How eVIN works and what eVIN does
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eVIN, or electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network, is a smartphone-based application, which enables visibility and storage of real-time data on vaccines stocks and storage temperatures through the entire vaccine supply chain. It works as an electronic Logistic Management Information System (eLMIS), facilitating the collection and analysis of data to build efficiency in the vaccine supply chain to the health centre level.
eVIN works well even in a low resource environment with 2G internet for the smartphones, SIM-enabled temperature data loggers and computers for visibility of collected data and analytics as the primary requirements. Data collected at peripheral level through the eVIN application is sent to a cloud-based server and visible on a web dashboard on computers at any level of the supply chain for informed decision-making. Information recorded in offline mode at times of unavailability of network gets uploaded and saved through automatic data synchronization on cloud network when internet is available again. eVIN supports remote temperature monitoring of vaccine storage. The temperature loggers installed on all vaccine storing refrigerators activate alarms and send messages to relevant authorities if the temperature in the fridge goes beyond the set temperature limits. In the eVIN approach, the vaccine logistics management, temperature monitoring and cold chain management are integrated into one system.
In addition to the technological aspects related to the functioning of eVIN, two other axes are fundamental for the implementation of this eLMIS: the processes and the people. EVIN is indeed not solely a technological solution; its transformative use in the vaccine supply chain is closely linked to coordinated interventions on strengthening the human resources and governance.
What eVIN does?
* MoHFW = Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
The three axes of eVIN implementation: technology, governance and human resources.
eVIN, or electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network, is an integrated solution, which combines three components to strengthen the vaccine supply chain to support the immunization programme: technology, governance and human resources. The success of eVIN pilots and roll-outs could be appositely accredited to the approach of giving equal importance to these three verticals.
This facilitates evidence-based decisions for the management of the immunization supply chain, such as optimization of vaccine distribution plans to prevent stock-outs and wastage throughout the supply chain. The technology requires access to most widely available basic 2G network to function as well as investments in smartphones, temperature logger devices, and computers to record, monitor and use the eVIN-produced data.
The streamlining of processes allows for making the best use of the eVIN-generated data that helps to identify gaps and understand consumption patterns. eVIN catalyses data-driven action for vaccine supply management, promotes infrastructure upgrades, encourages the development and implementation of standard operating procedures at all levels of the health system.
Training is required to enable cold chain managers to use the technology at the regional, district and block and village levels until the last storage point, based on the tasks to be performed at each level. Formal training and on-the-job training are required to enable the use of this technology and to further integrate it in good storage practices and standard operating procedures.
Training curricula are tailored to the functions and responsibilities of the vaccine handlers at each level of the vaccine supply chain. Cold chain managers at health centre level, often nurses in charge of immunization, are trained to use eVIN to record data on vaccines stocks, consumption, temperature, which through a cloud-based server, will be available to at cold chain managers and health officials.
Cold chain managers at district level use data to provide constant support to immunization and medical officers to estimate vaccine requirements and distribution, supervise vaccine handlers and coordinate intervention of cold chain technicians to maintain and repair cold chain equipment. Health officials at the regional and central levels use this information to plan and optimize distribution, to review national strategies to strengthen vaccine supply chain and to collect data on vaccines consumption and stocks for estimating vaccines requirement for procurement. eVIN creates a strong human resource network, connecting health officials and health workers across the immunization programme and encouraging increased accountability and positive behavioural change.