How AntTail Provides Transparency and Ensures the Quality of Medicines Through IoT


on June 13, 2017

Disruptive technologies, like IoT and Big Data,  are reshaping the world in which we live and work. Many organizations know the potential of these technologies, but simply do not have the time and resources to adapt these disruptive technologies. As a result, these organizations focus on maintaining their current operations rather than innovating their business.

What these organizations do not realize is that it does not require many resources to adapt these disruptive technologies with a rapid development platform. These platforms allow organizations to easily build apps and embrace disruptive technologies.

Read the following blog to learn how AntTail innovated their business through embracing Internet of Things in their app.

How AntTtail Provides Transparency and Ensures the Quality of Medicines Through IoT

AntTail anticipated the challenges in the pharmaceutical industry by adopting Internet of Things (IoT) in their products and services. They design, develop, and deliver products and services to monitor and track the origin and temperature of medicine throughout the so-called “cold chain”, a temperature-controlled supply chain. The temperature of medicine is key to meeting quality standards and regulations. This produces many challenges for the logistics and storage of medicine.

AntTail has a 98% success rate at tracking and notifying patients, ensuring the patient stores their medicine at proper temperatures

In the pharmaceutical cold chain, medicine is often exposed to freezing temperatures, which affects the quality and effectiveness of the medicines. Over 90% of temperature-sensitive medicine patients have in their possession is not stored at the right temperature in their fridge [1]. So, there are challenges regarding temperature control both on the logistics side as well as the patient’s side.

AntTail IoT app

AntTail’s IoT app helps identify the weak spots in the supply chain and reminds the patient to store their medicines at proper temperatures

With their IoT app, AntTail provides transparency in the pharmaceutical supply chain from manufacturer to patient. Pharmaceutical manufacturers, health providers, and logistic companies can continuously monitor the temperature with AntTail’s portal to assure product quality. Moreover, it gives them up to an incredible 55% greater probability to identify where in the supply chain the medicine was exposed to freezing temperatures, so they can directly address this weak link and inform the party responsible.

On the patient side, the sensor detects light, meaning that the patient has opened the box and is likely to have taken their medicine

On the patient side, AntTail has a 98% success rate at tracking and notifying patients, ensuring the patient stores their medicine at proper temperatures, ensuring the right quality. Moreover, the application reminds the patient to take their medicine at the prescribed intervals.

AntTail IoT app

The data from the medicine’s sensor is interpreted by the IoT app and provides users with actionable insights

AntTail developed an application that enables smarter operations through newly connected products. The sensors are placed on boxes, pallets, or packaging and connect to a central router located in a warehouse, truck, or at the patient’s home to collect data about the medicine. These IoT endpoints connect to IoT Software on AWS with Vodafone IoT, with the data being stored in Hadoop. AntTail’s IoT app is built on the Mendix platform, which retrieves data from AWS and adds context to the data. It interprets the data to provide users with multi-level actionable insights. Current Users are doctors, pharmacists and patients.

The IoT app provides context of the sensor and assigns roles to each sensor. As the app takes into account where a sensor is being used, it can determine its role and assign a trigger. When a sensor is exposed to a temperature outside the prescribed interval of that sensor, an alert is sent to the IoT app.

AntTail’s founder used Mendix as a way to easily translate his expertise in the pharmaceutical supply chain and his business idea into an IoT app

On the patient side, the sensor has another role, as it needs to measure both the temperature and keep track of the patient’s medicine interval. This is done by a temperature/light sensor. When the sensor detects light, it means the patient has opened the box and is likely to have taken their medicine. If the sensor does not detect light within the prescribed interval, the app sends a reminder to the patient. The temperature sensor is there to keep the medicine at the right temperatures, and will trigger a notification when the temperature changes, for example, if someone takes their medicine out of the refrigerator but forgets to put it back in.

AntTail IoT app

They used Mendix to translate their business expertise into an app

With the use of a low-code platform, AntTail’s founder developed the front-end IoT app with his team. He used Mendix as a way to easily translate his expertise in the pharmaceutical supply chain and his business idea into an IoT app. The back-office, to process all the samples from the sensors, was developed with Java. Now, AntTail can easily adapt to the needs of users by adding new modules to the app in Mendix, so they can continuously update and provide innovative services.

[1]: Scientific study done by B van der Bemt : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26672907