Best Independent Non-Commercial Dispensing Pharmacy 2023 – USA


With the rising costs in healthcare, and the larger need for digital solutions, we’re proud to highlight the work of an independent pharmacy with a difference. Medvantx is a specialist healthcare firm based in San Diego, CA. Connecting patients with providers and healthcare organizations, Medvantx ensures they receive the medication and the treatment they both need and deserve. Here we talk to Medvantx’s CEO, Prasanna Parthasarathy, as it secures its title in the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Awards 2023.

Businesses can improve the user experience (UX) of their services with the help of technological solutions. These solutions, such as AI driven, easy-to-use platforms – especially those which incorporate modernized analysis and compliance regulations in addition to their base purpose of access to care for all patients – are pushing the boundaries of the healthcare industry as we know it.

AI powered algorithms, which help with analysis of purchase patterns, ensure services can be streamlined and perfected – giving providers and manufacturers the chance to understand the demand within their sector, and allowing them to react in good time. In order to adapt to the trends of their industries, providers need the power of analysis behind them so that they can ensure their output matches the needs of their patients.

Of course, the healthcare industry – especially health insurance – is complex, and the rising costs don’t make things any easier. With the digital age booming, we see more innovative solutions to simplify every process from sector to sector – and Medvantx’s technology is raising the bar for the healthcare industry in the present and the generations to come.

Medvantx was established in 2013 to “bridge the gap between patients and their much needed medications.” Its core mission is to pave the way to patient access, and its work truly demonstrates its passion for helping those who need a better system to rely on. As a non-commercial pharmacy, Medvantx supports large pharmaceutical manufacturers in their endeavours. Its pioneering platform is helping it to address the difficulties that its clients face, and present them with everything they need to have access to the care they need at the time.

Due to the transformative nature of the industry, Medvantx strives to deliver the best, and most sophisticated, solutions which are guaranteed to improve experiences of all people alike. Its work is being recognised more than ever, and it’s easy to see why.

We all depend on the healthcare industry at some point or another. Whether we need to have access to long-term care or one off care, it’s inevitable that we’ll need to access different types of medication or services in our lives. A plethora of solutions have been created around the world for these moments, but Medvantx’s software has delivered a new dawn for the digital aspect of access to care.

Medvantx collaborates with healthcare providers, manufacturers, and organizations in order to battle against the difficulties they face when trying to access the medication they require. The issues experienced could be due to financial constraints or insurance coverage limitations, but Medvantx has created a software that can do it all, for less.

Working tirelessly to help a diverse plethora of individuals, Medvantx uses its core values to drive it towards success for the future of healthcare. Prasanna tells us, “Our clients primarily include individuals who find it difficult to afford or access their necessary medications due to financial constraints or insurance coverage limitations. Our specific focus is on creating accessibility for these individuals, leveraging our resources and technology to ensure they receive the medications they need.”

Following on from entering the life-impacting medical device segment in 2021, the Medvantx INSIGHTS Platform was launched in 2022 to “further the advancement of access to care.” This platform gives Medvantx an edge over it competitors by helping patients to manage their medication seamlessly and in a timely manner. The innovative mobile and Cloud solutions within Medvantx INSIGHTS platform created a smoother UX. This not only helps to connect patients with their medication, but it also aids a “frictionless” relationship between patient and provider.

Medvantx INSIGHTS platform is split into three distinct sections such as “Connect”, “Engage”, and “Analytics”. To start, its “Connect” segment covers the API-based integration of cutting-edge technology which keeps patient’s data safe while connecting them with their provider. The HIPAA compliant data sharing involved ensures safe and secure e-prescriptions can be shared between pharmacies and patients, making their experience of healthcare access run smooth and easy.

“Engage” is a tool that both patients and providers can use around the clock, 24/7/365, in a flexible and manageable manner. With regards to manufacturers, “Engage” helps them to integrate digitally with a pharmacy while giving the appropriate amount of time to focus on prescription management, clinical questions, and much more. By managing business continuity in this way, patients can always have their medication delivered to them on time, no matter what kind of insurance they may have.

Lastly, “Analytics” guarantees data can be used efficiently and securely for each user. This improves the patient experience by giving them access to the seamless integration of data from different sources, and the algorithms then generate clinical patient access date to digest operational, compliance, and key financial information.

“We’ve invested in advanced safety software that helps us ensure the highest standards of pharmaceutical practice. This software allows us to monitor and manage medication safety more effectively, providing an added layer of protection for our clients.”

As the healthcare industry is an ever-evolving sphere which is becoming more expensive, Prassana tells us, “Our primary focus is on providing world-class medications in an efficient and compliant manner, despite these economic pressures. We leverage technology and innovative strategies to streamline our operations and reduce costs wherever possible. Our INSIGHTS Platform, for instance, allows us to better understand patient needs and medication trends, enabling us to optimize our services and manage resources more efficiently.

Medvantx works tirelessly to deliver essential medications to everyone, including individuals who may have struggled to have access to care to begin with, people who are underinsured, and over 40 million people living above the federal poverty line. It has established itself as a link between each patient and those who provide their much-needed pharmaceuticals. Its strong ethical conduct has a purpose: to ensure the healthcare industry is led with equity in mind – and its work truly reflects this on a daily and case-by-case basis.

Also offering comprehensive business continuity, Medvantx has stayed strong throughout some of the most trying times. As the pandemic brought a lot of uncertainty and issues with manufacturing and delivery, Medvantx stayed ahead of the curve by utilising its well-designed technology to communicate between manufacturers, providers, and patient. This meant that the best was made of a bad situation, people could be safe, and Medvantx could prevail.

Its unique offerings such as Cash Pay, also known as Direct-To-Patient (DTP), guarantee access to medication without the need to go through insurance programs. As the payment is handles virtually, via online credit card processing, individuals can be free of stress, and with an uninterrupted service.

For the future, Medvantx aims to continuously improve its INSIGHTS platform, in order to improve scalability and consistency. Prassana adds, “We also plan to expand our digital pharmacy footprint, leveraging technology to reach more patients and improve access to care. We’re exploring new ways to streamline our operations and reduce costs, ensuring that our medications remain affordable despite rising healthcare costs.

“Additionally, we are investing in advanced safety software to enhance our compliance standards. Driven by our medical affairs team, this initiative aligns in our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of pharmaceutical practice. Our future plans revolve around innovation, accessibility, efficiency, and compliance, aimed at providing world-class care to as many patients as possible.”

Providing its solutions to the USA, Medvantx doesn’t simply strive to be the best – it has won an award-winning status as the Best Independent Non-Commercial Dispensing Pharmacy 2023 – USA. Indeed, Medvantx’s commitment to evolution ensures it stays ahead of the curve as well as reacting to the trends within the industry at present. Its strength and foresight guarantees its success, and its success sends a ripple effect out amongst patients with varied needs and requirements – all around the world.

With an inclusive, educated, and respectful approach to all parties involved in the access to care process, Medvantx has come up with solutions to all pain points. Whether that’s problems with insurance or affordability, or with the compliance and regulations side of data for providers, its solutions have changed the way we experience the healthcare industry and the way we manage data – all rolled into one platform.

If you’re a healthcare provider looking to manage your patients, stock, or compliance, or a patient looking to cultivate a better relationship with your provider, look no further. Head over to Medvantx’s website today for more details.

For further information, please contact Prasanna Parthasarathy or visit


Healthcare-Focused Beverage Packaging Innovator of the Year 2023 – Switzerland


The beverage industry needs to change with the times, and demands of its consumers, to make it easier for people to enjoy the drinks they like best. Established in 2006, ViCAP Global AG (ViCAP) is a pioneer with a wealth of experience in the beverage packaging industry. ViCAP has, since its formation, partnered with KA-EX’s fine research team, under ETH pharmacist Pedro Pablo Schmidt, to create the one and only functional  drink which will elevate the beverage industry. Here we talk to KA-EX CEO, Pedro Schmidt and to ViCAP’s CEO, Roger Franz Wilfinger, as it cinches its title in the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Awards 2023.


“We revolutionise the beverage industry.”

Finding the best drink for our health can be a tough endeavour. As our brains and bodies do the most healing overnight, it’s of utmost importance that we find active ingredients that both encourage healing and strength building overnight in addition to throughout the day. There are plenty of sports/health drinks out there, with vital nutrients, which can improve our health both mentally and physically. However, with their suspension in water, they can have short shelf lives and less effectiveness than if they were stored in a different way.

ViCAP is a Swiss-based visionary for the modern development of beverage packaging. With its invention of the world’s first dispenser sports-cap system, ViCAP has exploded into the market and taken it by storm.

The company has worked tirelessly to create a solution where precious active ingredients can stay separated from the liquid within the bottle, so that they can be at their most fresh and effective when we’re ready to consume them. ViCAP’s dispenser sports-cap system will make it possible for companies to evolve and expand their already impressive and highly sought-after product lines, in order to thrive and satisfy every consumer with pioneering beverages. ViCAP’s beverage solutions guarantee the best storage and the most innovative way to protect vital ingredients from packaging all the way to consumption.

As head of ViCAP, Roger Franz Wilfinger strives to support the company that has been built for the advancement and progression of the industry. From research to the patented product, Roger, and the team, ensure that every aspect is taken care of with utmost professionalism and care. He says, “Our goal is to innovate and create the most effective dispenser cap system, founding a new revolution in beverage packaging. The development process was completed, and the technology obtained a patent. ViCAP is set to become a key component in several future successful stories within the functional beverage industry.”

ViCAP aims to break down barriers between short shelf life products and the end consumers’ satisfaction and health, ensuring that every bit of the nutrients can be absorbed and used by the individual.

Roger shares, “The idea to develop a functional sports cap emerged when Aqua Nova introduced a drink containing Q12. The challenge with this beverage was its limited shelf life due to the gradual loss of effectiveness of vitamins and other sensitive ingredients over time, when mixed with water.”

The push-cap technology has been expertly designed to differentiate from ViCAP’s rivals. With separate storage for water and the active ingredients, our healthy and nutritious beverages can have a longer shelf life and better efficiency when we consume them.

Furthermore, the cap itself is “air-tight, UV-protected, and helps to protect the acidic from alkaline ingredients which would cancel themselves out otherwise, if dispersed in liquid over a long period of time before consumption.”

By segregating active ingredients and water in separate compartments within the bottle, ViCapSystems promises freshness and the most nourishing version of sports drinks available on the market. After partnering with KA-EX, developed by pharmacist Pedro Schmidt, the duo underwent a five-year timeline of analysing and researching. Roger tells us, “KA-EX was developed in five years of research and supports dozens of relevant bioprocesses simultaneously and synchronously. The holistic approach, based on 25 natural ingredients, is unique and patent pending worldwide.”

Pedro Schmidt says: “There has been a huge amount of qualitative and quantitative research that has gone into sharpening the revolutionary idea. Indeed, the future of the beverage industry is set to grow exponentially with the power and potency of the health drinks. The clinically tested substances shield the body from toxic damage, thereby preventing micro-inflammations. Furthermore, the ingredients reduce hyper-acidity, normalise the stress hormone level, and improve sleep quality. KA-EX was launched without any marketing budget in September 2017, and is today a best-selling dietary supplement in Switzerland, available in all pharmacies, drugstores, supermarket chains, convenience stores, online, and many more.”

KA-EX and ViCAP’s partnership has made ViCapSystems possible, and cultivated an environment of progression for the beverage industry as a whole. Roger comments, “In today’s fast-paced world, innovation drives progress and change. Among our top priorities is our health, with a focus on balance and an active lifestyle. KA-EX endorses health-conscious, informed choices for quality living. “

Pedro Schmidt says, “Embracing innovation, curiosity ,and science, we strive for providing a top-quality product based on scientific ingredients that create a synergy for optimising the recovery in an active and social lifestyle. Due to these values, we do not compromise in regards of quality, innovation, and scientific backing in order to provide the best functional beverage on the market currently.”

KA-EX’s functional beverages made their debut in the autumn of 2017, across 15 pharmacies, and the journey kicked off to a terrific start. The beverages became Switzerland’s top-selling dietary supplements on the market, making the partnership even more valuable to the industry, and, therefore, consumer. The pandemic put a stop to many plans and products however, due to the power of the supplements, KA-EX’s supplement sales continued to skyrocket – proving that health and wellness will always be a top priority within society.

Together with KA-EX, ViCAP and its patented product is about to transform the realm of health and fitness. Its USP is rooted in its dedication and commitment to revolutionising the world of healthy drinks, and its devotion has earned itself a pedestal in the spotlight. Roger tells us, “ViCAP and KA-EX represent groundbreaking advancements in their respective fields of functional beverages.” Of course, this is a distinction that has consistently driven both companies to their brilliant success. As a result, together they have created a product that will, ultimately, help people’s healthy lifestyles to flourish better than ever before.

This partnership has created a strong, unwavering dedication to quality and health of the end consumer, making ViCAP one to watch within the industry. Its specific, and niche, product is set to change the pace of the nutritional drinks sector, improving everyone’s overall mental and physical health for the years to come.

When previously interviewed by another host, Roger explained the key elements of why ViCAP was established, and what he believes ViCAP will bring to the future:

Let’s start from the beginning. What were your motivations and inspiration for creating ViCAP?

Roger Franz: Embarking on a journey in the business world had always been my dream. At the time when I founded ViCAP, I noticed that the non-alcoholic beverage market held immense growth potential, especially considering evolving consumer preferences and the demand for quality products. This inspired me to establish a company that would offer innovative solutions in this field.

What challenges did you face when starting the company?

Roger Franz: Like any entrepreneur, I encountered significant challenges. Launching a new business from scratch always involves risks and uncertainties. We had to overcome financial and organisational barriers, as well as convince partners and investors of the potential of our idea.

What were the key moments that helped ViCAP achieve success?

Roger Franz: Forming a strong team was one of the pivotal moments. I believed that success depended not only on me but on the collective efforts of all team members. We focused on product quality, innovation, and understanding the needs of our customers. This helped us grow into a quality player in the market.

How do you envision the future of ViCAP?

Roger Franz: I look confidently towards ViCAP’s future. We continue to invest in research and development, seeking new ways to improve our products and create unique solutions. Our goal is not only to remain leaders in the industry but also to inspire innovation throughout the sector.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Roger and Pedro. It was insightful and inspiring.

Roger Franz: Thank you very much for the invitation. I hope our experience will assist other entrepreneurs and inspire new achievements.

By creating the world’s first sports-cap system, the business has pushed itself to the forefront of the industry. Its work hasn’t gone unnoticed, and we’re sure to see it continue to work its magic for the greater good of the beverage companies and end consumer’s health. This is exactly why it has been awarded with the title of Healthcare-Focused Beverage Packaging Innovator of the Year 2023 – Switzerland.

For the future, ViCAP and KA-EX are looking to replicate the success of the product in the USA. Pedro shares, “With the vast potential that the U.S. market offers, there’s an anticipation of great success. KA-EX’s U.S. launch strategy is meticulously planned across three distinct phases.”

Phase one consisted of the feasibility study, which was a great success. Pedro says, “Our achievements led us to integrate into the MISTA startup ecosystem, with the backing of food industry giants like Givaudan and Danone. Notably, KA-EX was invited as the sole European startup to the investor meeting of the Nutrition Capital Network (NCN) in San Francisco, a network encompassing prominent corporate venture capitalists in the U.S. food sector, including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and other esteemed names. Moreover, we’ve proudly been recognised as the official supplier to the prestigious House of Athletes in Florida, a training facility frequented by NFL and MLB stars.”

Phase two entails the initial reveal of the ViCapSystems product with a “modest marketing budget”. This is where ViCAP presents its work to the world, and it is projected to last until around February 2024, when the patented product is predicted to complete the proof of concept phase.

Phase three is the final step in the journey as ViCAP plans to take the product to market in March 2024 – where it will surely pick up traction across the market. Pedro adds, “With a goal in mind, we are actively fundraising, and have already secured $2.2 million out of our $5 million target. This capital will drive our dynamic go-to-market strategy, ensuring that KA-EX not only enters but thrives in the American market.”

Soon after the successful implementation of the product in the USA, we’re confident that the rest of the world will want a slice of the action. If you would like to know more about the final product – soon to be seen on the shelves – please visit

In the meantime, Roger leaves us with a few words. “I am delighted to share some insights about the journey of ViCAP, a project that holds a special place in my heart. ViCAP is not just a result of my efforts; it has been a collaborative endeavour that wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and contributions of an exceptional team.

“ViCAP represents the culmination of teamwork and innovation. It reflects the collective strength and expertise of a group of individuals who are passionate about creating solutions that matter. I want to emphasise that I didn’t embark on this journey alone. From its inception, ViCAP has been nurtured by a strong and productive team.

“I would like to express my gratitude to Engineer Martin Schmid, our longstanding production innovation partner from MONTFORT Kunststoffechnik. His engineering prowess and commitment have played a crucial role in bringing ViCAP to life. Additionally, I extend my thanks to Prof. Florin Baeriswyl from dai-Desion, who has provided his strategic insights to our project.

“Furthermore, I would like to sincerely thank Aiste Miliute, the CEO of Birštonas Mineral Water, for her valuable contribution to our Strategic Partnership Development. Her ideas have had a significant impact on the development of our strategic partnership.

“Their contributions have been invaluable in shaping the direction of ViCAP. At ViCAP, we believe that a strong team leads to excellent results. Our collaboration is based on mutual respect, shared goals, and a commitment to excellence. Together, we have overcome challenges, harnessed opportunities, and forged a path that aligns with our vision.”

Healthcare Data Breach

The Average Cost of a Data Breach in the Healthcare Sector Has Increased 5.3 Percent Since 2020 and Now Stands At $10.93 Million

Healthcare Data Breach

According to the IBM Cost of a Data Breach report healthcare is, compared with other sectors, by far the most impacted by a data breach

AJ Thompson, CCO, Northdoor plc


IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach report has highlighted the increasing cost for organisations that suffer a data breach in the healthcare sector. The report found that the average cost of a data breach is now at $10.93 million. This represents an increase of 53.3 percent since the 2020 report.

This is some way above the average cost of a data breach across all sectors, which sits at $4.45 million and highlights just how impactful breaches on healthcare organisations are.


Why is healthcare so impacted by data breaches?

Healthcare is top of the average cost for a data breach when compared to other verticals and by some margin. The next on the list is the financial sector at $.5.90 million, followed by pharmaceuticals at $4.82 million.

There are a number of reasons for the huge difference in the cost of a breach. The sector is very highly regulated, which increases the cost immediately and is considered by most governments as a critical infrastructure.

The nature of the data held by healthcare organisations also means that it is an incredibly tempting target for cyber criminals. In the US the number of individual patients impacted by data breaches in the healthcare sector so far in 2023 (up to July) is staggering. The HHS’ Office for Civil Rights reported that 59,569,604 individual patient records had been exposed and that the average data breach size, so far for 2023 is 150,809 records.

In the UK a cyber attack on the University of Manchester saw more than a million NHS patient’s details compromised and various NHS Trusts have been compromised, mainly by ransomware attacks.

It’s clear then that the healthcare sector is very much in the sights of the cyber criminals. The nature and perceived value of the data as well as some of the vulnerabilities that the sector experiences (particularly third party/supply chain attacks), means that healthcare organisations have to do more to protect themselves.


Phishing and stolen or compromised credentials responsible for majority of attacks

The IBM report also found that phishing and stolen or compromised credentials were the two most common initial attack vectors (the way for the attacker to enter a network or system) across all verticals. We have seen cyber criminals use increasingly sophisticated phishing attacks to target employees, who are often considered the ‘weakest link’ in the security defences of a company. This is reflected in the report with phishing attacks responsible for 16 percent of breaches and stolen or compromised credentials responsible for 15 percent.

These were followed by cloud misconfiguration at 11 percent, followed by business email compromised at 9 percent.

Companies, therefore, have to ensure that the weakest link in their security defences is strengthened considerably. The nature of the most recent phishing attacks means that employees have very little chance of being to filter out legitimate messages and malicious emails and need help in doing so.

This is particularly important in the healthcare sector where any downtime can have a huge impact on frontline services, impacting, staff, but more importantly, patients.


AI and automation save time and money and help keep cyber criminals out

The use of AI and automation solutions have had, according to the IBM report, a real impact for organisations that use such solutions extensively within their defences. On average those organisations with such solutions in place were able to identify and contain a breach 108-days shorter than those without. These companies also reported a $1.76 million lower data breach cost compared to organisations that didn’t have such capabilities.

Whilst the cost of a data breach is a real worry for the healthcare sector, the ability to shorten the amount of time a breach impacts frontline services or lessens the amount of incredibly sensitive data stolen has to be a good thing.

One of the main routes in for cyber criminals alongside employees, is through third parties and healthcare suppliers. Supply chains in the healthcare sector tend to be incredibly large and complex and so many organisations find it almost impossible to have any insight into where vulnerabilities might lie in the network.

No matter how much is spent on frontline defences, if partners have not closed vulnerabilities within their own systems they are, essentially, opening the backdoor open for cyber criminals to gain access to healthcare data. Some are turning to AI-powered solutions to ensure that they have 360-degree view of their supply chain.

Current methods of ascertaining a partner’s or potential partner’s cyber security practices usually involves a questionnaire which relies on the knowledge and honesty of partners. This obviously is no longer an acceptable nor effective way of understanding the cyber defensive capability of healthcare supply chains. Using the latest technology such as AI to gain a near, real-time view of where vulnerabilities lie within their supply chains, gives healthcare organisations the opportunity to urgently speak to partners and close vulnerabilities before cyber criminals are able to take advantage of them.

Whilst the report’s headlines will be focused on the ever-increasing cost of a data breach for most companies and particularly the healthcare sector, there are, as has been discussed, some positives. The impact that implementing AI solutions helps to cut the cost and amount of time to identify and deal with a breach and healthcare organisations need to start looking at such approaches if they have not already.

Cyber criminals are not going away and are only going to be increasing the number and level of sophistication of their attacks. Healthcare organisations must address the weak points of their defences, whether that be employees or vulnerabilities within their supply chain, or be prepared to pay a huge cost and loss of critical frontline services.

Pharmaceutical supply chain

Unique Temperature Oversight for a Pharmaceutical Cold Chain

Pharmaceutical supply chain

By Alf Goebel, CEO, advanco.

A supply chain that is strictly regulated in terms of temperature has become a vital part of the modern pharmaceutical ecosystem.

The cold chain accounted for more than a quarter of the global pharmaceutical sector in 2019. When you consider the fact that pharma revenues worldwide came to a total of 1.48 trillion U.S. dollars in 2022, you begin to see just how important the cold chain has become.

Indeed, it is fair to say that the rising prominence of the cold chain has become “one to watch” within the global pharmaceutical sector. This view is shared by various regulatory authorities, including the EU, launching its Good Distribution Practice of Medicinal Products for Human Use (GDP). The USA’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also sets out its standards for the manufacture, storage, and distribution of pharmaceutical and food products in the Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP).

Let’s examine why the cold chain is become so central to the pharma sector – and how the industry is having to adapt to accommodate its very specific needs.


The importance of temperature monitoring.

Some medicines, drugs and vaccines need to be continuously stored in a limited temperature range from the time they are manufactured until the moment of vaccination. This is because temperatures that are too high or too low can cause the vaccine to lose its potency, or its ability to protect against disease.

Once a vaccine loses its potency, it cannot be regained or restored. It is therefore vital to ensure these products are kept at the correct temperature, at all stages of its life cycle. If the potency is lost, not only will the pharmaceutical provider have to destroy and re-manufacture the product, which will come at a very steep cost, many people could potentially be at risk of disease, or even death, if they are urgently waiting for the vaccine.

According to studies by the World Health Organization, up to 50 percent of vaccines are wasted globally every year, in many cases because of temperature excursions that affect the efficacy of the products. This figure is alarming and should worry every person working within pharma. Just imagine the number of people these wasted products could have treated – and think about the cost of this waste.


The effects of increased cold chain adoption to packaging and serialization processes.

One of the most obvious changes, which we are witnessing all around us, is the complete re-writing of existing packaging and serialization processes.

Some products demand incredibly low temperatures throughout their entire life cycles, temperatures which can be as harsh as minus 80°C. Many previously established systems, technology and machinery simply could not cope with these harsh conditions. This meant that a full re-design of hardware and software had to be rolled out, manufactured, and implemented at breakneck speed.

The evolution is continuing every day. One of the big developments we continue to see is around mobile technology for the supply-chain. We are seeing a much more coordinated approach to being able to log events with mobile devices. We will also be able to directly-link specific supply-chain events to vaccine outcomes.

We are also seeing an increased usage of barcoding helping to reduce errors in dispensing in stressful periods. Should the globe be unlucky enough to experience another pandemic, vaccines and test-kits developed to detect the virus will need to continue to be supplied across the world quickly and efficiently – which require more standardization.

These amendments go a long way to reducing the risks of temperature excursions. The new systems can receive alerts in case of temperature anomalies and of making immediate decisions. They also allow constant access to the data collected, can analyse and continually improve the cold chain and can optimise management solutions for the cold chain.

They can also confirm that the integrity of shipped products has been respected and can comply with the recommendations on Good Distribution Practices for medicinal products.

Many of these solutions deploy Internet of Things technology to enable temperature monitoring and this is increasing in popularity A 2021 survey found that pharmaceutical companies are using IoT for data-logging (70 percent), temperature analysis (68 percent), and real-time location analysis (53 percent).


Adding temperature oversight into the shipping processes

The shipping process is arguably the riskiest element of temperature-regulated production. While factories and storage facilities can usually be easily controlled, the transportation part, which could involve shipping and road transport across hot areas of the globe, can be difficult.

We are therefore seeing new methods quickly springing up and being adopted as the norm. As an example, some Covid vaccines are shipped in an insulated thermal shipping container with dry ice to keep the vaccine frozen at ultra-low temperatures from –80°C to -30°C. Some vaccines have three presentations that require different storage and handling requirements. These can be distinguished by the colours of the vial caps and carton label borders which are purple, grey, or orange.

Although each of these different colours have varying specifics when it comes to shipping and storage, the key fact to take away is that these specifics must be always adhered to. It isn’t negotiable – failure to adhere to these specifications will result in a useless batch of vaccines.

Likewise, it’s important to regularly monitor the temperature of the vaccine at the start and end of each working day. If storing in an ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezer, standard freezer, or thermal shipper, temperatures must be recorded using a freezer temperature form. If storing the vaccine in a refrigerator prior to use, use the refrigerator temperature form.


Safety First.

Working in, or even taking delivery of materials that have been produced in cold chain environments, carries with it a much higher risk of injury for staff members.

For example, dry ice is the frozen form of carbon dioxide. When heated, most frozen solids melt to a liquid form, but dry ice transforms directly into a gas, by a process called sublimation. Dry ice sublimes at temperatures at, or above -78°C.

The main hazards of dry ice include asphyxiation and burns. Use of dry ice in confined spaces, such as small rooms or walk-in coolers, or poorly ventilated areas can result in depletion of oxygen, resulting in asphyxiation.

Even unpacking the thermal shipping containers requires a serious degree of care, with a long checklist of recommended PPE needed, including an apron, lab coat or coveralls, cryogenic gloves, a dry ice scoop, safety glasses with side-shields or full-face shield and a set of vial tongs.


Implementing new technologies

One of the main changes we are likely to see as the evolution of the cold chain continues is the introduction of new technology, with a very prominent example set to be the increased use of robotics.

Well-designed robots will keep working in the harsh temperatures needed – there is no need for them to have regular rest breaks, wear insulated clothing or cryogenic gloves. Therefore, we will see companies turning more and more to robots to effectively streamline and automate what were previously manual operations to maintain a steady workflow. Indeed, Gartner predicts that 75% of large enterprises will have adopted some form of smart robots in their warehouse operations by 2026 as they search for flexible automation.


In conclusion

A temperature-regulated supply chain is rapidly rising in prominence as a core component of the pharmaceutical sector across the globe. Modern medicine production and distribution is demanding the cold chain, and governments and regulatory bodies are recognising the importance of the cold chain.

Without a cold chain, the outlook of tomorrow’s pharmaceutical sector will be bleak. It is therefore in all of our interests to work together and ensure we have a watertight cold chain fit for the massive demands set to be placed upon it during the coming years.

NHS efficiency

How Improved Asset Management Can Tackle Loss Prevention and Efficiency Within the NHS

NHS efficiency

Simon Hemingway, Healthcare Director at The Barcode Warehouse


The NHS’s technology infrastructure has come under severe pressure in recent years, with many experts calling for increased widespread investment in new software, hardware, and health technology. Currently, around 13.5 million working hours are lost a year due to outdated, legacy IT systems and lost equipment, costing nurses and doctors time, money and ultimately having a detrimental impact on patient health.

While some NHS trusts have embarked on their digital transformation journeys, the NHS as a whole is lagging behind global peers when it comes to digitising crucial equipment, and the tracking of such assets. Asset visibility and management present healthcare institutions with an opportunity to take control of their inventory and device administration, empower clinicians, accelerate workflows, and put the necessary procedures in place to prevent equipment loss and associated downtime.

In extremely busy hospital environments, overseeing key equipment whereabouts and optimisation becomes challenging. Asset management strategies can be implemented to reduce unnecessary wasted time on locating devices and combat the cost of replacing missing items. New tracking technology is vital for multi-hospital trusts where equipment is regularly loaned out to different community organisations. Through enhanced visibility and management, IT teams can prevent the loss or theft of valuable equipment, alleviating further financial strain on an already stretched NHS.

With autumn on the horizon and experts predicting a potential surge in COVID cases and hospitalisations, hospitals must ensure they optimise healthcare professionals’ time allocation for patient care without the burden of using outdated IT systems or needing to track down misplaced equipment. And of course, the funds saved from avoiding new equipment expenditures can be reallocated to measures that benefit patient care.


Improving patient care and experience

Amid the severe NHS strain, asset management provides healthcare professionals with a key tool for effective departmental time management.  Recognising the criticality of time, using this management software can prevent nurses and doctors from wasting valuable time locating equipment, thus chanelling it more effectively intopatient care.

Asset tracking solutions from specialist providers supply the NHS with key details on each item of labelled equipment, including real-time location in searchable maps, location-based milestones, alerts for movement out of an authorised zone, and status and utilisation of mobile devices, in addition to managing the assets from one central point. Operational teams can locate devices, saving clinical staff time, but also, they can help streamline patient care by ensuring medical devices, equipment and resources are readily available for each patient when needed. This allows patients to be treated in a timely manner and ensures there are minimal delays.

Introducing this real-time location system (RTLS) technology into healthcare institutions provides hospitals with a solution to help improve patient care and tackle long wait times. There is no longer a need to wait for equipment to be available since operational teams can make data-driven decisions to ensure the correct equipment and devices are readily available depending on demand.  

As healthcare technologies continue to evolve and adapt, hospitals must keep abreast of the latest technology to help manage, locate, and prepare these assets to help tackle long wait times and improve the patient experience.


Managing dwindling hospital budgets

As hospital budgets are squeezed even further this year, healthcare professionals are looking for new ways to help ease the financial strain on the NHS. One key area is lost equipment, whether this is vital hospital apparatus, loaned equipment, or health tech and medical devices used in theatre. Medical equipment can be costly and lost or misplaced equipment is costing healthcare institutions thousands of pounds to replace.

In addition to the benefits to patient care, asset tracking has also proved to be the answer for hospitals to manage their handheld devices. The ability to digitally log and track the locations of all devices and automate the management of each technology gives a panoramic view of all devices within a hospital trust. This insight provides key decision-makers with the knowledge of where each device is, the status of the device and how long it has been in a singular location. From this, IT teams can limit the number of misplaced or lost devices by keeping track of critical equipment.

Asset tracking solutions not only reduce time spent searching for devices and equipment, but also limit the amount of budget spent on replacing lost equipment. During today’s turbulent economic climate, the visibility of all healthcare resources provides healthcare professionals with the ability to manage tight budgets without impacting patient care.


Improving staff morale

By streamlining the often time-consuming and labour-intensive tasks associated with locating and managing equipment, asset management liberates healthcare professionals from the burdens of constant equipment searches and manual inventory checks. This newfound ease in accessing vital resources empowers staff to allocate more of their precious time towards delivering compassionate patient care and medical interventions, elevating their sense of accomplishment and job satisfaction. The alleviation of the stress caused by equipment shortages or misplacements contributes to an overall positive work environment, fostering a stronger sense of camaraderie and pride among healthcare teams within NHS England. As a result, the adoption of an asset management solution not only optimises hospital operations but also cultivates an atmosphere that nurtures staff well-being and reinforces their pivotal role in the nation’s healthcare system.


The advantages of third-party management

Nurses’ and doctors’ workloads at the NHS are currently at an all-time high, so outsourcing asset management to an expert third-party supplier, allows healthcare professionals to devote more time to patient care.

Maximising time and resources is a key benefit of third-party management, allowing NHS clinical and operational teams to work closely alongside the supplier to ensure the tracking technology integrates seamlessly into the pre-existingsystems within a hospital trust. Here, hospitals can rely on the supplier for installation and management of the asset management solution, allowing them to ensure all moveable equipment within a hospital is labelled, tracked and logged on the new system.

Asset management will continue to become a vital solution for the NHS in the next few years. The solution provides a struggling NHS with the tools to maximise clinician time and improve patient safety and experience by offering increased visibility of important assets. With Autumn this year set to bring a further strain on the NHS with winter colds and COVID outbreaks, hospitals must act quickly to ensure clinical time is spent on patients and not spent manually managing and locating lost equipment.

doctor working at computer and pointing his finger

Taking A Holistic Approach: Why Social Prescriptions Could Become the Next Big Thing in Healthcare

doctor working at computer and pointing his finger

In a bid to improve the health of Brits, the government is looking for innovative ways to promote healthier habits.

Social activities, such as walking, wheeling, and cycling, are now entering doctors’ prescription lists. As of August 22, GPs can now offer social prescriptions to patients, including adult cycle training and taster sessions, free bike loans, and walking groups. The initiative, launched on a trial basis, is backed up by a £12.7 million funding to 11 local authority areas in England, where various projects that support the social schemes will be developed.

900,000 people have already been referred to social prescription schemes in the UK. Here is why social prescribing could become the next big thing in healthcare.


Fusing physical and mental well-being

The social prescriptions outlined in the new government scheme are all centred around staying active in a social setting. This is a proven, tested recipe for improving both mental and physical well-being.

Walking, cycling, and wheeling have a range of benefits for our health. Adults are recommended to have at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week, and what a better way to hit the goal than going out in nature and enjoying a stroll with a group of friendly people or putting on your road bike helmet and tackling the city on a bike! This can reduce the risk of a heart or circulatory disease by as much as 35%.

By increasing your heart rate while exercising, you’re also improving your brain function. Cycling, in particular, stimulates the release of endorphins and other mood-enhancing chemicals, including serotonin and dopamine. It’s a sure way to feel more positive and calmer, acting as an anti-depressant. Your learning capabilities, memory, and cognitive function are also enhanced by cycling.

The social aspect of the new government scheme also helps improve mental well-being. While supported by other people in the scheme and by health professionals. Social connection is a key component of well-being, and the scheme aims to foster that. Plus, you’re more likely to stay motivated when exercising in a group and having someone to share your experience and progress with!


Reducing GP appointments and reliance on medication

The use of prescription drugs is rising every year. In 2011-12, 850million prescription items were dispensed in community pharmacies in England. That number significantly rose to 1.043billion ten years later.

While prescription drugs are necessary in many cases, there are certain situations when such use can be avoided if precautions are taken earlier. Physical activity presents a great opportunity to tackle ailments and diseases in their tracks before resorting to medication.

Plus, social prescriptions are a free way to boost your physical and mental health, which comes handy during this cost-of-living crisis. Not only are patients saving money on expensive prescriptions and medications, but so is the government on financing the supply of such drugs.


Overcoming economic barriers

Some people can’t get into cycling due to budget restrictions. The social prescription scheme aims to overcome that by providing free bike loans and encouraging taster biking or cycling sessions in a group setting.

GPs can also link patients with charities, which are more than willing to connect them with the right support groups and help them on their healing journey.


Promoting sustainable transport

Walking, wheeling and cycling as a means of transport are a great way to help reduce carbon emissions and promote a greener environment.

Cycling has a carbon footprint of about 21g of CO2 per kilometre. That’s ten times less the emissions of driving. Additionally, a recent study by I. Philips, J. Anable, and T. Chatterton found that 24.4 million tonnes of CO2 emissions from cars could be avoid every year in England by using electric bikes. The new scheme has the potential to ignite interest in new people to take up cycling and incorporate it into their daily commute, thus sustaining the environment.

Commenting on the new government policy, the then-Walking and Cycling Minister, Trudy Harrison, said: “Walking and cycling has so many benefits – from improving air quality in our communities to reducing congestion on our busiest streets.”

Taking a holistic approach towards health and well-being is paramount for improving the healthcare system in the UK. Social prescriptions have the potential to cure diseases in their first stages, thus avoiding the use of medications. Plus, they’re a fun way to stay active and meet new people!

Ensuring Precision And Accuracy In Medical Fluid Handling 

Precision and accuracy are vital terms in medical fluid handling. Precision refers to the consistency of measurements, whereas accuracy signifies how close a value is to its true value. Both are essential in the medical world to ensure appropriate diagnoses, treatments, and overall patient well-being.

Handling medical fluids with precision and accuracy significantly impacts patient outcomes. The slightest deviation can lead to severe problems when administering medication or analysing blood samples. That’s why employing specific techniques for precision and accuracy is essential.

1. Using Liquid Pumps

Liquid pumps play a crucial role in maintaining precision in medical fluid handling. The selection of the right pump ensures that the fluids are handled with the utmost accuracy. Specialized pumps are designed to cater to the various needs of medical applications.

An example of a specialized pump is the explosion proof vacuum pump, which can be used in environments where volatile substances are handled. It provides both safety and accuracy during critical operations. These pumps have safety mechanisms that prevent mishaps while delivering precise control.

The right liquid pump type contributes significantly to the precision and accuracy of medical fluid handling. It ensures that the fluids are transferred and measured with reliability and consistency, which is essential for quality healthcare.

2. Standard Calibration Protocols

Calibration is vital in maintaining the accuracy of medical equipment. It’s adjusting an instrument so that its readings align with known standards. This adjustment ensures that the equipment functions according to its specifications.

Regular equipment calibration is essential for maintaining accuracy and providing reliable readings. It’s done at frequent intervals, and routine calibration ensures the device’s proper functioning, adding to the trust in the measurements obtained.

The best practices for calibration include following manufacturer guidelines and internationally recognized standards. These practices ensure the calibration process is conducted accurately, maintaining precision and reliability in medical fluid handling.

3. Use Of Quality Control Samples

Quality control (QC) samples are significant in medical fluid handling. These known samples help in assessing the system’s measurement capabilities. They act as a checkpoint to ensure the consistency and accuracy of results.

Regular use of QC samples is essential in detecting deviations in precision and accuracy. Utilizing these samples as a routine part of the analysis process ensures that errors are identified and corrected before impacting patient care.

Implementing standardized procedures for using QC samples, alongside proper documentation and analysis, ensures that the results are consistent and accurate. These procedures are essential in maintaining the integrity of medical fluid handling, thereby contributing to patient safety.

4. Regular Maintenance And Cleaning

Regular maintenance and cleaning ensure precision and accuracy in medical fluid handling. Routine upkeep enhances the devices’ reliability, thereby reducing the probability of errors that could adversely affect patient care.

A maintenance schedule should be established and diligently followed using manufacturer-approved cleaning agents and techniques. These measures ensure the equipment remains in optimal condition, providing accurate and consistent results.

You should ensure regular maintenance and cleaning to avoid potential pitfalls, such as erroneous readings or equipment failure. Therefore, adherence to proper maintenance protocols is essential for precision and accuracy in medical fluid handling.

5. Utilizing Advanced Technology And Automation

Advanced technology and automation have revolutionized medical fluid handling. Robotics and automated systems offer a higher degree of precision, reducing the chances of human error in repetitive and complex tasks.

Automated systems ensure that repetitive tasks are performed with consistent accuracy. Integrating real-time monitoring and feedback mechanisms further enhances precision, making the entire process more reliable and trustworthy.

Embracing these advancements leads to better patient care and enhances healthcare providers’ efficiency. Modern technology ensures that medical fluid handling is performed with the highest precision and accuracy.

6. Continuous Training And Skill Development

Even with automation, human skills and knowledge remain vital. Continuous training and skill development ensure that medical professionals are well-equipped with the latest techniques and guidelines in fluid handling.

Regular workshops and training sessions foster skill development and keep professionals up-to-date with the best practices. This continuous learning ensures that the precision and accuracy vital to quality healthcare are maintained.

Staying abreast of the latest practices through continuous training and education is crucial. It underscores the importance of human factors in maintaining the precision and accuracy necessary for patient care.


The importance of precision and accuracy in medical fluid handling cannot be understated. Using the correct techniques builds a robust foundation for quality healthcare. These practices enhance medical professionals’ efficiency and are critical to patient safety and care quality. They serve as an essential cornerstone for trust in healthcare delivery.

The Power Of Prevention: How Disinfection Practices Shape The Future Of Healthcare

Prevention is vital in modern healthcare, prioritizing proactive measures to avoid diseases and improve public health outcomes. Disinfection practices are critical in preventing infections by eliminating harmful microorganisms in healthcare environments, acting as a defence against pathogens and HAIs.

Hiring commercial disinfectant cleaning services is a prudent choice if you want to ensure a thorough and efficient disinfection process. They have the expertise, equipment, and knowledge to eliminate or inactivate pathogens from various surfaces and objects effectively.

That said, this article explores the significant impact of disinfection practices on healthcare. Read on!

Understanding Disinfection Practices In Healthcare

Disinfection is the process of reducing viable microorganisms on surfaces and objects to ensure public safety. It involves chemical agents, heat, or ultraviolet (UV) radiation to eliminate or inactivate pathogens.

Different types of disinfection methods in healthcare include the following:

  • Chemical disinfection (using specific agents based on pathogen effectiveness)
  • Heat disinfection (using steam or dry heat)
  • UV radiation (destroying genetic material)
  • Hydrogen peroxide vapor (for enclosed spaces)

Choosing the appropriate method depends on contamination level, pathogen type, material, and practicality in the healthcare setting.

Ways On How Disinfection Practices Shape The Future Of Healthcare

In healthcare facilities, where vulnerable patients and healthcare workers interact, disinfection plays a critical role in preventing the transmission of infections. Proper disinfection of medical equipment, patient rooms, and high-touch surfaces significantly reduces the risk of HAIs and safeguards patient safety.

Below are various ways disinfection practices pave the way for a safer and more efficient future in healthcare.

1. Reduces HAIs

Implementing effective disinfection practices significantly contributes to preventing and controlling HAIs. This could further lead to improved patient safety and reduced healthcare costs. For example, regular disinfection of high-touch surfaces in patient rooms and common areas can minimize the risk of cross-contamination and infection transmission.

2. Promoting Better Patient Outcomes

By employing targeted and appropriate disinfection protocols, healthcare facilities can slow down the development of antimicrobial resistance, preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics and other treatments.

Proper disinfection practices also contribute to better patient outcomes by minimizing the risk of secondary infections, post-operative complications, and healthcare-associated complications. This could lead to shorter hospital stays and faster patient recovery.

3. Advancements In Disinfection Technologies

The adoption of novel disinfection technologies, such as UV-C light, hydrogen peroxide vapor, and ozone, allows for more efficient and thorough disinfection of healthcare environments. For instance, UV-C light systems can be used to disinfect patient rooms, surgical suites, and equipment quickly and effectively.

4. Automation And Robotics

Robotic and automated disinfection systems enhance consistency and reduce the risk of human error in disinfection processes. These systems can autonomously navigate healthcare facilities, disinfecting surfaces and rooms using programmed protocols, ensuring a higher level of cleanliness.

5. Environmental Impact And Sustainability

Healthcare facilities are increasingly adopting eco-friendly disinfectants and sustainable practices to minimize their environmental footprint while maintaining effective disinfection. This helps in promoting environmentally responsible healthcare practices.

6. Standardization And Compliance

Establishing standardized disinfection protocols and ensuring compliance across healthcare facilities can lead to better consistency and outcomes in infection prevention. Adherence to standardized procedures can reduce the risk of errors and increase overall efficiency.

7. Research And Integration Of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Ongoing research into new disinfection methods, materials, and technologies, along with AI-powered systems for real-time monitoring and predictive analysis, will drive innovation in the field of healthcare disinfection. These advancements will continue to evolve based on scientific discoveries and technological progress, leading to more effective infection control strategies.

8. Behavioural Change And Training

Educating healthcare staff about the importance of proper disinfection practices and promoting behavioral changes can lead to a culture of infection prevention and control. Regular training sessions can ensure that healthcare workers are well-informed about the latest disinfection guidelines and practices.

9. Telemedicine And Remote Monitoring

Disinfection practices also extend to telemedicine and remote monitoring technologies. This ensures the cleanliness and safety of medical devices used in virtual healthcare interactions. In addition, regular disinfection of equipment used in telemedicine sessions maintains the standard of care.

10. Public Health Preparedness

Robust disinfection protocols and infrastructure are essential for preparedness during public health emergencies. This allows swift response to outbreaks and containing emerging infectious diseases. Moreover, this level of preparedness can help prevent the spread of infectious diseases during crises, safeguarding public health.


The advancements and emphasis on disinfection practices deeply influence the future of healthcare. Healthcare facilities can significantly improve patient outcomes, promote sustainability, and enhance public health preparedness globally by prioritizing infection prevention and adopting innovative disinfection technologies.

man holding globe in his hand

Best Clinical Supply Chain Solutions Provider 2023 – Singapore

man holding globe in his hand

Based in Singapore, Intrinseque Health is an EN ISO 13485 Certified Global Clinical Supply Chain Solutions and project management-based support services provider for clinical development companies. The company assists biopharmaceutical, biotechnology, drug development, medical device, and contract research organisations across the world with their clinical development programmes. Driven by quality, Intrinseque Health consistently delivers customer satisfaction and, as a result, has won Best Clinical Supply Chain Solutions Provider, Singapore, in the Global Excellence Awards 2023.


About Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are a key research tool for developing new ways to treat, detect, and diagnose serious diseases. In the drug development process, they allow researchers to determine whether a new treatment works on humans, which is something that cannot be investigated in the laboratory or with animals. Clinical trials are also useful for noting side effects of new treatments and deciding whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Without clinical trials, revolutionary treatments for serious diseases and conditions would not be discovered.


Critical Challenges

In the process of conducting clinical trials, drug development organisations face a plethora of difficulties related to regulatory requirements & compliance, sourcing of right clinical trials materials, and clinical logistics. Intrinseque Health is dedicated to provide solutions to address these challenges. Backed by an incredible team of professionals with over 300 years of combined experience in the industry, the company is well-equipped to empathise with its customers and provide best-in-class solutions to overcome the hurdles and pain-points of conducting clinical trials.


Our Capabilities

With facilities in the US, The Netherlands, UK, Singapore, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and India, Intrinseque Health helps organisations across the world. In every region and country, the challenges faced by clients are time-critical, so it is essential for our team of experts to understand the specific needs and key pain areas of the clients depending on where in the world they are based.


Our Advantage

Engaging with customers early and often, Intrinseque Health ensures the most successful study start-up and initiation, utilising operational methodology based on proven and cost-effective clinical supply chain strategies. The company has built an extensive network of suppliers for sourcing, procurement, and distribution, which enables it to meet the requirements of even the most complex studies. Its overall goal is to provide customised, end-to-end clinical supply chain services, helping sponsors to gain best data from the trials, adherence to timelines, and achieving cost efficiencies.

For studies to stick to a schedule, it is crucial that clinical supplies are delivered on-time, effectively, and efficiently. Intrinseque Health strives to ensure all essential clinical material, supplies, equipment, and services are available to sponsors when needed. For this reason, it is essential that supplies reach sites on-time and a designated onsite official is trained to install and calibrate equipment correctly.


Our response to the Impact of Covid-19 on Clinical Trials

In recent years, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the drug development industry and the way in which clinical trials are conducted. Availability of products and shipping services have been impacted, which has in turn impacted the way in which Intrinseque Health prepares and executes its clinical supply plans. The company has shown impressive adaptability throughout the pandemic and provided uninterrupted clinical supply chain services to its clients.


About Company Growth

As a result of its high standards of commitment and timely execution of projects, Intrinseque Health has won Best Clinical Supply Chain Solutions Provider, Singapore, in the Global Excellence Awards 2023. The company is among the leaders in the industry and has achieved substantial growth in recent years, having expanded its operations in five regions, hired new talent in several areas, and enhanced its service offerings. In the coming year, the company’s goal is to continue to grow and increase the scope of services it provides.

For business enquiries, contact Andriyas Silas from Intrinseque Health on their website –

Exploring Delta-8 THC’s Potential As A Natural Stress Reliever

CBD’s emergence as a popular natural remedy has sparked interest in the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids, particularly their potential for relieving stress. However, CBD isn’t the only cannabinoid with promising benefits. Another cannabinoid, THC, is making waves in the health and wellness industry.

THC provides a different approach to tackling stress by paving the way for new stress-relief strategies. You’ll delve deeper into its potential in this article. Prepare to explore how this unique cannabinoid might be the natural stress reliever you’ve been searching for.

CBD Vs. THC: How Do They Differ? 

When talking about cannabinoids, two names generally steal the show: CBD and THC. Renowned for its non-psychoactive effects, CBD has earned acclaim for potentially relieving stress without inducing a ‘high.’ 

On the flip side, THC is often associated with producing the ‘high.’ But here’s where the twist comes in – not all types of THC are created equal. delta-9 THC might be familiar for its ‘high,’ but its cousin, delta-8 THC, brings a softer touch.

What sets delta-8 THC apart? It could provide similar stress-relief benefits as CBD but with a milder psychoactive effect than delta-9 THC. These unique dynamic positions delta-8 THC as a compelling option, especially when you use these beginner-friendly, lab tested Delta 8 vapes.

The Soothing Benefits Of Delta-8 THC 

When it comes to melting away stress, delta-8 THC may be your secret weapon. Why? It all starts in the brain. delta-8 binds to CB1 receptors in your central nervous system, just like its cousin delta-9. But the effects are quite different.

What does this mean for stress relief? Users often report feeling calmness, clarity, and relaxed focus. It’s an effect that many find conducive to winding down after a long day or preparing for a productive one.

However, remember that each person’s response to delta-8 THC can differ. And while many find it helpful in managing stress, it’s essential to use it responsibly and consult a health professional if you have any concerns.

On a more serious note, delta-8 could be a potential therapeutic aid for those dealing with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and other related conditions. Consumer experiences suggest that delta-8 THC’s efficacy could match that of delta-9 and certain prescribed medications, possibly offering similar benefits with fewer adverse side effects.

Legal And Safety Considerations For Delta-8 THC

Regarding legal matters and safety considerations, delta-8 THC stands in a grey zone regarding legality. Its status can vary widely, depending on the state or country. You’re advised to check your local regulations before purchasing.

As for safety, it’s crucial to use delta-8 THC responsibly. Though typically less potent than delta-9 THC, delta-8 can still cause adverse effects, especially when overused. You may experience feelings of confusion, coordination problems, or even anxiety. The key here is moderation, starting with a low dose to assess your tolerance.

Moreover, like any other product, the safety of delta-8 THC also depends on its quality. Ensure you’re purchasing from a reputable source that provides third-party lab testing results to guarantee purity and security.

While delta-8 THC offers potential therapeutic benefits, it isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. 

How To Incorporate Delta-8 THC Into Your Routine 

Integrating Delta-8 THC into your daily routine doesn’t have to be daunting. There are numerous accessible methods that you can tailor to your preference and lifestyle:

  • Edibles: To kick things off, edibles like gummies are one common method. They’re discrete, portable, and come in various flavors to mask the earthy taste of hemp. However, remember that edibles may take a while before you feel their effects due to digestion. This method is perfect for those looking for long-lasting relief.
  • Vaping Or Smoking: Secondly, vaping or smoking Delta-8 THC offers an immediate impact. It’s the method to go for it if you prefer a quicker onset of effects. However, keep in mind that prolonged vaping may have potential impacts on lung health, so this may not be the best method for everyone.
  • Tinctures: These are versatile and straightforward to use. Place a few drops under your tongue and let it absorb directly into the bloodstream. It’s an effective method that also allows for precise dosing.
  • Topicals Infused: Lastly, topicals infused with Delta-8 THC are available if you seek localized relief while caring for your skin. You can apply these creams, balms, or lotions to your skin. It’s an excellent method for dealing with physical discomfort in a specific area.

Incorporating Delta-8 THC into your daily routine offers a range of accessible methods that cater to individual preferences and needs. Whether you choose edibles, vaping, tinctures, or topicals, remember that informed choices and responsible usage will contribute to a positive Delta-8 THC experience and enhance your natural wellness practices.

Final Notes 

Delta-8 THC, with its potential stress-relief properties, opens a new avenue in natural wellness practices. However, navigating the world of cannabinoids requires understanding, prudence, and discretion. Always remember, whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced user, the key to a beneficial Delta-8 THC experience lies in making informed choices and safe practices.

female pharmacist working in a pharmacy

Following in Their Footsteps: The Young People Choosing to Follow Their Parents Into the Pharmaceutical Industry

female pharmacist working in a pharmacy

The pharmaceutical industry has changed a lot in recent years. The rules and regulations surrounding development and marketing of new medicines are ever increasing, with new innovations and technologies developing the drug manufacturing process. For example, digitalisation, and the subsequent drive towards ‘smart’ production systems, has been a point of convergence within the pharmaceutical industry, with a focus on data, automation, and real-time monitoring to improve efficiencies and time to market.

All of this means apprentices entering the field are not only facing new challenges, but also new opportunities compared to those who started their career a number of years ago.

Below, parents and their children who both working at Sterling Pharma Solutions, a global contract development and manufacturing organisation, explore how careers in the pharmaceutical industry have changed in the decades between them entering the industry in the early stages of their careers.


Digitalisation and automation

With automated processes on the rise across multiple industries, reducing human error and increasing efficacy, McKinsey found digitisation within industry has allowed for a 65%+ reduction in overall deviations, with over 90% faster closure times.

Roland Smith, who joined Sterling in 1978 as a Production Chemist, and is now a Process Control Manager at the company, explains: “I have seen a huge growth in production due to automation over the last 45 years of my career at Sterling. As a result of automated processes, we can now achieve more in less time and with less burden on resources.”

Throughout his career at Sterling, Roland has been responsible for developing process control systems and new ways to evolve and improve process control software, often utilising automation to improve efficiencies and customer outcomes: “Using automation means we see more consistency in processes. If something is programmed correctly, it will always work in the same way and produce the same results, or very similar, again and again.”

Andy Borthwick, Operations Engineering Manager, who joined Sterling in 1985 as an Electrical Apprentice, agrees: “There’s a lot more automation on site than there used to be. Everything is computerised and involves a lot more complex equipment.” His son, Adam, joined Sterling in 2021 as an Electrical and Instrumentation (E&I) Apprentice. Andy adds: “As someone that joined Sterling as an apprentice nearly 40 years ago, and someone that has a lot of involvement with training and developing our apprentices, it seems that today, an apprenticeship is a harder pathway. There’s a lot more they need to learn and digest on plant as a result of developments in technology and the digitisation of processes. It wasn’t as complex when I was Adam’s age.”


Regulatory guidance and safety culture

Roland remarks that assisting his daughter Anna with her apprenticeship, which she began at Sterling in 2017, has highlighted to him even further, how much the sector has changed since he began his career: “The regulatory requirements are far more rigorous now, and it’s vital to stay up to date with the latest guidance, as it is constantly changing and evolving.”

Paul Wright, Head of Project and Process Engineering, who first joined Sterling in 1990 agrees: “The regulatory side of things is what I would say has changed the most over the years, especially in the time between my son Jack and I starting in the industry. It’s becoming more stringent as the years go on, and we are constantly seeing more audits from various global bodies.”

Andy Borthwick and his son, Adam, have also noticed a growing culture of safety in the industry. Andy says: “I’ve always felt safe working in the pharmaceutical industry, but the culture has evolved since I joined, and I was Adam’s age. Safety comes first and foremost, as a result of learnings that have come over time, with many more regulations in place to keep people safe at work.”

Adam agrees: “Behavioural reviews are a big thing at Sterling in terms of supporting apprentices, particularly from a health and safety perspective. We have these regular reviews with our Talent Acquisition team to make sure we are up to date with all the latest training, which wasn’t as common when my dad was my age.”

Andy Stephens, Head of Business Systems, joined Sterling in 1998. At the time, his father was the Planning Manager at Sterling and Andy had spent time on work experience in the quality control labs, before securing his position as a Scale-up Lab Technician Apprentice. In 2020, Andy’s son, Kobi, joined Sterling as a Warehouse Admin Apprentice and now works as a Material Controller. Andy says: “GMP manufacturing and the surrounding regulations have always been a big thing, but they have become progressively more stringent over the years. There’s been a huge shift around health and safety culture since I first began my career.” 


Opportunities and development

Although findings from YouGov and The Times revealed that only 4% of Britons believe a university degree is the best option, university degrees still have a significantly higher uptake than apprenticeships for young people.

“A lot of people think because you’re on an apprenticeship, you can’t go into higher education, but you certainly can now,” explains Jack, who has completed both a degree and a master’s qualification following his apprenticeship. He says: “Learning on the job, and being able to apply what you learn in classes to the real world, is really helpful for your career.”

Paul agrees with his son, saying: “The ability to apply the knowledge and the practical skills learnt massively help with development and learning.

“The skills and roles needed on a chemical plant like ours are so diverse, and even though I stuck with engineering, there is the opportunity to branch out into other areas. You don’t have to strictly follow the path your apprenticeship has started you on and Sterling is incredibly willing to support you on that.”

Paul continues: “I started as an apprentice, and I’m now part of our Dudley site’s senior leadership team, so it just goes to show the different career paths and possibilities available to you as a Sterling apprentice and the company’s willingness to support your development.”

Kobi, who passed his Business Administration apprenticeship in December 2022 and works as part of Sterling’s warehouse team, has since been getting involved with the Projects team: “This new opportunity has provided me with a chance to explore other pathways that are available to me within the business.”

Jack also acknowledges the opportunities he knew he could benefit from as a result of an apprenticeship and witnessing his father, Paul’s journey: “I knew from my dad’s career at Sterling that I would learn a lot here due to the diversity of the skills required on site. The Dudley site is so diverse from an E&I perspective with opportunities to learn so much, from small scale research and development to 3,000 gallon main plant reactors, which helps me to build upon my career and current skills.”

Andy Borthwick agrees with Paul and Jack: “Adam has the potential to be a technician on the plant like I did or to take a completely different career path as a result of the opportunities offered at Sterling. Our apprentices are given the chance to work in all departments to see where their skills lie best, which really allows our apprentices to grow. They gain a wide variety of knowledge from hands on experience and academic training, alongside continuous professional development, which I don’t think can be achieved as easily via other academic routes.

“Not only are there multiple learning and development opportunities as part of an apprenticeship, but you also have the chance to build friendships. Some of the people I met on my first day as an apprentice here in 1985 are still some of my good friends today, which just shows how much of a strong, teamworking mentality there is here.”

Similarly, Anna highlights the benefit of learning whilst working: “I knew that an apprenticeship could provide the possibility for further development down the line. In addition to on the job learning and development opportunities, there are so many other chances awarded to you, including off the job learning. I have been invited to events where I have been able to network with other people in the industry and have attended webinars and seminars which allow me to keep up to date with trends, which can benefit both the organisation and my personal development.”

In 2017, Anna followed in her father’s footsteps and joined Sterling to support the process control department with documentation. She went on to apply for an E&I apprenticeship, and today, Anna is currently studying a degree apprenticeship, due for completion in 2026. Roland, now retired from Sterling, also completed an HNC/HND qualification in E&I in 2014, and explains: “It was very hard, and I don’t think that I’d be able to do what Anna has to do now!”



As described by Sterling’s current apprentices and their parents, apprenticeships have demonstrably changed over the years to keep pace with industry. As a result, the opportunities they provide continue to grow and reap benefits, including more access to off-site networking opportunities, experiences within a variety of roles and departments across the business to find their passions, as well as chances to earn while they study higher qualifications funded by the organisation to further their careers.

doctor using a laptop

5 Options to Send Documents Between Different Authorized Parties in a HIPAA Secure Way

doctor using a laptop

Sharing sensitive documents securely is crucial in healthcare, especially to remain compliant with HIPAA regulations.

If this is something your organization needs to take into account, you should explore the following effective options that incorporate stringent safety standards. So let’s dive in and look at what solutions you should consider adopting.


Utilizing Secure Email for HIPAA Document Exchange

In the digital era, emails have emerged as a convenient platform to exchange information. However, when handling sensitive data protected under HIPAA like patient medical records, you can’t use just any email system. You need a secure email service that incorporates encryption and complies with stringent HIPAA requirements for data security.

Services such as Hushmail or Paubox offer these safeguards while maintaining usability, enabling authorized parties to seamlessly share documents without compromising client confidentiality.


Taking Advantage of Encrypted Portal Transfer

An encrypted portal transfer is another secure option for sharing documents while adhering to HIPAA standards, and is consistent with current trends in healthcare software.

As the name suggests, these are essentially online gateways where files can be uploaded and securely accessed by authorized parties. Thanks to the top platforms available, data encryption occurs both during transit and while at rest within the portal.

Not only does this method keep confidential information away from prying eyes but also offers a user-friendly interface easing up workflow for medical professionals. Just take care to choose a provider with rigorous privacy policies in line with HIPAA obligations.


HIPAA Compliant eFax: Stay Optimized and Protected

The conventional fax might seem outdated, but not in the world of HIPAA. Thanks to modern technology, you can now send and receive faxes securely through Updox without needing a physical machine.

Known as electronic or eFax, this method encrypts documents during transmission ensuring full compliance with HIPAA standards for data privacy protection. Having upgraded traditional faxing to digital level, it blends convenience with solid security measures.

Using Updox’s comprehensive solution for robust secure eFaxes makes document sharing more streamlined while upholding patient confidentiality at its core.


Sending Information via Certified Mail: An Old But Reliable Method

Even in an increasingly digital world, certified mail remains a reliable and secure way to send sensitive documents. Yes, it might take more time compared to electronic methods but sometimes going old-school can add an extra layer of security for extremely critical information.

The important thing here is choosing mailing options that allow tracking and require signature upon delivery. This ensures accountability at each step of the document’s journey while complying with HIPAA guidelines.

While not the quickest nor most convenient, its surety often justifies using good old-fashioned mail when utmost data protection is essential.


Leveraging HIPAA Approved Cloud Storage Systems

In recent years, cloud storage has become indispensable for handling large amounts of data securely and efficiently.

When it comes to sharing documents in accordance with HIPAA standards, certain cloud platforms stand out. Providers such as Dropbox or Google Drive offer Business Associate Agreements (BAAs), signifying they adhere to the same security obligations required by HIPAA law for data protection.

These systems use advanced encryption methods for both storage and transmission of files, making them a secure choice. Plus, the added convenience of quick access from any device is a bonus.


Wrapping Up

In short, striking the balance between compliance with HIPAA laws and efficient workflow can be challenging. However, options like secure emails, encrypted portals, eFax solutions, certified mailings or cloud storage aid in managing this efficiently.

 Remember to choose those in sync with your professional requirements, and always focus on prioritizing utmost data security for preserving patient confidentiality.