Five requirements to follow when acquiring new medical refrigeration products in the healthcare industry
As a buyer, choosing new refrigeration products for your laboratory or hospital is not an easy task. Various biologicals require to be kept at different temperatures to be preserved, and medical refrigeration products also need
As a buyer, choosing new refrigeration products for your laboratory or hospital is not an easy task. Various biologicals require to be kept at different temperatures to be preserved, and medical refrigeration products also need to meet distinctive performance requirements to ensure that they can be used in various scenarios, from hospitals to pharmacies.
However, by compiling the data from hundreds of customer requirements they received last year, B Medical Systems, a specialist in the medical cold chain including the ultra-low freezers, was able to come up with a list of the top 5 main customer requirements the company received, regardless of the industry segment and the end users. This list shows the features that customers require on every medical refrigeration product.
1. Temperature stability and uniformity – Storage temperature
Ensuring that vaccines, medicines, samples, etc., are always kept at their ideal temperatures is of paramount importance as protecting these biologicals from different ambient conditions means protecting them from losing their efficacy. At high temperatures, chemical bonds break and make new ones, drastically and very often irreparably changing the very nature and therefore function of the overall medical products that need to be protected. This can lead to vaccines, medicines, and samples to lose their potency and to be rendered ineffective for their original purpose.
This is the reason why medical refrigeration products not only need to reach a certain temperature, but also need to keep it stable and uniform across the entire cabinet: having a part of the cabinet at higher temperatures, as it often happens with household refrigerators and freezers, is not acceptable for such a medical product which can store priceless vaccines and medicines that hundreds if not thousands of people’s lives will depend on.
Moreover, these products need to be able to guarantee such performances anywhere in the world, even in tropical conditions where the temperature difference between the inside of the refrigeration unit and the ambient conditions is more than 100°C. Certified medical refrigeration products are the only ones that can reliably guarantee the same stable operations no matter the location where they are being installed.
To meet these expectations, B Medical Systems ensures that all its products are designed for them: the use of state-of-the-art refrigeration systems, high quality materials, high quality gaskets , all establish the ideal refrigeration storage environment for a plethora of vaccines, medicines, and samples.
2. Energy efficiency
Being able to find and deploy products that not only can provide a secure and reliable refrigeration environment for biologicals but can also be energy efficient is quite rare. Medical refrigeration products like ultra-low freezers and deep freezers usually have quite high energy requirements and can also have an impact on the environment. For example, ultra-low freezers can consume as much as energy as an average family household. Because of this high energy consumption, the CO2 emission potential is high as well: an ultra-low freezer and related HVAC can produce up to 100 tons of CO2 in their life span.
To reduce the carbon footprint of its products, B Medical Systems has invested in products using green refrigerants with very low Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and Global Warming Potential (GWP). Moreover, structural features which minimise cold air loss and heat conduction such as insulated doors and sealed gaskets make these refrigeration solutions more sustainable to run than many other refrigeration equipment. These efforts have been recognised worldwide by awarding the company’s products with many certifications, one of the most important being the Energy Star certification which was awarded to certain models of B Medical Systems’ ultra-low freezer, freezer, and refrigerator portfolios.
Being energy efficient of course is not only good for the fight against climate change, but it is also cost-effective: the company’s products can reduce the operating costs of these refrigeration solutions drastically. For example, by using a B Medical Systems’ ultra-low freezer and switching the temperature set point from -80°C to -70°C, a laboratory which until then had used normal ultra-low freezers, would have saved thousands of kWh in energy over the lifespan of the new device (an average of 10 years).
3. Reliability and safety
Medical refrigerators and freezers, ultra-low freezers etc. need to reliably provide stabilized temperatures as well as the best possible sample security.
B Medical Systems’ products are known around the globe for their reliability: the products feature industry-leading hold over and door opening recovery times, ensuring that the biologicals stored within them are always safe from higher ambient temperatures.
Moreover, to ensure sample security from other factors, access to the units may need to be restricted and the products’ door openings be kept at a minimum. Units with NFC cards, password protected access and remote monitoring systems can provide high levels of access control by blocking unauthorized people, while monitoring the devices’ operations 24/7.
As the stability of medicines and vaccines can depend on these safety features, peoples’ welfare can be directly affected when biologicals are exposed to risk by being stored in units that are not protected this way.
4. Lead time
Delivering an order quickly can be crucial. Customers very often order B Medical Systems’ products during emergency situations: they may need to receive ultra-low freezers or transport boxes within a few days, and the company needs to be able to meet these requirements. The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the best examples: countries from all over the world suddenly needed refrigeration solutions to store and transport vaccines at ultra-low temperatures and B Medical Systems was required to deliver them in very short time frames as the vaccines were already on their way to the customer. The company’s units needed to be already installed and functioning in the various countries before the arrival of the doses, as failure to do so would mean that thousands of doses would not have had the necessary cold chain equipment
B Medical Systems’ headquarters are located in Luxembourg and, with its subsidiaries in the U.S. and India, the company can quickly deliver its products anywhere in the world. Partnerships with world-leading logistics players contribute to very fast deliveries, but a very fast production is required to meet the demand. This is why the company has greatly optimized and increased its production capacity: by scaling its highly-automated production capabilities as well as by anticipating requests, B Medical Systems is able to have enough products already in stock to immediately ship its life-saving products around the world.
5. Warranty and after sales service
Healthcare workers around the world need to be assured that if something goes wrong, the product will be quickly fixed or replaced. As always, people’s lives may depend on the products’ performances, so instant customer support is extremely important. B Medical Systems offers industry leading warranty terms and with the help of its local partner network spanning across 130+ countries around the world, the company provides a quick turnaround and support for any after-sales related problems and queries.
Medical devices manufacturers need to be able to listen to the customers. “We developed best-in class features for all our products to enable our customers to have reliable and user-friendly devices: varying set points (such as -86°C to -20°C for our ultra-low freezers), superior temperature uniformity, superior holdover and door opening recovery times, great energy efficiency and 24/7 remote monitoring.”, Luc Provost, CEO of B Medical Systems said. “We also offer good warranty conditions and an experienced regional partner networks all around the world ready to support all our customers”.
B Medical Systems S.à.r.l. is the global leader in the vaccine cold chain industry. The company is dedicated to the research, development, and manufacture of medical refrigeration equipment. Across its 3 business portfolios of Vaccine Cold Chain, Medical Refrigeration, and Blood Management solutions, the company offers 100+ products including vaccine refrigerators and freezers, ultra-low freezers, and transport boxes. B Medical Systems takes pride in its history of close cooperation with prominent global organizations such as UNICEF, aid agencies and multinational companies, military organizations, governments, hospitals, research organizations and blood establishments across the world. Over its more than 40 years of activity around the globe, the company installed more than five hundred thousand refrigeration units across 130+ countries.