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Drones Could Be Cheaper Alternative in Delivering Vaccines

Unmanned aerial vehicles could also improve vaccination rates in low- and middle-income countries

June 21, 2016

Unmanned drone delivery of vaccines may save money and improve vaccination rates in low- and middle-income countries, according to a new computer simulation by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC).

Delivery of vaccines by drones may be quicker and cheaper than by land-based methods limited by road conditions and the need for costly fuel and maintenance, according to the HERMES advanced computer model. The researchers reported their findings today in the journal Vaccine.

“When we're considering changes such as introducing drone delivery to a system as dynamic as a vaccine supply chain we might see unexpected consequences, not all of which are positive,” says Leila Haidari, public health applications manager at PSC and coauthor in the paper. “Computational modeling gives us the ability to assess the potential impacts of the change and inform our decision making.”

Read more about the study.

Read more about the HERMES supply chain model.

PSC Joins OpenHPC Framework

June 16, 2016

In partnership with PSC and other organizations the Linux Foundation, the nonprofit advancing professional open source management for mass collaboration, today is announcing technical, leadership and member investment milestones for OpenHPC, a Linux Foundation project to develop an open source framework for High Performance Computing (HPC) environments.

While HPC is often thought of as a hardware-dominant industry, the software requirements needed to accommodate supercomputing deployments and large-scale modeling requirements is increasingly more demanding. An open source framework like OpenHPC promises to close technology gaps that hardware enhancements alone can’t address. Because open source software has proven its ability to reliably test and maintain operating conditions, it is quickly becoming the de facto software choice for the world’s most complex environments – meteorology, astronomy, engineering and nuclear physics, and big data science, among others.

In addition to PSC, organizations supporting the OpenHPC open source framework and serving as founding members of the project are Altair, Argonne National Laboratory, ARM, Atos, Avtech Scientific, Barcelona Supercomputing Center, CEA, Center for Research in Extreme Scale Technologies (Indiana University), Cineca Consorzio Interuniversitario, Cray, Inc., Dell, Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intel, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ), Lenovo, Los Alamos National Security (LANS), ParTec Cluster Computing Center, RIKEN, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), SGI, SUSE, and Univa.

Read more.