Blackfrog Technologies  Fight Covid-19 Being In The Forefront

Blackfrog Technologies Fight Covid-19 Being In The Forefront

50 per cent of the vaccines get wasted globally per year during distribution, especially during last-mile delivery, according to the World Health Organization. The primary reason behind this is due to poor control over temperature these temperature sensitive vaccines undergo thermal degradation. Vaccines including Covid-19 vaccines to hold on to their efficacy and potency, it will need powerful cold chain equipment, especially in the last mile where it has to go along in a complex journey. To bridge the gap and make sure that the vaccines are not wasted especially in the last-mile delivery, a Manipal based startup – Blackfrog Technologies is taking vigorous actions. 

This startup is talking with the government authorities about the distribution of its solutions. They are referring to Emvolio, a portable carrier where the temperature can be regulated to ensure safe last-mile transportation of vaccines. This can be used for other biological products as well, for example, blood serum, specimens, and also medicines. 

This Emvolio is already being used in four states of India – Manipur, Bihar, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu to make sure that the vaccines, both regular and covid-19, do not get wasted in the last-mile delivery.

Safe Last-mile Delivery Vaccines By Blackfrog Technologies

Both the covid-19 vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin are freeze sensitive and are needed to be stored in cool places that have a temperature of 2 to 8 degrees celsius and Emvolio that has been designed according to WHO PQS E003 specifications that allow pre-set temperature for over 12 hours. 

Last month, Blackfrog Technologies  that is supported by BIRAC and Tata Trust in partnership with SELCO Foundation and SVYM Hospital provided aid to make sure that over 1580 vaccines reached the end consumers without any thermal degradation.

In the same month, the startup that has been backed by the C-CAMP in an act that has been promoted by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Indian Government has received support from the CSR for the production and distribution of 100 Emvolio units that will deliver the vaccines in the states of Assam and Manipur. 

“These 100 units will be deployed in the month of June, and the Blackfrog team, in collaboration with C-CAMP Bangalore, is working relentlessly to ensure these devices reach the far-flung areas of Assam and Manipur,” Blackfrog CEO and Co-founder Mayur Shetty said.

The team that is led by two other co-founders – Donson D’Souza and Ashlesh Bhat is also engaged on an additional 50 units for the states of Bengaluru and Tamil Nadu.

“Beyond that, any large-scale procurement would certainly be through the government of India itself, and we are in talks with officials for this. COVID-19 vaccination is going to go on for a while; it's not something we will overcome this year or next, so immunization will go on. But our product and solution have been developed with the support of the government and with taxpayer's money, so it’s not just about COVID-19, but about the entirety of the immunization schedule and ensuring that India’s overall immunization programme is strengthened with our solution,” Mayur adds.

The Economic Burden Of Vaccine Wastage

Emvolio was formulated by a four year old start-up Blackfrog Technologies to ensure the improved capability of the supply of immunization and also make sure a strong, non breakable cold chain system. 

The company got support from “Department of Biotechnology” (BIRAC), Qualcomm, and impacted investors for instance “Social Alpha and Venture Centre”. They developed this portable device after thorough research and repeated tests for more than three years.

“We’ve designed it as per the design specifications laid out by the WHO. So it’s easy to use and operates under varied geographic conditions. India is great that way to test any new product because we have everything from deserts to mountains to the coastal regions, so we’ve tested it in almost all geographies. So it is definitely adaptable in multiple setups and with the potential to create global impact,” Mayur further said.

They further explain the advantages of their product by saying that this product will be of great use in hot regions like Africa and South Asia and also in cold regions like East Europe where freezing is an issue. But now the main priority for Blackfrog Technologies  is to decrease the economic burden of vaccine wastage in the last-mile delivery.

Mays says, "a small part of the solution in helping humankind get out of this pandemic slightly faster than we otherwise would have". He further adds, “There is plenty of evidence on how many vaccines are going to go to waste and the kind of economic burden that the government of India and the rest of the world are going to face because of poor temperature control with ice boxes. So when you look at the bigger picture here, we definitely have the numbers in place to ensure government officials and purchasing authorities understand why larger investment and concerted efforts in this particular area has to be made."

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Niccolo Romano

Niccolo Romano is an Italian writer who holds expertise in business, and startup related articles. He has a love for business news and is best in his niche.

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