Saving Lives with RFID Technology

By Shaun Stigall

Working together, an assistive technology company and Identiv are aiming to save lives and keep patients safe, one prescription at a time.

End User:
An assistive technology company
Project Type: 
Pharmaceutical drug labels for the visually impaired
Internet of Things (IoT) and radio frequency identification (RFID)
Identiv Solution(s): 
RFID Labels

Company Profile
An assistive technology company provides high-tech products aimed at solving problems for those with visual impairments. The company has successfully introduced several voice-enabled products including a talking bar code reader and talking pharmaceutical reader. The cornerstone of the company is based upon one single premise: To provide customers with greater independence through technology.

Business Situation
Each year, 1.9 million drug-related injuries occur due to prescription errors or adverse reactions. Nearly 10% of those injuries are life-threatening or fatal and more than half are preventable. Prescription drug mistakes are a leading cause of death and injury to seniors and more than half of all patients do not take medications as prescribed. This assistive technology company is dedicated to creating unequaled value in the lives of its customers by applying new and creative technology to everyday problems of the visually impaired. The company’s goal is to make customers more independent, and in the case of prescription accessibility, it also aims to save lives.

Technical Situation
Through the company’s accessibility technology, it wanted to help pharmacists meet the needs of blind, visually impaired, or print impaired patients. Whether these patients required access to vital prescription information in large print, Braille, or even audible output, the company had the solution. The company’s accessible technologies allow individuals to correctly identify and take medications as prescribed. They can independently and safely manage their prescriptions, reduce medication errors, and increase adherence. Accessible information includes patient name, drug name, dosage and instructions, prescription number and date, pharmacy information, and warnings, along with patient education leaflets. What this assistive technology company needed was to connect with a company that could customize the radio frequency identification (RFID) labels it needed to make its accessibility system a reality.

Identiv is an expert in designing and manufacturing high-frequency (HF) and ultra high-frequency (UHF) transponders for embedded use in everyday objects, including medical devices, books, toys, and athletic apparel. Transponders can be delivered in different form factors, including labels (printed or not), dry inlays, wet inlays (with backing adhesive), tickets, and more, and are uniquely positioned to deliver RFID connectivity to any object in the Internet of Things (IoT) market. The assistive technology company chose to work with Identiv to design and manufacture strong adhesive RFID labels for the company’s accessibility system.

By choosing Identiv, the company’s accessibility system allows patients to hear their prescription information, including:

  • Drug name, dosage, and instructions
  • Warnings and contraindications
  • Pharmacy information
  • Doctor’s name
  • Prescription number and expiration date

This system’s station provides those who cannot read the information on their prescriptions a safe and easy way to manage their personal healthcare. Simply by pressing a button and placing the special label over the reader, a pleasant, natural-sounding voice speaks all of the information printed on the label. The station uses text-to-speech and Identiv’s RFID technology. A thin antennae and microchip embedded within the label are programmed with all the printed information. Because the data is stored in the label itself, it can be used on any size bottle, box, vial, tube, or other prescription container. Working together, the assistive technology company and Identiv are aiming to save lives and keep patients safe, one prescription at a time.