Combating counterfeiting

The German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) is currently warning that counterfeiters do not stop at medical products and medicines. Particularly affected are medicines for which there is a high demand, for example as lifestyle medicines, as well as non-prescription off-the-shelf preparations. The risk for patients is high and can be life-threatening in the worst case. With Origify, Bosch offers a solution that can also make a valuable contribution to patient safety in the medical and pharmaceutical sector.

"Our system is based on the optical detection of products - in the case of medicines, this can be the packaging, individual blisters or an injection pen. The technology can also reliably detect medical devices in use in the operating theatre or sensors. Each individual product is recorded via our terminal during the packaging phase, for example, and a data record is created and stored in a cloud. Later, a medical professional or a patient can use a suitable smartphone with a camera to compare the product with the data record stored during the initial registration. In this way, the product can be authenticated quickly and reliably via the Origify cloud using an app," explains Oliver Steinbis, who is responsible for Origify in the Bosch Group.

"Even mass-produced products such as drug packaging, blister packs, labels, blood glucose sensors, surgical instruments or other high-quality medical tools differ in minimal characteristics that the human eye is usually unable to detect. Our technology is geared precisely to these differences and can create a digital fingerprint for each individual medicine box or injection pen. This is stored in such a way that it cannot be falsified or manipulated," continues Steinbis. In the best case, therefore, the initial optical capture takes place directly at a manufacturer's site - for this purpose, Origify can be integrated into automated production. Initial detection can also take place in the distribution of products from the medical technology and pharmaceutical industries or in the service of medical technology devices. Test series with medical technology companies have already confirmed that Origify, as a turnkey technology solution, can enable additional security through end-to-end capture. The digital fingerprint also remains intact during sterilization of surgical instruments or other products, while an imprint or label could be damaged in the process.

Traceability of products in the medical field

In addition to the hardware for recording the individual products, the cloud platform is also already available. The existing app from Origify, with which authentication can be carried out, can also be integrated into other apps - for example, those of a pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturer - if required or desired. The storage and retention of the digital fingerprint is not limited in time. In addition to counterfeits, unauthorised imports from other countries are also undesirable in the case of medical devices and medicines. The capture and local scans can be used to trace the origin of a medical device or pharmaceutical product. This also applies to products that are intended for single or generally limited multiple use. Often, the usage cycles of such devices cannot be clearly traced due to sterilization. DMC codes and labels used for identification may be compromised by sterilisation. In addition, Origify's technology is not tied to a minimum size - and does not compromise the sterile properties of a surface because nothing is applied to the product. 

The app's intuitive usability also makes authentication easy when used in a clinical or laboratory environment. Even patients gain more confidence and trust in medical device and pharmaceutical providers through ease of use when app access is also granted to the end user for certain products.

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