Executive Briefings

Automatic Tracking of Medications Throughout Supply Chain Is Goal of RFID Technology

RFID technology company eAgile is marketing a solution known as eSeal that aims to enable the automatic tracking of containers of medication from the point of manufacture to the drugstore counter or a patient's hospital bedside.

The eSeal is an ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID-enabled cap that can be attached to a bottle of prescription or over-the-counter medication, and would then be tracked throughout the supply chain via eAgile's software.

EAgile, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., offers a variety of RFID-based solutions. The company began looking into new markets in recent years, and zeroed in on pharmaceuticals and health care. "We were looking at where RFID could provide more value and service to society," says Gary Burns, eAgile's CEO. Medical errors lead to illness and death at a rate of 400,000 times annually, according to Burns, and many of those are the result of patients taking the wrong medications or taking drugs at the wrong dose. In addition, counterfeit products make their way into the supply chain, which can also impact patient health.

So by the third quarter of 2015, eAgile was beta-testing the eSeal, as well as its related hardware infrastructure and management software. The long-term goal, Burns says, is for the system to track every bottle from factory to consumer, though it had been initially tested by an unnamed nutraceutical company at its manufacturing facilities so that the firm could identify when its medications were bottled and shipped. That nutraceutical company has completed the beta-testing and is now ordering the caps in the millions, he reports, and plans to extend the system's use into distribution centers as well.

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The eSeal is an ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID-enabled cap that can be attached to a bottle of prescription or over-the-counter medication, and would then be tracked throughout the supply chain via eAgile's software.

EAgile, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., offers a variety of RFID-based solutions. The company began looking into new markets in recent years, and zeroed in on pharmaceuticals and health care. "We were looking at where RFID could provide more value and service to society," says Gary Burns, eAgile's CEO. Medical errors lead to illness and death at a rate of 400,000 times annually, according to Burns, and many of those are the result of patients taking the wrong medications or taking drugs at the wrong dose. In addition, counterfeit products make their way into the supply chain, which can also impact patient health.

So by the third quarter of 2015, eAgile was beta-testing the eSeal, as well as its related hardware infrastructure and management software. The long-term goal, Burns says, is for the system to track every bottle from factory to consumer, though it had been initially tested by an unnamed nutraceutical company at its manufacturing facilities so that the firm could identify when its medications were bottled and shipped. That nutraceutical company has completed the beta-testing and is now ordering the caps in the millions, he reports, and plans to extend the system's use into distribution centers as well.

Read Full Article