Over-the-counter products present an opportunity to minimize user interaction and automate the dosing process. For example, a Vitamin C product sold under the brand AMAZON ELEMENTS VITAMIN C with a UPC label value of 842379103643 has a “suggested use” dosing schedule of “take 1 tablet daily.” The product also has a fixed quantity of 300 tablets.

For every container with this UPC value, the quantity, product, and recommended schedule is static. In such cases, an our technology imprints onto the interior surface of the product container cap a machine-readable optical code encoding the over-the-counter ingestible product identifier having a universal dosing schedule. The cap encloses the container of the over-the-counter product wherein the optical code is only readable when the container is open, the product is accessible and the interior surface of the cap is scannable.

There is no need to link or register the optical code with a schedule of doses. The user, pharmacist or healthcare provide need not enter in a dosing schedule because the one provided by the OTC product is universal to all users. Accordingly, there is less required interaction or data entry into the software application on the portable device. The universal dosing schedule may be encoded directly into the machine-readable code, or alternatively, may be retrieved from a remote data store. An advantage of the remote data store is that updates into doses or even product recalls may provide information that otherwise would be inaccessible to the end user. The quantity of the OTC product may be monitored and, in the example herein, a threshold value of 3 remaining tablets may invoked an automatic AMAZON PRIME 2-day delivery order so the end user achieves “just in time” inventory replenishment of his or her Vitamin C product. In addition to the convenience for the user, the retailer also establishes a greater consumer loyalty and seamless purchase system for continuous reorders.

Multi-User OTC Monitoring

A variant of the OTC product embodiment addresses the situation when multiple users share a container of product. For example, consider if three individuals share the 300-tablet bottle of AMAZON ELEMENTS VITAMIN C. Instead of a 300-day supply, three users (adhering to the universal dosing schedule) will jointly consume the product in 100 days. In such a case, a remote data store records each time one of the plurality of users scans the machine-readable code on the inside of the product container cap. The system then calculates a decrementing quantity of product remaining in the container. Remaining quantities are displayed on the device and also set with threshold to execute automatic reordering of the product.

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