ETC Labs Presents: StaTwig

Enabling Visibility Across the Global Supply Chain

What is StaTwig?

We deliver visibility, monitoring and tracking of products in your extended supply chain, leveraging Blockchain and Internet of Things technologies. By tracking the journey of pharmaceutical products with trust and transparency, we guarantee the health of drugs and provide provenance information. This enables customers to meet government regulations like Drug Supply Chain Security Act(DSCSA) and empowers stakeholders to improve productivity and reduce costs.

How did you come up with the idea for StaTwig?

Multiple stakeholders in the pharmaceutical supply chain are dealing with staggering losses, due to inefficiencies in the supply chain.

Consider:

  • Over $1 billion in drug thefts are reported annually
  • As much as $236 billion in counterfeit drugs entered the market in 2017
  • 25% of vaccines are damaged in transit
  • 20% of temperature-sensitive products are damaged due to a broken cold chain

The biggest threat, however, is to people who receive drugs that are no longer effective, due to expiration or cold chain failures.

UNICEF, the largest procurer and distributor of vaccines worldwide, was concerned with increasing costs, wastage due to cold chain failures, and lost lives due to usage of expired vaccines. They approached us to build a solution to deliver trust, transparency and authenticity in their extended vaccine supply chain.

By partnering with UNICEF, we have an opportunity to disrupt the vaccine supply chain and address these challenges.

Tell us about your team and their experience

Established in 2016, StaTwig is a focused on transforming extended supply chain management in the Life Sciences market. The main challenges in this market are expired drugs, product waste due to cold chain failures and increasing regulations. Existing solutions are unable of address these challenges.

By leveraging Blockchain we deliver a solution to bring visibility, monitoring and tracking of products in the extended supply chain. With Internet of Things and Blockchain technologies as the foundation, our solution can be used to track chain of custody, monitor cold chain failures and deliver provenance information.

The main members in our team are

Sid Chakravarthy — Emerging Technology Specialist, over 8 years’ experience in building new technologies. MS in Telecommunications, University of Maryland, College Park.

Ravi Kumar — Product Management Leader with over 25 years of experience in Silicon Valley. MBA from Santa Clara University, M.S. from Texas Tech University

Dr. Sireesha Madabushi— Technology Leader with experience at Oracle. MS in Wireless Communications, IISc and MS in Computer Applications, IIT Delhi.

How did the idea come about? How did the team come together?

In 2017, we undertook a project in conjunction with the University of California Berkley and the Government of Andhra Pradesh (India) to improve the visibility, monitoring and tracking of product in the seafood supply chain. The project traced the journey of fish caught by subsistence farmers of the Andhra Pradesh region in India, through the Indian supply chain to export markets in Asia and the United States.

“First, it is significantly more efficient. Second, it makes the data actionable in real time. Lastly, it’s immutable. The data goes straight to the blockchain, and there’s no chance it can be manipulated.”

The main concerns the project study attempted to address were issues involving food safety and food waste attributable to poor food quality, counterfeit products and supply (principally cold chain) chain failures. The project included monitoring temperature of seafood packed in tamper-proof containers as it moved along the supply chain.

Using their blockchain platform and IoT technology, we were able to demonstrate how trust, transparency and authenticity can apply throughout the entire supply chain to improve food safety, reduce food waste and counterfeit. In addition our solution addressed product authentication and provenance issues while improving margins for trading partners and food safety, and meeting compliance requirements.

Existing solutions are unable of address these challenges

How severe is the issue of expire vaccines?

There are multiple stories that show how large this problem is

One story from Peshawar really shook me. As many as three children died in Peshawar due to the administration of expired vaccine doses. The children’s health deteriorated soon after the administration of vaccines and ultimately led to death. They were rushed to hospitals but three of them died at the spot, while four were still in critical condition.

Doctors have confirmed that the deaths were caused by expired polio injections while the health department has started an investigation.

Let’s talk tech. What stands out as impressive with what you are doing?

The pharmaceutical supply chain faces several challenges; numerous stakeholders with complex demands, a lack of transparency of the end to end process and time sensitive, but unorganized data.

A blockchain based extended supply chain has several benefits.

First, it delivers a comprehensive overview of the entire end to end supply chain. The extended supply chain can be managed through a single pane of glass. It gives enhanced transparency between the authorized stakeholders. Each party can see the stages of drug journey to ensure authenticity and quality. By leveraging blockchain all authorized stakeholders would have transparency over the end to end drug delivery process.

Next, another important benefit of blockchain is security. Using a blockchain system, all information is stored in an encrypted distributed ledger. This provides authenticity, non-repudiation of transactions and prevents data leaks.

Next, by traversing the chain, products can be tracked, traced and recalled when necessary. An audit trail created through the block system is an added benefit. With all relevant information stacked and recorded chronologically, both internal and external parties can review the entire chain when necessary.

UNICEF is interested in using a public blockchain platform to improve availability and reduce cost. Ethereum Classic suits this perfectly.

Finally, by leveraging IoT technologies, at each stage of the process, barcodes would be scanned and recorded onto a blockchain ledger system. Every change of ownership can be tracked, through biometric measures. Every checkpoint involving the drug can also be measured and recorded. By incorporating sensors, temperature or humidity information can be recorded onto the distributed ledger. With drugs fully tracked from manufacturer to patient, the supply chain can become holistic, accurate, audit-able and secure.

What made you turn to ETC Labs for support, and what are your expectations from this collaboration?

UNICEF is interested in using a public blockchain platform to improve availability and reduce cost. Ethereum Classic suits this perfectly. Our relationship with ETC Labs will enable us to deliver this platform and improve business outcomes as we grow.

What is the next big milestone coming up?

Releasing the 1st version of the product in Q2, 2019.


Learn more about StaTwig and keep in touch:

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ETC Presents is a series focused on the projects at the ETC Labs incubator in San Francsico. The projects are all based on the Ethereum Classic Blockchain and contribute to growing the ETC community. If you are interested in getting involved, join our telegram, discord, or sign up to the incubator on our website