Leveraging innovation to transform systems for logistics management and improve health service delivery
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A critical success factor for a strong supply chain, and in turn, strong health care delivery, is the availability and effective use of accurate and timely data on health product inventory, distribution, use, and consumption, and on the performance of medical equipment. UNDP is supporting governments to harness the power of technology to digitize their national Logistic Management Information System (eLMIS) for vaccines, medicines, and other health products and capture this key logistics information in real time. It supported the Government of India to implement an eLMIS system, known as eVIN, that combines technology, effective governance, and strong human resources to enable transparent data sharing across the health system: a model now being adapted and scaled in other countries.
What is eVIN?
eVIN, or the electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network, is a smartphone-based application that enables visibility and storage of real-time data on vaccine stock levels, movements, and storage temperatures through the entire vaccine supply chain. First piloted in India in 2013 as an innovative eLMIS platform to support the country’s Universal Immunization Programme, the integrated software and capacity building solution for health logistics management is now being rolled out to new country contexts and applications, including for the tracking medicines and other health products
With the support of key partners including Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Global Fund, UNDP is working with ministries of health in Sudan, Indonesia, Malawi, and a growing number of interested governments to build on successes and lessons learned from the implementation of eVIN in India. The easily adaptable technology provides health officials with a customizable data collection and visualization tool for end-to-end tracking of health products specific to the country needs and LMIS context.
An eLMIS solution for diverse country contexts
Developed in countries facing health system challenges including limited resources, human resource skills gaps, and interruptions in electricity supplies, eVIN offers a technology platform that is especially well-suited to resource-constrained contexts. The technological components of the system include an easy-to-use smartphone application to digitize data entry and the installation of SIM-enabled temperature loggers for cold chain equipment.
Using 2G internet and cloud technology, these connect to a web interface that provides real-time visibility of all data and analytics for improved decision-making and management. 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.
Beyond the technology: innovation in the process
eVIN is indeed not solely a technological solution; its transformative use in the vaccine or other health supply chains is closely linked to coordinated interventions on strengthening human resources and governance. In addition to the technological aspects of the system, two other axes are fundamental for the implementation of this eLMIS solution: the processes and the people.
The phased implementation of eVIN applied in India, in which its scale up to new states has been guided by lessons learned from its initial implementation in 12 states, also offers valuable insights for the adaptation, replication, and scaling journey of innovation for health more broadly. Particularly in the case of technological innovation, this process of upgrades and evolution is as much a part of the innovation as the technology itself.