What are RAIN and GS1?

With all the talk of RFID and pharmaceuticals, you’ll frequently see mentions of RAIN and GS1.

Here’s a quick primer on those terms and a description of how they relate to UnitVisID.


RAIN is a marketing organization and global alliance promoting the use of GS1’s UHF Gen2 protocol.

The term “RAIN” has become synonymous with “UHF Gen2” when describing tag and reader standards. Generally speaking, any RAIN tag can be read by any RAIN reader.


GS1 is a global standards organization which, among other things, manages several RFID specifications and standards including EPC, TIPP, and TDS.

How these Relate to UnitVisID

UnitVisID’s approach builds upon the good and valuable work of both of these organizations. UnitVisID and its predecessors having been using the following since 2011 (before RAIN even existed).

  • UHF Gen2 (“RAIN”) tags and readers
  • GS1’s EPC standard

You can think about UnitVisID’s relationship to these in layers.

  • RAIN and GS1 offer these useful and valuable “Level 1” standards.
  • UnitVisID acts as a “Level 2” layer, leveraging these and other Level 1 standards to build a more holistic solution aimed specifically at the needs of hospitals and the medication supply chain that serves them.

We recognize that neither RAIN or GS1, alone or together, fully solves the hospital’s needs around safety, efficiency, and inventory visibility and have worked to build the UnitVisID approach on top of these.