Small SMILE worn by healthworkers  Madagascar 201912-1613472606632
The Smile portable carrier being carried by vaccine distributors in Madagascar. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: A portable carrier that can provide last mile solution for vaccine distribution in developing countries is being developed and promoted at Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park), in collaboration with a UK-based start-up company.

Ideabatic, a UK-based start-up, has developed an award-winning solution called Smile, a smart last mile portable carrier with a cooling system that can reduce vaccine wastage, including COVID-19 vaccines, SRTI Park has announced.

According to SRTI Park, “Smile tackles vaccination logistics in remote areas (with and without infrastructure, i.e. developed and developing countries) along with serving some of those who cannot travel to vaccination points. Smile can provide an efficient and effective means of transporting vaccines in vehicles, on foot, bicycles, donkeys or canoes.”

Fail-safe carrier

Kitty C. Liao, founder and CEO of Ideabatic, explained: “Smile portable carrier is freeze-free and fail-safe. It can reduce wastage to below 5 per cent. It maintains vaccines and bio-samples at a stable temperature for 3 to 6 days even when in use. This is achieved by using a bespoke ice pack and patented air-locking system. This means that we do not need electricity or external power when in use and Smille can keep these products cool for much longer. The all-in-one travel jacket improves vaccination efficiency and minimises vaccine breakage over tough terrains,” she added.

“Whereas, the problem is vaccine damage due to heat exposure in transit; the solution is a low-cost, portable carrier that can provide constant, cool storage for vaccines,” continued Liao, who is an applied physicist and enterprise fellow at UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering.

Humanitarian impact

Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park, said: “Ideabatic’s last mile solution in vaccine supply chain management and transportation will have a strong humanitarian impact, especially in remote places, where vaccine distribution is a huge challenge.”

SRTI Park and Ideabatic are also collaborating on thermal modelling, engineering analysis, prototyping, manufacturing and algorithms to predict performance and monitor vaccination delivery systems.