warehouse (Don Pablo/Shutterstock.com)

2018 Government Innovation Awards

Using sensors to understand temperature’s effect on the supply chain

Medicine can be temperamental when it comes to temperature. “It’s important to remember that these products can be less effective if they’re not kept in the right conditions,” said Scott Dubin, team lead for warehousing and distribution at Chemonics International.

Ambient Temperature Monitoring in the Global Health Supply Chain

U.S. Agency for International Development

Government Innovation Awards icon

Click here for all the 2018 Public Sector Innovation winners

The U.S. Agency for International Development is working with Dubin and his team to create a sensor network that can monitor the temperature of medicine at various points of the supply chain, from the truck to the warehouse.

The team has deployed cloud-connected sensors on the exterior and interior of warehouses in Mozambique and is working on doing the same in other countries. The sensors will provide insight into how long it takes the outside temperature to affect the indoor environment, which will lead to recommendations for reducing so-called temperature excursions. Solutions could include upgrades to warehouses or packaging.

The sensors are connected to the cloud via a SIM card or gateway. In addition, sensor-outfitted trucks will have GPS units so that their locations can be tracked along with temperatures.

In the past, an on-site person typically collected such data as infrequently as once a day. “We wanted to remove the human interaction and have something that’s constantly running and easy to maintain,” Dubin said.

About the Author

Connect with the GCN staff on Twitter @GCNtech.


  • business meeting (Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com)

    Civic tech volunteers help states with legacy systems

    As COVID-19 exposed vulnerabilities in state and local government IT systems, the newly formed U.S. Digital Response stepped in to help. Its successes offer insight into existing barriers and the future of the civic tech movement.

  • data analytics (Shutterstock.com)

    More visible data helps drive DOD decision-making

    CDOs in the Defense Department are opening up their data to take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools that help surface insights and improve decision-making.

Stay Connected