TagBox CEO on How Their Sensors Track Critical Supply Chains and Contact Tracing Efforts

This episode of The Vaccine Challenge is hosted by Priyanka Asera and features Adarsh Kumar, CEO of TagBox.

TagBox helps support track & trace for critical supply chains through the use of IoT sensing. The sensors they use have been developed in-house and are merely the size of a matchbox. They claim it offers a better substitute to the age-old data logging system by enabling real-time tracking and other crucial metrics.

Due to the pandemic, they've seen surprising use cases for these little guys -- such as contact tracing amongst individuals working in crowded or closed spaces. For this, and how they help aid vaccine distribution in the second largest populous country in the world -- listen on!

Topics touched upon:

What is TagBox and what do you help solve?

  • TagBox enables organizations to create smarter and more reliable supply chains. They do that with a unique product that combines IoT-based sensing, ML-based insights and AI-driven actions. They provide hardware, software and analytics.

  • Three weeks ago TagBox was featured in Singapore's 2021 budget speech by their Deputy PM for work related to COVID (more below)

  • Key industries they help is life sciences, healthcare, F&B, high tech and discrete manufacturing. They help solve for temperature compliance, product damage, SKU or batch traceability and operational efficiency.

Can you talk more about India's vaccination drives and efforts and what's the role that tech startups like yours play to aid vaccine distribution?

  • India has a robust vaccine program. The government has also created a tech backbone for vaccine distribution called "eVIN" - which stands for Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network. This is the tech infrastructure for monitoring the vaccine temperatures in the cold storage depots and warehouses that the government uses. It also manages the flow of the vaccine and stock. During COVID, the government also launched CoWin - an app for inoculation and beneficiary management

  • WHO reports that most temperature excursions happen in-transit and during handoffs. Having a complete view of the entire cold chain is where you get the complete picture and that's where tech start-ups add value with real-time monitoring throughout the value chain.

  • Typically - a manufacturer supplies the vaccines to the regional government medical store (GMSD). From there, it goes to a state store, and then to a district store, and eventually to a local hospital. Multiple handoffs happen. Usually, the time period could be 3-6 months for other vaccines. But in the case of COVID, the period is much shorter. In some cases, active cooling is used (eg. reefer trucks), in other cases passive cooling is used (eg. ice packs, gel packs etc). If temperature exposure happens, vaccines are susceptible to losing efficacy.

  • Traditionally used Vaccine Vial Monitors (VVM) - the strips that change colour upon excursion - are manual and don't always get logged as intended especially for such large scale work

What does the pharma industry do currently for tracking vaccines? And how are TagBox's sensors different?

  • Pharma has been traditionally using "data loggers". At each handoff, someone has to manually plug it into a computer USB, a PDF report would get generated which has all temperature & location history etc. This needs to be sent to their QA department who will confirm that everything is okay. TagBox is suggesting using sensors that give real time data throughout, and to all parties in the value chain

  • These sensors provide not just temperature excursion data in real time, but location data, shock data, light data and other metrics that can also help solve issues such as counterfeiting etc.

  • The leap is not conducting data integration from multiple sources, but instead making data acquisition itself so simple that everyone can partake in it and believe it

You helped the Singapore government with contact tracing when they reopened post the lockdown? What was that, and what other applications does this have?

  • TagBox converted the sensors in an ID card format where it helped with contact tracing efforts. For eg. if two factory workers come closer than what's acceptable, their sensors will start beeping. It also creates a contact trace history so that if there is a case of COVID in a factory, you don't have to rely on the memory of the person to know who they came in contact with

  • Applications for this can be in any closed spaces where contact tracing is beneficial. Eg. Warehouses or construction sites.

About Adarsh:

Adarsh is the Co-Founder and CEO of an exciting startup, TagBox. TagBox is helping organizations to make their supply chains more reliable by solving problems like quality & compliance, end to end traceability and operational efficiency. TagBox has a singular product that solves these problems using an integration of IoT based sensing, ML based predictive insights and AI based actions and recommendations. TagBox is now an industry recognized name with the likes of IMDA, Nasscomm, CII, TVS Motors, Qualcomm and SAP endorsing its solutions.

Adarsh is a global analytics leader, with over 15 years of experience in providing Advanced Analytics solutions in the areas of Supply Chain and Banking to Fortune 500 companies. Before starting TagBox, he was a part of the senior leadership team at Mu Sigma, managing a multi-million dollar portfolio for analytics service delivery. Adarsh is passionate about usage of Machine Learning and AI for solving real-life business problems.