Sam's Club and Wal-Mart pharmacy announced that they have used a "talking" drug solution that uses RFID technology in all retail pharmacies across the country.The technology, provided by En-Vision America, aims to help people with visual impairment access prescription information.
People with vision problems often have trouble getting information about medications they are taking, and while the text on the bottle can be enlarged and printed, it is not very useful for some patients.
En-Vision America is a technology company focused on helping visually impaired people.They have been providing assistive technology to the visually impaired since 1996. Their systems include voice-enabled bar code scanners, braille and large font printing.
The solution uses an ISO 15693 standard HF RFID printer and reader, as well as a reading base station and tag connected to each bottle.
Pharmacies can use ScripTalk printers to print built-in RFID tags, or manually place one-inch circular ScripTalk tags on the bottom of prescription bottles that have been pre-coded and ready to write data.
The ScripTalk workstation used at the pharmacy is equipped with a USB cable that connects directly to a PC running the software. When patients order drugs, they request ScripTalk services. The pharmacist then either prints the rfid-enabled tag or places the pre-coded disc-shaped RFID tag at the bottom of the container.
The pharmacist stores the patient's medication information on the ScripTalk reading base station device. A built-in RFID reader reads the label's unique ID number, and the pharmacist can then enter the drug's data into the label in the system. Including patient name, drug name, dosage, instructions, precautions, doctor's name, prescription and expiration data, and so on.
Patients have their own ScripTalk reading base station at home, which is powered by batteries and can be installed on the work station or wall without Internet connection or power connection. When the user puts the labeled bottle in the reading range and presses the device's button, ScripTalk reading base station will read the contents of the label by voice.
Wal-Mart and Sam's Club began testing the technology in three pharmacies in 2012 and then expanded to 1,200 stores. Now, at the request of patients, the company is working on extending the technology to all pharmacies.