Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for the packaging sector. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we decided to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising Track & Trace startups.
Heat Map: 5 Top Track & Trace Startups
For our 5 top picks, we used a data-driven startup scouting approach to identify the most relevant solutions globally. The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 interesting examples out of 41 relevant solutions. Depending on your specific needs, your top picks might look entirely different.
Pharma TRAX – Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
The main purposes for improving traceability in pharmaceutical packaging have been laid out by the World Health Organization for a few years now. From tackling counterfeit and fake drugs to ensuring that consumers are aware of where their pills are coming from, there is a huge potential for reducing costs through standardization. Going beyond QR codes and barcodes, radio frequency identification enables remote, non-line of sight tracking of pharma products like pills, pellets, boxes, and bottles. Pakistani startup PharmaTRAX develops RFID tags that use a combination of low, high, and ultrahigh frequencies, depending on the application. These tags allow for high-speed data identification and tracking to provide their customers with customized solutions and greater visibility on the supply chain for business managers.
Optrace – Holograms
Holograms are turning out to be potent weapons in the war against counterfeit drugs. They are versatile with the data forms they can incorporate and it can be serialized, that is, they can have a unique identification. They can be integrated with mobile phone applications making the data accessible to all stakeholders. Smart labels, which incorporate holographic data with other technologies, further protects the real drugs until they are consumed by a patient. Irish startup Optrace develops patented technology for the mass production of unique serialized holograms in a process where each hologram produced can be different from the last. These holograms can be in the form of any image provided by the customers. They are capable of providing the holograms in batches of hundreds or even millions. They also develop a smartphone application to track the holograms.
TruTag Technologies – Edible Microtags
There are many parts and ways in the pharmaceutical packaging supply chain which can be tagged and tracked. Tags can be placed for entire shipments, batches of products, boxes with smaller quantities of tablets, single sachets with a few tablets, and even on the individual tablets themselves. The US-based company TruTag Technologies develops microtags made with silicon dioxide or silica. The micro-tags are placed on every single pill encoded with the unique product information. Silica is considered edible and harmless to humans in such small quantities. Their approach empowers pharmaceutical companies to scan a pill found anywhere in the world and confirm its authenticity, the place & date of manufacture, its lot number, and other product information directly from the pill, without the need for the product’s packaging.
Inno4Life – Integrated Serialization
Track and trace technologies are important tools against counterfeit drugs. Part of the push for serialization comes from regulations that require certain compliance and standards. The remaining comes from innovative solutions that try to cater to all types of pharmaceutical manufacturers. Most regulations require manufacturers to provide the tracking details to other stakeholders in the supply chain to boost transparency and to quickly identify fraudulent activity. Dutch company Inno4Life develops a range of integrated serialization services that aim to track and trace products from the smallest saleable unit throughout the complete supply chain. They have a network of industry partners to integrate software, vision, robot, and printing components into the equipment that fits the project scope. Their services can be applied to items, bundles, cases, and pallets – allowing all sizes of pharmaceutical companies to implement serialization.
Antares Vision – End-To-End Tracking & Traceability
National regulators have pursued the need for stringent drug tracking regulations in an effort to combat the risk of spurious, illegally imported, and stolen drugs and to fight reimbursement system fraud. A complete track and trace process, consisting of serialization and aggregation, could tell the whole history of any given product, from the manufacturer to the point of dispensing, ensuring transparency in the supply chain. The Italian company Antares Vision develops complete track and trace solutions for pharmaceutical packaging. They offer a range of hardware and software solutions that meet the requirements of global regulatory compliance. They are also capable of automated serialization for bottles and cartons.
What About The Other 36 Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence for your Proof of Concept (PoC), partnership, or investment targets. The 5 startups showcased above are promising examples out of 41 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria and collaboration strategy, get in touch.