Design Innovation

RFID Pharmaceutical Tracking: From Manufacturer Through In Vivo Drug Delivery

[+] Author and Article Information
Erick Jones

Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 175 Nebraska Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0518ejones2@unl.edu

Marcia Henry

Department of Biochemistry, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, 1430 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70112mhenry3@tulane.edu

David Cochran

Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 181 Nebraska Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0518dcochran1@unl.edu

Tara Frailey

Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 175 Nebraska Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0518frailey21@gmail.com

J. Med. Devices 4(1), 015001 (Dec 22, 2009) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4000495 History: Received September 21, 2009; Revised October 15, 2009; Published December 22, 2009; Online December 22, 2009

Advances in medical technology rely heavily on the collection and analysis of measured data to facilitate patient diagnosis and business decisions. The healthcare industry, particularly pharmaceuticals and diagnostic processes, has an ongoing need to improve item tracking and data collection to improve the quality of care while reducing cost. The remote, non-invasive characteristics of radio frequency identification (RFID) can facilitate the information needs of healthcare without imposing additional burden onto the patient or the staff. Properly deployed RFID enabled devices can provide convenient and accurate data for disease diagnosis, evaluation of prescription noncompliance, and identification of medication dosage errors. This paper describes an overview of the concept of an all-encompassing RFID pharmaceutical tracking system that begins with compliance documentation from the drug manufacturer and continues through the confirmation of patient compliance by capsule extraction from the bottle into a pill case and ultimately ingested or inserted into the body. This system also facilitates compliance with Food and Drug Administration proposed e-pedigree requirements and provides data for healthcare decision making. An introduction to healthcare trends is provided in order to communicate the need for such a biocompatible RFID pharmaceutical tracking system. Also presented in this paper is the overall scope of research and in vitro test method to develop biocompatible RFID tag components for use in a “pharmaceutical supply chain system” beginning with the manufacturer, continuing through distribution, and ending at the point of interest within the patient’s body.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Progressive research plan

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Figure 2

Biocompatible RFID systems

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Figure 3

DFSSR methodology

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Figure 4

Liquid phantom test apparatus for simulation of performance in human body. Reprinted with permission from Thoratec Corporation.

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Figure 5

RFID e-pedigree flowchart

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Figure 6

RFID pharmacy. Track inventory and prescriptions filled.

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Figure 7

RFID-tagged bottle with smart cap reader



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