Information systems provider Harmonic Group launched the FreshCode barcode label last month, which alerts and records multiple instances of temperature change during the cold chain of pharmaceuticals and food, says Harmonic Group MD Barry Baetu.
To guarantee the quality of pharmaceuticals, meat, seafood and fresh produce at the point of sale, it is expected that temperature-sensitive products be monitored and controlled throughout the entire delivery process.
Subsequently, suppliers are being forced to maintain more stringent regulations and implement better control over cold chain logistics, explains Baetu.
Further, to ensure a continuous cold chain of pharmaceuticals, monitoring must be constant and continual throughout the delivery process, he says.
The FreshCode barcode label, which is developed and manufactured in Israel, should be attached to the actual product or close to it. The label sets off an alert where there is a change in temperature.
The label provides data on demand at any point in the chain and is discrete so that the consumer cannot decipher it.
It also provides accurate and definite readings, leaving no room for human interpretation, adds Baetu. “The last digit on the barcode changes based on the parameters set for customers’ requirements,” he notes.
“The barcode’s digits change from 1 to 2 when activated, 2 to 3 after the first parameter and 3 to 4 when the product’s temperature reaches its last parameter,” explains Baetu.
Further, he highlights that the FreshCode barcode works with standard barcode reading infrastructure, so its user can treat it like a typical barcode.
FreshCode Monitoring System
The FreshCode Monitoring System is a cloud-based software system that tracks, monitors and reports on the status of the FreshCode barcode labels. It features a real-time, Web-based data management system that monitors the labels by collecting data from the barcodes using hand-held readers or smart phones.
It can also be customised to customer requirements and can be integrated into a customer’s information technology system, with data transmission being employed through wireless fidelity or cellular networks.
Baetu says that, although the product is new on the market, there has been significant interest from customers from various industries.
For example, one of the company’s customers in the healthcare industry requested that two logistics requirements be met – one product – medication – needs to be stored at 8 ºC, while the other product – human tissue – needs to be stored at –80 ºC.
“The barcode is patented and protected, so Harmonic Group has several years of market space. The barcode functions with the standard barcode scanner and is therefore not a significant expense for a company,” he concludes.