*spotlight: Asset tracking and monitoring
IBM pitches RFID for pharmaceuticals
In 2004, IBM announced it would commit $250 million for the development of radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies. Two years later, it’s pitching an RFID solution for the pharmaceutical supply-chain-management market.
The company’s RFID solution for pharmaceuticals, launched in August 2006, blends RFID software and related services, including business and technical consultation. A third-party vendor supplies passive RFID tags and readers while IBM provides the software/server platform, said John DelPizzo, an RFID solutions executive with IBM.
Each tag’s unique identifier can be linked to descriptive product information, including dosage, strength, lot number, manufacturer and expiration date. The reader gathers this data, and then wirelessly transfers it to IBM servers for later retrieval, analysis and validation by the company’s WebSphere software suite.
The software offers a service-oriented architecture that lets users reuse existing IT assets to gather data as products flow through the supply chain. It is a highly scalable, flexible and time-tested technology developed for mission-critical environments, DelPizzo said. In addition, it promises read rates averaging 99% at the case and pallet levels and, most important, staves off counterfeiting.
“I can track each individual bottle of drugs as it moves through the supply chain,” he said. “I know when it left the manufacturing site and whether it was received at the distribution site. So now I have the ability to go back and authenticate that this particular bottle was what the manufacturer produced.”
Clients currently are testing the solution as part of a pilot program. However, DelPizzo foresees its widespread deployment in early 2008.
FUTURE RFID APPLICATIONS
Projected value of item-level RFID tag sales by application in 2016
(in millions of dollars)
- Retail apparel and other high-priced goods $200
- Postal $250
- Archiving (document, samples, art galleries, museums) other $400
- Drugs $400
- Other health care $490
- Consumer goods $660
- Spare parts, manufacturing parts and tools $900
- Military $1 billion
- Rented textiles/laundry $10
- Tires $14
- Books $100
A Double-edged Sword
July 2006 Mobile Radio Technology by Doug Mohney
Health care ahead of wireless curve
June 2006 Mobile Radio Technology by Jim Barthold
RFID tags get first major test at McCarran
May 2006 Las Vegas Business Press by Arnold M. Knightly
Symbol launches multi-network RF switching platform
June 2006 Mobile Radio Technology by Glenn Bischoff
Tag, you’re it: RFID lets boss track workers
May 2006 The Denver Business Journal by Bob Mook
What will they think of next?
July 2006 Mobile Radio Technology by Mary Rose Roberts
Asset tracking & monitoring vendors
Alien Technology • AXCESS International • Brooks Software • CattleLog • CES Wireless Technologies • Checkpoint Systems • Cimarron Technologies • Cognizant Technology Solutions • Control Signal • Covansys • Digital Angel • eXI Systems • IBM • IDA • InterAct Public Safety Systems • Intermec • IP Mobile Net • iAnywhere • Location Technologies • Manhattan Associates, Inc. • Midian • Midland Radio • New World Systems • Odem Technologies • PEAK Technologies, Inc. • Plant CML • Positron • Pryme Radio Products • Psion Teklogix Systems • Pyramid Communications • Raining Data • SIRIT • SmarTrunk Systems • StarChase • Syscan • Symbol Technologies • Tait North America • Thales Communications • VeriChip • Vue Technologies • For a listing of additional vendors, visit the MRT 2006 Resource guide at www.mrtmag.com