Feb 01, 2023

What Obstacles Do Healthcare Supply Chains Confront During Epidemics, and How May IoT Assist?

  • By JOAN,
What Obstacles Do Healthcare Supply Chains Confront During Epidemics, and How May IoT Assist

COVID-19 has brought to light systemic flaws in the world’s healthcare system, most prominently a long-standing problem with the scalability and stability of medical supply networks.

The present healthcare supply chain mechanisms have been exposed as being vulnerable due to the coronavirus pandemic. Supply networks, typically seen as the bedrock of economic systems, have been compelled to adapt to the pandemic with extraordinary speed and strength.

This article will educate you on such difficulties and their remedies using IoT.

Incorrect Inventory Records

Poor insight into hospital inventories is among the most significant challenges in managing healthcare supplies. Their reliance on antiquated software complicates the process of managing inventories, procurement, shipping, and other activities.

During the coronavirus peak, in-hospital software applications had significant performance difficulties and even were short of disc capacity to hold patients’ records.

Medical institutions must not make inventory management a time-consuming task. With advanced Internet of Things technology, centered on the cloud idea, it may deliver that using smart labels or tags, which seamlessly communicate real-time stock data to any software program or quickly notify an official via a secure connection.

Flawed Supply Chains

Hospitals are unduly reliant on outside logistics and suppliers. Their procurement procedure is rigid, making it difficult to respond rapidly to a crisis. Supply chain management, like inventory control, must become a more significant concern for healthcare centers, mainly because they are hardly experts in these areas.

The ideal practice is to track your distribution network and ensure that you eliminate any superfluous manual processes while also streamlining data flow. Medical institutions must start by linking their inventory and acquisition solutions and afterward utilize IoT to monitor orders’ flow and acceptability status within their internal storage.


Medical facilities frequently stockpile supplies in anticipation of unforeseen circumstances. However, if crucial goods, like ventilators, are in low supply in a particular outbreak hotspot, one simply cannot stand for supplies to remain stuck in storage or elsewhere. One aspect of the issue relates to the inadequacies in a computerized inventory system.

When considering the cost of a box full of facemasks, much alone a unit of cutting-edge medical instruments, a smart tag is a bargain. It does, however, help in tracking where it is currently traveling or sitting. Other crucial data, like location, purchasing, and prioritized dispatch designation, can be stored on these smart tags.

Delayed Allocation of Supplies

The coronavirus crisis showed everyone that a quick reaction to the ever-changing patterns of viral dissemination is heavily reliant on accurate data modeling. These forecasts enable authorities to establish better-informed judgments about where to devote resources.

But there are two additional requirements for a well-coordinated distribution of medical aid across the region. That is where IoT comes into play.

The first one is having accurate information on the present inventory at various medical sites as well as their absolute requirement. Hospitals must be able to promptly gather and transmit data to officials, which takes us back to the use of IoT for managing inventory.

The other is handling the intricate logistics of moving goods between locations. Distributors must be capable of offering real-time information on supply movement to regulators and health organizations by utilizing fleet management plus cargo monitoring capabilities afforded by IoT.

Dubious Bidding Processes

Several incidences occurred during the coronavirus turmoil when contracts were not completed owing to clandestine bidding methods. For vendors to gain access to crucial medical goods, complete transparency into order fulfillment and distribution is a must.

To avoid any misunderstandings, distributors may rely on IoT-powered end-to-end shipment tracking technology. Moreover, the issue of regions competing against one another for essential aid can be alleviated to a certain extent by using technology. Submitting data-driven, rather than general, requests to the national government assists local governments in guaranteeing that their demands are met.

Gradual Repurposing of Producing Units

It’s nearly impossible to stock enough essential care to cover every eventuality. In this situation, manufacturing enterprises ought to be equipped to rise to the occasion and create what is required in higher quantities. In actuality, certain nations have little capacity to repurpose existing industries and create sufficient numbers of basic personal protective equipment.

A robust digital strategy to structural revolution based on current technologies in IoT, robotics, cloud, programmable automation, and data analytics is required. Companies should be rewarded for developing programmed backup procedures that can be fully operational in the lowest amount of time if the need emerges.

Absence of Innovations

Even though innovations appear to never be enough, the pandemic healthcare crisis brought several vital concerns to light.

The development of advanced manufacturing and the adoption of technologies that might possibly safeguard whole nations during a worldwide disaster, such as well-integrated healthcare supply chains between institutions, logistics providers, and manufacturers, are critical strategic priorities.

Summing Up

Healthcare systems throughout the globe have been subject to tremendous strain since the pandemic. Against this outbreak, medical institutions and staff quickly organized and utilized all available resources.

Government authorities and organizations are managing supply chains in the face of deteriorating communication, quickly changing demands and operational conditions, and incomplete data.

Modern IoT technology has the potential to ease the world’s fight against pandemics and advance the healthcare system.

Also Read: The Top Challenges of Healthcare Data Management

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