Health care analytics startup Magpie Sensing, which monitors the temperature of refrigerators used by doctors and medical researchers to keep reagents, human tissue samples and vaccines cold, has received $75,000 from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation.
According to a press release, TEDCO’s funding “will enable Magpie Sensing to continue testing its technology with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH). The Department manages the Vaccines for Children program, in which Medicaid enrolled providers receive subsidized vaccines. These tests will allow Magpie Sensing to bring its technology to market in 2013.”
Magpie, which is based out of the Emerging Technology Center campus at Johns Hopkins Eastern, tracks the temperature of vaccines in two parts, as Technically Baltimore reported in October:
- One half of Magpie is their placement of small sensors inside refrigerators in medical labs, doctor offices, pharmacies—wherever “cold-chain products” like vaccines must be stored. Those sensors feed temperature information by WiFi signal back to a server every 20 seconds.
- The other half: a series of programmable analytics algorithms that monitor temperature conditions and send automated messages—via text message, e-mail or phone call—to lab technicians should those refrigerators be left open or lose power.
Already in use at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Center for Epigenetics, University of Maryland and Passport Health, Magpie hopes to prove its worth in the cold-chain supply line, where up to 14 different parties are involved in transferring vaccinations, for example, from the manufacturer to the patient.
Making sure those vaccinations retain potency by monitoring their temperature is how Magpie aims to change the health industry.