Following two proof-of-concept projects conducted in partnership with CERN in Geneva, Denominator won a two-year Grand Challenge Explorations award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to investigate, evaluate and disseminate evidence that demonstrates the utility of blockchain in a real-world vaccine supply chain setting.
Denominator believes that the vaccine supply chain is an optimal test environment for blockchain in development. Immunization supply chains in many developing countries share common checkpoints despite procurement from multiple manufacturers, with most vaccines being routed through UNICEF-managed central stores on their way to regional and local warehouses.
This trait mitigates the risk of a successful blockchain implementation in one vaccine product line or country failing in another, compared to, for example, drug supply chains where product flows are more fragmented. This also allows for rapid polling of blockchain data across multiple regions to quickly and accurately map the movement of product along the entire supply chain.
Besides information such as vaccine type, manufacture date and destination, additional data can be securely added to the blockchain from devices such as next-generation vaccine vial monitors and cold chain equipment, to help visualize exactly when and where a temperature excursion or other adverse event may have happened.
Our hypothesis is that blockchain-based supply chain logistics platforms will result in significant improvements for each of the following actors: manufacturers, managers, logisticians, healthcare workers, government officials, and international organizations.
The downstream outcome of these improvements should be a quantifiable reduction in vaccine product wastage, leading to improved procurement against demand, sustained high levels of consumer trust of vaccines, more children fully vaccinated with viable product, and consequently, greater aversion of vaccine-preventable child morbidity and mortality.