Recent developments in refrigerator technology offer healthcare workers the ability to store vaccines in portable active (powered) refrigeration devices, rather than in traditional passive vaccine carriers. It’s an intriguing idea that offers the potential to both increase the length of time that vaccines can be transported as well as improve the thermostability of vaccines during transport.
But introducing new technology and working practices to well-established systems can have drawbacks as well as opportunities. For example, reduced storage capacity and/or bulkier devices for the users to carry, increased purchase and maintenance costs, etc. But on the other side it is often the case that the opportunities outweigh the drawbacks, especially if the drawback can be mitigated.
Considering both the advantages and risks, I wonder how useful this emerging technology could be to immunization programs looking to optimise the delivery of their immunization services, in both campaign/outreach and routine contexts. I would be very interested to hear the views of TechNet members are on this… is it an exciting opportunity or an unnecessary complication of limited benefit?