Why Your Organization Should Join UnitVisID (formerly DoseID)

This month, DoseID holds our first member meeting on November 19th. As a pharmaceutical industry Alliance focused on RFID-enabled drugs and systems, DoseID includes representatives from drug manufacturers, pharmacy automation vendors, RFID inlay manufacturers, label makers, and healthcare providers. A major goal of DoseID is to bring the sometimes fragmented pharmaceutical industry together to unify around the best approach to RFID-tagged drugs and ensure that we build an interoperable, high-performance future for RFID. 

RFID is not like a barcode: the exact specific use case matters. The shape and material of the container, specific hardware at the read point, fluid volume of liquid, the density of objects – they all have huge effects on how best to read them and drive the performance that hospitals need. Beyond that, the kind of metadata that needs to be communicated, from item attributes to refrigeration, compounding, and chain of custody is the difference between an invisible barcode and an application that materially improves providers’ lives. 

These are the problems that drive DoseID’s dedication to inclusion. We believe that only through cooperation between every party in the supply chain can we ensure RFID’s success in healthcare. DoseID’s goal is to build on the alignment that has been generated by standards organizations in pharmaceuticals like GS1 and RAIN. Our coalition’s focus is specifically on the challenges of interoperability, performance, and quality that will be key to ensuring these organizations’ hard work can be leveraged in real-world applications. 

The most important partner, and the one most commonly overlooked, are the pharmacy department leaders in health systems. The value that DoseID aims to bring to the market is for them, and products bearing RFID inlays are only differentiated insofar as they make life easier for pharmacy staff. DoseID products should reduce labor, increase accuracy, and generate insights into product usage and needs impossible through traditional methods. 

Pharmaceutical manufacturers and 503B compounders benefit from DoseID membership in the near term because they can offer a differentiated product to their customers via RFID-enabled drugs. In some segments, customers have already come to expect the DoseID mark as a guarantee that the drug will read in their RFID systems. With the proliferation of those systems, more challenging read scenarios and more innovative solutions will require engineering. 

By joining DoseID, automation vendors are solving existing workflow problems in the hospital. Imagine a world in which a carousel can inventory itself, saving hospitals from time-consuming manual inventory audits. Or envision a provider being able to look up the serial number of the exact dose of medication administered in a patient’s chart. DoseID can make that happen. Driven by the feedback of our hospital members, we can continue to perfect medication management. 

Inlay manufacturers that participate in DoseID will offer the right inlay for the type of material and shape and fill so that it is guaranteed to read in the challenging environments of healthcare. DoseID has partnered with the ARC Lab at Auburn University to take the guesswork out of the entire inlay testing and certifying process and provide a specification and application crosswalk that can guide pharmaceutical manufacturers and label makers to select the right inlays. 

The DoseID method entrusts the most capable party, label converters, with the most challenging quality control aspects. Label converters that join DoseID will be leaders in the industry, ready to bid on RFID tagging projects, confident in an encoding and QA process that delivers best-in-class quality with minimized time to market.

As innovative as this approach might be in the pharmaceutical sphere, it is worth mentioning that other industries have been managing similar programs to ensure their supply chain and merchandising programs’ success. DoseID intends to leverage the lessons learned in these different spheres to replicate their success in a critical space and bring the ability to track, in the cloud-based Registry, every action taken upon each RFID-tagged unit-dose of medication. The goal is to track a medication from the manufacturing facility to patient administration.  DoseID exists to put the most accurate information into the hands of the end-user.

If your organization wants to improve information access about medications via RFID enablement, please let us know. DoseID is open to all industry players who want to make healthcare better through technology.