by Tim Kane | 01/29/2019
Zebra Technologies announced its intent to acquire privately held Temptime Corporation for an undisclosed sum. Temptime is an industry leader in the development of remote temperature monitoring solutions, with a particular focus in the healthcare industry.
Currently, Temptime’s products are used to monitor and identify potentially hazardous temperature changes in healthcare products such as medications and vaccinations. Their technology immediately sends a visual signal to healthcare providers upon detection of any temperature deviation in shipments. The need for temperature monitoring is vital to the health and well-being of the population, because if not properly tracked, vaccines may lose their effectiveness.
Zebra expects to use Temptime to expand its footprint in the healthcare industry. Temperature and time are key data to track and trace, especially given healthcare’s propensity for traceability. As a medical necessity which illustrates the importance and potential consequence, blood transfusions, while lifesaving, also pose a great risk of infection or contamination if the blood is not properly handled. Studies by the American Red Cross and the New York Blood Center conclude that donations must be checked at least every 3 hours, temperatures cannot vary by more than 6o Celsius, and blood cannot be at room temperature for more than 30 minutes. Any deviation forces the blood to be disposed. This underscores the need for full traceability of perpetual monitoring. In a larger scale example, the US National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) detailed an incident in 2008 in which over 35,000 Fluvirin flu shots were recalled after a shipment froze. All flu shot recipients had to be notified, and shots were re-administered upon demand at no charge.
On the acquisition, Zebra CEO Andres Gustafsson stated “the acquisition of Temptime advances the integration of smart supplies into our vision for Enterprise Asset Intelligence as we incorporate temperature-monitoring capabilities.” Gustafsson went on to discuss how the acquisition aligns very well with their plans to expand into high-growth areas that he believes suit Zebra well. Temptime president and CEO Renaat Van den Hooff, a key leader in the future business integration, also stated that “we are very excited to join Zebra and work together to advance our technology from visual to digital temperature indicators. This will enable us to more quickly accelerate our innovation to benefit our customers.”
Going forward, Zebra will enter new markets with the technology. Beyond healthcare, temperature monitoring can be used for other applications, such as ensuring that refrigerated or frozen foods remain cold or frozen throughout the supply chain. Minimizing spoilage from temperature fluctuations is expected in grocery delivery; conversely, lack thereof exposes grocers and similar proprietors to immediate lost revenues, and potential losses of business or even accountability for food-borne illnesses. There are potential future use cases within Zebra solution areas including Transportation and Logistics and Hospitality, among others.
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