Cited in previous posts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit is the go-to source for guidance when temperature monitoring. This post covers the need for an external temperature display associated with each temperature monitor.

VACCINE STORAGE AND HANDLING TOOLKIT SECTION THREE Vaccine Storage and Temperature Monitoring Equipment Use DDLs with the following features:

Noted in the latest copy of the CDC publication of the 2020 Vaccine Storage and Handling Tool Kit, the reference to a display is highlighted above. This guidance notes further, use DDL (Digital Data Loggers)… This guidance fails to consider the use of continuous monitoring, connected devices. That is, a device not unlike the DDL will record the temperature, however, unlike the DDL the connected, real-time monitor will continuously communicate with an external server, often located in the cloud.

Such devices allow the end-user to view the received data via a web portal, smartphone app, or other means. By comparison, the DDL must be removed from the storage unit, connected to a computer through a cradle or other means to download the data. The display, in this case, would allow the user to physically view the temperature of the contents of the storage unit. The connected, real-time monitor data is accessible from anywhere, anytime.

The development team at PharmaWatch® understands that there may be circumstances in which logging into the portal is an inconvenience, an emergency occurs, or there is a need to spot check temperature on site. To facilitate that need, PharmaWatch® devices ship with a label on the device itself and a label intended to be placed on the monitored fridge/freezer/etc. or in the monitored environment.

The label on the device—as shown to the left—is black and white and shows the Zone name, the zone type, and the device serial number. It also contains a QR-style barcode that can be scanned with a cellphone to get a link to the PharmaWatch Virtual Display®.

The larger label is shown below. This includes the PharmaWatch® support contact information, the Location name, Zone name, Zone type, the PharmaWatch® device serial number, and instructions for accessing the Calibration certificates associated with the probes connected to the device. This label also contains the QR-style barcode for access to the PharmaWatch Virtual Display®. When the barcode is scanned with a cellphone app, it will resolve into a URL that can be accessed via a browser on the phone. This will open the virtual display.

The PharmaWatch Virtual Display® shown to the right is a simple way to use a smartphone as a display for the PharmaWatch Direct® device. The URL provided by barcode, which can be bookmarked and reused if desired, opens a page that shows the zone name and the current temperature, humidity, etc. The sensor reading value is color-coded to indicate whether it is the range with red indicating out-of-range and green indicating in-range. This display also shows the range of readings since the last check-in and the relative time of the last update.

The use of the virtual display helps reduce the cost to the end-user while providing the functionality of a display. The PharmaWatch Direct® devices operate independently of the client WiFi, while primary power is supplied via the attached USB supply, these devices will continue to record data and transmit to the cloud server. In the event of a power failure, loss of WiFi connectivity or internet interruption, the portal, and virtual display will continue to be updated.

The QR code app can be downloaded from the app store for your specific device.

US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020). Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit. Retrieved from

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