DHL innovation project wins "RFID Journal Award 2007"
- Category: "Best Use of RFID in a Service"
- Pilot project is to be market ready by the end of 2007
The pilot project "temperature-monitored pharmaceutical logistics with RFID" conducted by the DHL Innovation Initiative was honored with the "RFID Journal Award 2007" at the congress "RFID Journal LIVE: Putting RFID to Work" (held from April 30 through May 2, 2007, in Orlando, Florida). The RFID application developed by DHL in cooperation with the innovation partners IBM and Infratab was nominated in the category "Best Use of RFID in a Service."
Today's pharmaceutical products generally consist of temperature-sensitive ingredients that can lose their effectiveness when they are placed in an environment that is too cold or too hot. The DHL Innovation Initiative developed an inventive solution to monitor temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical products during transport. RFID sensor tags made by the development partner Infratab monitor the temperature of pharmaceutical shipments. The stored measurement data can be read by a RFID reader without physical contact using radio waves. In the process, the shipment does not have to be opened. The link to the database is handled by solutions created by IBM, one of the global innovation partners of the DHL Innovation Initiative. Thanks to the new service, pharmaceutical companies can react to temperatures that exceed or fall below limits even while the shipment is still being transported.
The battery-powered memory chip is equipped with an integrated alarm function that records each time that the temperature rises above or falls below predetermined limits. In the future, unusable medications can be removed more quickly from the supply chain. Based on the temperatures to which the shipment was subjected, the sensor chip also determines the individual expiration date for medications. As a result, physicians and pharmacists can distribute the medication whose expiration date comes first, preventing medications from going bad after they have left the transport chain.
At the ceremony for the "RFID Journal Awards 2007," Mark Roberti, founder and publisher of the RFID Journal, praised the new logistics service as a pioneering step: Roberti noted that RFID-based shipment monitoring gave customers in the pharmaceutical industry the opportunity to proactively react to transport problems. In turn, this will increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, he said. With this service, DHL has created a competitive edge and tapped an important future source of revenue, Roberti said in the award statement.
Dr. Keith Ulrich, head of technology and innovation management at Deutsche Post World Net, DHL's parent company, stated, "Our pilot project offers a promising service to the pharmaceutical industry and other sectors searching for a solution for sensitive temperature-controlled transports. After conducting this successful pilot project, we want to offer this solution as a product to the first customers in the fall of 2007."