LabTel project assists in the conservation and transport of vaccines and human organs
Researchers from the Ufes Telecommunications Laboratory (LabTel) have developed a device capable of monitoring the transport of vaccines, medicines and human organs, transmitting their location, temperature and humidity in real time.
The Wi-Finder is an Internet of Things (IoT) application, that is, an object that gathers and transmits data over the internet. Using Wi-Fi (high power technology) to pick up the strength of the internet signal, the device can monitor the location of objects to which it is attached.
The data is transmitted by LoRa technology (high range) and sent to the cloud. In addition, the instrumentation of the Wi-Finder with different sensors allows the device to monitor data such as temperature and humidity.
The project was born during the Covid-19 pandemic with the purpose of helping with the monitoring and storage of vaccines. Today, it is seen as useful for other biomedical applications or even for storing important objects in locations with or without a GPS signal.
About the project
Wi-Finder began to be made in 2021, with the purpose of assisting in the transport of vaccines for Covid-19, through location monitoring. At the time, several batches were lost due to the quality of storage and delay in transport, given the short shelf life of the product.
In this way, a group of researchers from LabTel and the Federal Institute of Espírito Santo (Ifes) began structuring the shape of the box, thinking of a way to obtain its precise location and to control the conditions of the stored object.
According to Yruí Neris, one of the LabTel researchers leading the project, to obtain real-time data, the device needs internet signals.
“It uses a Wi-Fi triangulation system, that is, it takes the signal strength of three nearby Wi-Fi networks, but without connecting to them. Having the signal, LoRa sends humidity and temperature data in real time, and the location is configured for every 2 hours or 3 hours”, says Neris.
The location is done without the use of GPS, being only obtained via the internet, while the humidity and temperature conditions are measured by means of specific sensors attached to the internal structure of the box. LoRa has a long range, making it possible to check the storage conditions at any distance from the Wi-Finder.
The project has the support of the Research Support Foundation of the State of Espírito Santo (Fapes) and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), in addition to the startup NOCS Soluções, a company formed by the researchers of the project that enters the commercialization.
The Wi-Finder has already been tested in the laboratory and is in the product marketing phase. According to Pablo Marciano, researcher of the project, the box is in the refinement phase: “We have the prototype built, now we just need to work out some details to be commercialized. It is expected to be launched at the end of 2024”, concludes Marciano.