Raise your hand if you have an Ember mug and swear by it to keep your coffee or morning drinks at your desired temperature.
Did you know the same company is behind an innovative cold chain solution in healthcare, the Ember Cube?
What Exactly Is the Cold Chain?
Before we dive into how the Ember Cube is transforming the pharmaceutical cold chain, you might ask, what exactly is the cold chain?
In simple words, it is a low temperature-controlled supply chain. For most of us, our first introduction to the cold chain was from learning about how the vaccine distribution process works. The challenge is, if a vaccine gets too hot or too cold, the active ingredients can become less effective.
The pharmaceutical cold chain is a global network of freezers, refrigerators, cold shipping boxes and cold storage pallets that keep vaccines and medicines at just the right temperature during each step of the distribution journey – from the manufacturing line all the way to the patients.
Credit: World Economic Forum
How Is the Ember Cube Transforming the Cold Chain?
The Ember Cube is the world’s first self-refrigerated, cloud-based shipping box. It’s designed with sustainability at the core, particularly when it comes to reducing shipping waste created by temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals. The Ember Cube replaces the current industry standard of single-use shipping materials such as Styrofoam, ice packs and cardboard.
By leveraging advanced technologies such as cellular radio, GPS and the cloud, the Ember Cube provides real-time location, temperature and humidity tracking. The shipping box features an E Ink digital paper display, keeping shippers informed with up-to-date temperature and delivery and pickup information.
The Ember Cube travel journey goes like this: The shipping label is generated in the cloud and displayed via the E Ink screen. Once the Cube has been delivered, and the medicine received, a simple press of the return-to-sender button generates a return shipping label on the screen and automatically notifies the carrier for pickup. Upon return, the Cubes are placed back in the warehouse, stacked, charged, and ready to be used for the next shipment.
To address the evolving needs in healthcare and to keep our communities safe, technologies must keep up to ensure efficiency and continuous improvement of healthcare services. Innovative solutions such as the Ember Cube support a more sustainable, efficient future of care.