Case Study

COVID-19 Test Kits

Using blockchain verifications to support a cold chain for Covid-19 tests and more
During the COVID-19 pandemic, medical supplies were left out of the freezer on a few occasions, spoiling them. As a result, Topl collaborated on the Media Sourcery Inc. solution, Cold Chain. A software solution built to track COVID-19 tests on their journey from manufacturer to patient. The goal? Provide proof that tests had been handled right — and still worked.

Media Sourcery, Inc. & Varcode

Solutions provided



Topl is an impact technology ecosystem that enables digital and sustainable transformation across value chains and empowers the monetization of impact verified on the Topl Blockchain.


Achieve Health Management challenged Media Sourcery, Inc. to closely track COVID-19 testing kits at every step of their origin-to-lab journey to ensure these test kits maintained proper temperature and full effectiveness.


Scanning temperature using Varcode's Smart Tag™ barcodes and adding temperature plus many other data points to the Topl Blockchain.


Using the Topl Blockchain, Cold Chain has tracked some 10,000 to 15,000 COVID-19 tests and plans to support more test types and scale to 18 labs cross the U.S.

Topl Core Highlights

  • The Topl Blockchain can transform supply chains by improving trust, granularity of data, transparency, record keeping, and security.
  • Sensitive assets may require special conditions. The Topl Blockchain can be used to prove that these conditions have been met for all of an asset’s life.
  • The Topl Blockchain has been precisely designed to track the data needed to obtain certifications and prove ESG practices.

Topl Origin Story and Mission

  • Rice University graduates Kim Raath, Chris Georgen, and James Aman founded Topl in 2017. The founders combine a strong multidisciplinary academic background. Chris and James have several years of expertise in blockchain. Kim comes from an ethical mining and sustainable agricultural background from growing up in South Africa.
  • Topl is an impact technology economy that enables digital and sustainable transformation across value chains and empowers the monetization of impact verified on the Topl Blockchain.

How blockchain improves cold supply chains

When shipping temperature-sensitive products like COVID-19 tests, blockchains can provide increased verifiability and transparency. COVID-19 testing kits have proven to be an invaluable resource, as the 100 tests in each kit have helped diagnose virus cases and get people on the track to treatment. Shipping these kits from manufacturing plants to warehouses and labs across the country, however, comes with logistical challenges. COVID-19 test kits must maintain a temperature of -20° Celsius for virtually their entire lifecycle. Failing to maintain this temperature for a cumulative hour causes major problems.

COVID-19 tests and other medical supplies exposed to higher temperatures can lose effectiveness. Accidents like forgetting to properly store tests need to be minimized. The Topl Blockchain helps to minimize errors by supporting temperature checks, location details, and more. Cold Chain software streamlines the shipping of temperature-sensitive assets, from life-saving medical tests to commonplace products like salsa.

Utilizing its workflow and rules engine products, Media Sourcery, Inc. partnered with Topl and Varcode to produce Cold Chain. Built for any asset requiring certain temperatures, Cold Chain monitors asset location, user, temperature, event type, and other metrics. These details are recorded on the Topl Blockchain. COVID-19 test kits are the very first asset type to use the Cold Chain solution.

Notably, in a convergence of several groundbreaking technologies, Cold Chain uses digital time and temperature indicators developed by Varcode. These Smart Tags are highly advanced barcodes. When scanned by handheld scanner, smartphone, or tablet, they relay time-sensitive information about temperature changes that have been detected by way of their chemical design.

Every asset — every last kit stored, shipped, and delivered — is time-stamped with Varcode’s temperature data. These temperature readings and Cold Chain’s numerous other data points are then added to the Topl Blockchain — where a fully tamperproof record lives forever. By integrating the Topl Blockchain, the Cold Chain inventory can be tracked more completely and with improved security and granularity

Infusing trust and transparency into supply chains with the Topl blockchain

The Topl Blockchain allows all parties to know what has happened to an asset at every step of its journey, and to trust that every asset has (or has not) remained in optimal shape for the duration of its life. In the case of Cold Chain, all parties have the info they need to drill down into the specifics. With the Topl Blockchain, every party knows where and when each test kit was manufactured, where they have been, where they’re going, and at what temperature.

The Topl Blockchain stores an immutable record of every data point, allowing for fast analysis of trouble areas in the chain. Each party can know that COVID-19 testing kits have been manufactured in the stated place of origin, that their provenance is accurate, and that an attestation to everything that has happened to each kit will be recorded securely on the Topl Blockchain.

In essence, the Topl Blockchain can show that testing kits have kept temperature and will function as the manufacturer intended, and as medical personnel and patients need. Each involved party can know that kits have arrived in pristine condition, and that patients will receive proper treatment. Additionally, the applications for Cold Chain go far beyond COVID-19 testing. Vaccines, medications, and other temperature-sensitive medical supplies can be verified for quality, as well as foods and commodities.

This immense level of trust stems from three critical properties, each realized by Topl’s underlying technology: immutability, transparency, and granularity.

First, all data on the Topl Blockchain is immutable. Once added to the blockchain, data cannot be altered or otherwise tampered with in any way. Second, the tamperproof record is openly available to all members of the supply chain—even to the patient receiving the test.

Third, the Topl Blockchain is unique in its ability to seamlessly track each asset individually. Each asset’s unique journey is captured every step of the way. There is no need to aggregate or consolidate records. Everything exists in one place on the Topl Blockchain.  

Proving your ESG commitment to your stakeholders with blockchain verification

The CEO of Media Sourcery, Inc., Larry Ketchersid, believes ESG principles are essential and knows that the Topl Blockchain is the way to prove them. So do more and more business leaders and consumers across the board, spurred by both the shifting value systems of Millennials and Generation Z and the mounting popularity of fighting climate change.

Topl has built the first blockchain with an ESG focus. In a business climate where greenwashing is prevalent and verifying supply chain claims can be elusive, Topl empowers businesses to fully prove they are indeed changing the world.

The Topl Blockchain has been specifically tailored to tracking the information needed to support ESG claims with hard data. The ESG story is there, tracked in real time as it unfolds, written indelibly onto the blockchain. The Topl Blockchain uses 99.9% less energy than earlier blockchains, proving its commitment not only to verifying ESG claims, but to the entire idea of ESG as well.

Beyond testing kits

Media Sourcery automates supply chains in various fields. Larry Ketchersid believes that the success of the testing kit project is replicable in others. Ever since the press picked up on the success of Cold Chain, Media Sourcery has been inundated with calls about using a similar system for tree movers and landscape companies, winemakers, recyclers, medical record companies and more.

Varcode’s technology provides accurate, irreversible time and temperature monitoring across categories and products. Topl has the architecture to scale to scores of projects and the flexibility to handle a wide array of supply chain assets, ranging from tangible (spices) to intangible (carbon credits).  

How can your business upgrade trust, transparency, and esg using Topl?

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