The unseen fight for vaccine safety

Learn How NTT DATA Supports the Cold Chain for COVID-19 Vaccines.

For more than a year, the clock has been ticking. First, the imperative was on governments and citizens everywhere to act on the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, the race was on to develop a vaccine for the virus. Now, it’s imperative that partners in vaccine transport don’t drop the ball. This is where NTT DATA steps in.

NTT DATA is an innovator in data technologies and trusted by companies around the world. NTT DATA’s life sciences unit is heavily involved in supporting those at the vanguard of battling COVID-19. Companies tasked with delivering the vaccine quickly and safely have turned to NTT DATA for the technology and a solution that can help to track and monitor the vaccine in transit.

The COVID-19 vaccine is demanding. It requires a -60 to -70°C temperature range and can only withstand limited vibrations. But the importance of COVID-19 vaccine transport is at odds with the delivery standard for many vaccine distributors, which relies on reactive dataloggers that are read after delivery. Verifying that vaccines are transported safely and following up with proper protocol when the vaccines spoil in transit, is cumbersome, error prone, and time-consuming. But NTT DATA’s solution takes a more proactive – and less manual – approach.

RPA keeps vaccine distributors ahead of the unexpected

NTT DATA’s solution employs IoT sensors to track both the location and temperature of a vaccine batch and monitor the batch’s live status in the moment. When the temperature begins to move outside of the safety zone, a set of bots powered by robotic process automation (RPA) inform the driver that the batch is about to spoil and indicates the location of the nearest cold store. At the same time, the bots inform the transporting company and the customer and update them on any potential delays.

Despite these measures, vaccine spoilage sometimes can’t be stopped. In this case, another set of bots take the batch out of the cold chain through the blockchain, ensuring that the spoiled vaccines never reach a patient. The bots can even be programmed to automatically create a replacement order, and they will by default create a returns order to send the spoiled goods back to the supplier. Finally, the bots generate the necessary insurance documents and provide them to the customers’ insurance company.

Throughout all the delivery processes, RPA bots enable the customer to save time, money, and lives.

Time saving

Employees do not have to spend their time on tedious manual activities related to temperature breaches in the cold chain during distribution.

Cost saving

Fewer batches will spoil because proactive triggers let transportation companies know when a batch is exposed to unsafe conditions. This empowers those companies to bring the batch shipment to safety in the nearest cold store. On top of that, RPA minimizes the cost associated with manual activities.


When more batches are saved before they spoil, more people can receive the vaccine. The solution also stops spoiled batches from ever reaching vaccination locations. When batches do spoil, the automatic triggering of a replacement shipment keeps things on track and minimizes delays.

Prepare your business for the next disruption

It’s more important than ever for life sciences companies to use technology to increase their efficiency and resilience. RPA and other automation technologies will support the life sciences industry as companies strive to minimize human error and empower employees to focus on value-creating activities rather than tedious manual tasks. NTT DATA’s solution has significant value for virtually any company in the industry.

For example, NTT DATA’s cold store RPA solution enables you to set custom parameters for monitoring your deliveries beyond temperature or vibration. The company believes fully in the power of the IoT in revolutionizing life sciences and is dedicated to what it calls “Pharma 4.0,” a world where pharmaceutical supply chains are enhanced by IoT technologies. For NTT DATA, Pharma 4.0 is life science’s answer to Industry 4.0, the ongoing digital revolution in manufacturing and other industrial sectors.

NTT Hybrid Infrastructure makes it possible

NTT’s managed hybrid infrastructure services offer comprehensive management and monitoring of on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructure. Its highly trained, vendor-accredited experts, processes, and tools manage the day-to-day operations of customers’ multiplatform and multisite IT infrastructure. This helps ensure the resilience and performance of your IT infrastructure, so you can focus on delivering organizational outcomes.

NTT recently announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft Azure, and will consolidate its cloud platforms onto Azure. Azure will host its cloud solutions on the company’s data centers and run on NTT networks. Customers can continue their digital transformation confidently knowing that their data transactions will be secure and low latency.

People are dedicated to lifesaving work, and NTT strives to provide the technology to match that drive. SAP and NTT recently partnered to enable global supply chain sustainability. To learn more about this partnership, and to find out about NTT DATA’s cold chain solution for vaccine distribution, attend the upcoming session at the SAPPHIRE NOW conference: NTT Partner Showcase