July 24, 2024

New Offline SmartID Technology Detects Counterfeit Medications

A consortium of Germany’s Fraunhofer research institutes has developed a new offline system, called SmartID, to detect counterfeit medications. Unlike existing handheld systems that require online access to a database, SmartID works entirely offline.

SmartID utilizes tiny features unique to the surface texture of each individual product’s packaging. This means that the surface texture “fingerprint” of one box of medication will be different from any other box of the same medication. To implement this technology, a unique QR code is printed onto each box or other packaging during the manufacturing process. The QR code contains information about the box’s texture fingerprint. Additionally, a small blank area is left beside the code, where nothing is printed.

To determine if a product is genuine, consumers or pharmacists simply use their smartphone camera to scan both the QR code and the adjacent blank area. If the fingerprint matches the one imaged by the phone, an app on the phone will confirm that the product is legitimate. No internet access or database is required for the authentication process.

While counterfeiters may attempt to use this technology on their own bogus pharmaceuticals, it is expected that the costs, complexity, and specialized hardware required will deter most counterfeiters from doing so. The SmartID technology could also be applied to other commonly counterfeited goods such as electronics, alcohol, clothing, and more.

The development of the SmartID system is a significant step forward in the fight against counterfeit medications and other counterfeit products. By providing a simple and effective offline authentication method, SmartID offers a reliable solution to protect consumers and businesses from the dangers and economic losses associated with counterfeit goods. The portable nature of the technology makes it easily accessible for both consumers and professionals in the pharmaceutical industry.

The implementation of SmartID has the potential to revolutionize the way medication and other products are authenticated. By eliminating the need for online connectivity, the system offers a practical solution in areas with limited internet access or in situations where immediate verification is necessary. This technology not only safeguards consumers from harmful counterfeit medications but also protects the reputation and revenues of pharmaceutical companies.

Fraunhofer’s SmartID system signifies a significant advancement in anti-counterfeiting technology. With its offline capabilities and reliance on unique surface texture fingerprints, the system ensures accurate and reliable detection of counterfeit products. This development is a crucial step forward in ensuring the safety and authenticity of medications and other frequently counterfeited goods, providing consumers and industries with greater peace of mind.

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1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it