FoneAstra: Enabling remote monitoring of vaccine cold-chains using commodity mobile phones

Rohit Chaudhri*, Eleanor O'Rourke, Shawn McGuire, Gaetano Borriello, Richard Anderson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present a low-cost, energy-efficient system to remotely monitor the temperature and location of vaccines in a country-wide "cold-chain". Our system is based on FoneAstra [11] - a low-cost, microcontroller-based, programmable device that extends capabilities of low-tier mobile phones that are commonly used in developing countries. In the system discussed in this paper, FoneAstra is enhanced with a digital temperature sensor and integrated with a vaccine cold-box used to store vaccines in a temperature controlled environment. FoneAstra continuously monitors the temperature of the cold-box, aggregating readings over a period of time. It uses the mobile phone to which it is coupled to send periodic SMS messages with routine temperature reports or immediate alerts if it detects abnormal temperature conditions. Additionally, it enables location-tracking of vaccines in transit, based on the mobile phone's cell tower-IDs. We present results from an ongoing lab-deployment done at PATH [18], our Seattle-based partner NGO for this project. Over the next few months, we will deploy this temperature and location monitoring system for vaccine cold-chains in several countries in which PATH operates. The client in this system, which includes a temperature sensor, FoneAstra and a mobile phone, costs $50; while the server, which includes a Netbook and a GSM modem, costs $500. We discuss how our system can scale up to enable large-scale monitoring while incurring low overhead costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 1st ACM Symposium on Computing for Development, DEV 2010
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Event1st ACM Symposium on Computing for Development, DEV 2010 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Dec 17 2010Dec 18 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 1st ACM Symposium on Computing for Development, DEV 2010

Other

Other1st ACM Symposium on Computing for Development, DEV 2010
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period12/17/1012/18/10

Keywords

  • Large-scale distributed sensing
  • Location tracking
  • Mobile systems
  • Remote monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications

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