture Global Operations showed that when companies use wireless real-time monitoring solutions, reaction time to supply-chain issues increased by 41%, whilst optimization of inventory and asset productivity grew by 33%. Continuously accessible data on cargo at all times allow supply chain managers to build stronger, more reliable supply-chains. It’s also possible for companies to measure their carbon footprint in transportation.

iMonitor’s real-time monitoring solution

If you are now crying out for a quality solution, you can install iMonitor’s Pharma Check platform in minutes and have access to temperature recordings, 24/7, on their online interface. This is a dream solution for pharmaceutical managers because it removes the need to manually check temperatures. Custom checklists can be created to help you manage the daily running of your pharmacy, and from here, you can oversee your whole business as the software shows you the most recent actions taken by other employees. These checklists combine industry requirements and allow you to set reminders at any time of the day to appear on your smart device.

These Smart alarms are built into the wireless temperature monitoring technology that sends you immediate updates of any spikes in conditions such as temperature via SMS or email, if the conditions move out of the pre-set parameters.

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