Months of diligent dedication, research, and hard work have paid off as the vaccine for coronavirus has almost reached its final stage of trial and is on the verge of being rolled out. As we march closer to the distribution phase, facts about the quality, delivery, and accessibility are constantly mulled over. As per the guidelines, the COVID 19 vaccines are recommended to be stored at an extremely low-freezing temperature to preserve their stability, effectiveness, and safety. The winner of Qualcomm Design in India Challenge 2019, Blackfrog Technologies- a healthcare technology company and consultancy firm,has stepped forward to address the cold chain supply challenges the country is facing at the moment. Their novel innovation Emvólio is a next-generation portable active cooling (battery-powered) device, specifically designed to support the last-mile transport of vaccines. This vaccine carrier can shield the temperature-reliant vaccine and other biologicals up to 12 hours, while strictly maintaining temperature between 2°C and 8°C.

These mRNA based vaccines are delicate and insubstantial and entail cold storage to prevent their properties from breaking down. This stipulated condition has triggered off the need for a robust and established cold chain infrastructure that can store an antidote at -70 degree Celsius and experts who can help safely keep these frangible nostrums. Conforming to such discrete criteria with a cold chain logistic system that is still in the process of upgrading itself is only towering the difficulties of vaccine distribution to a massive population of over 1.3 billion people. Although the Indian government, private sector, and the startups are putting all efforts to sketch out provisions that will strengthen the functionality of the supply chain as well as the cold supply chain.

“We have designed this portable medical-grade refrigerator based on the WHO PQS E003 specifications (Pending Certifications) and standards with dual-layered stainless steel 304 that prevents corrosion and facilitates effortless sterilization. To make sure that the apparatus delivers a better and faster temperature stabilization we have patented with rapid-cooling technology, its advanced algorithms prevent freeze-thawing cycles and thus preserve the specimen for a longer period without hampering its efficacies. Emvólio assures Cold-life- up to 12 hours (up to 20 hours in moderate conditions), has the capacity of 2 litres and accommodates 30-50 vials of vaccine, is accountable for temperature maintenance, leak resistant, allows online monitoring & report generation to inform value chain decisions, can be repurposed for transport of blood, serums, antivenoms, and so forth,” avers Mayur U. Shetty, CEO, Blackfrog Technologies.

This contemporary refrigerator enables geo-tagging & mapping vaccine delivery routes, and assists the decision-makers and distributors to plan their vaccination drive to the pandemic impacted zones. “We intend to positively abide by the objective of WHO which is to fortify immunization services across the globe, making sure that every child in India and the neighbouring countries receive appropriate and efficacious vaccination,” says Ashlesh Bhat, CTO, Blackfrog Technologies.

Headquartered in Manipal-Karnataka,the foundation of Blackfrog Technologies was laid by three alpha-geeks Mayur U. Shetty, Donson D Souza, and Ashlesh Bhat who shared the vision of forging technologies to resolve real-world and social challenges. “Our team has so far developed eco-friendly larvicidal cakes that nipped the mosquito menace at the bud and worked on improving women’s security and design of small medical instruments. These out-of-the-box innovations have earned us impressive traction in the market, creating a niche for itself in the ecosystem. We have won several awards including Qualcomm Design in India Challenge (QDIC-2020), Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) Startupreneur awards 2020, AMADHAN- COVID-19: Ministry of Human Resources Development, Govt. of India- 2020, and others,” states Donson D Souza, COO & Head of Operations, Blackfrog Technologies.

Blackfrog Technologies’ creation Emvólio supports the last-mile delivery of the vaccine, breast milk, blood serums and plasmas, medications, and other delicate specimens even in adverse situations such as high temperature during transportation, disruption in power supply, compliance issues, and others.