Pharmacies require large inventories of low-cost, accessible prescription medication containers. For most applications, it is impractical for an individual pharmacist to imprint and encode a custom prescription QR-code the patient can scan. Fortunately, we have a solution.
Our technology addresses the efficiency in which containers using the invention may be inventoried and used. This solution is applied for electronically tracking ingestible product consumption over a series of timed dosages. A machine-readable optical code encoding a globally unique identifier (GUID) is affixed or imprinted onto the interior surface of a product container cap. The GUID is unique to that individual cap which encloses a container of a product. The optical code is only readable when the container is open, the product accessible, and the interior surface of the cap is scannable.
Global Unique Identifiers
GUIDs are also known as universally unique identifiers (UUID). They are typically 128-bit numbers used to identify data in computer systems. As the name implies, the GUID strings are unique. This does not depend on a centralized authority or cooperation between entities generating them. The probability of a duplicate GUID is not zero. However, it is close enough to zero to be negligible. With randomly generated GUIDs under Request for Comments (RFC) 4122 version 4, the chance of two having the same value can be calculated using the probability theory. The probability to find a duplicate within 103 trillion version 4 GUIDs is one in a billion.
Using GUIDs provides an important utility. GUIDs pre-printed on the inside of the container caps:
- Flexible. Are agnostic as to the medication or product contained;
- Secure. Contain no private medical data about the medication or product; and
- Unique. Aare statistically unique wherein the risk of a collision between two identical GUID values is negligible.
In operation, millions of bottle caps may be imprinted with unique GUIDs by multiple manufacturers without any coordination or central authority provided they are properly randomized under RFC 4122 version 4 or a functional equivalent. When a prescription is filled, the pharmacy may “link” that unique GUID value with the prescription record whereby the patient may scan the GUID value upon each scheduled dose. Alternatively, the patient themselves may initialize the link between the GUID value of container cap and the medication schedule they wish to adhere to.
Once the GUIDs are imprinted and scannable when the container is open, a schedule of timed dosages for the product is established in a software application operable on a portable, network-connected electronic device. This device is typically a smartphone such as those known under the brands GALAXY, PIXEL or IPHONE. The machine-readable optical code is scanned through a camera in the device to decode the machine-readable optical code back to the GUID. In the next step, a data association is registered between the GUID and the schedule of timed dosages. This is typically done by an update to a GUID field in a table of schedules.
Containers Linked to Schedules
The product container GUID and the schedule of medication or product is now linked at the software level. The process is now ready to perform adherence scanning to the schedule. For the very first dose of product, the interior surface of the cap is scanned upon administration of a scheduled dose by the device. Software in the device decodes the GUID from the machine-readable optical code. Both the product administration and schedule of timed dosages are automatically resolved for that product from the prior data association with the GUID. A record of the scheduled dose timestamp is stored whereby the software application updates a database table for the schedule of timed dosages with the timestamp of the last scan of the machine-readable optical code decoded to the GUID. A database query is established that returns records for the schedule of doses when in an overdue state. The database query is polled on an interval to retrieve records for one or more overdue doses. A notification event is fired to alert one or more recipients of the overdue state whereby the one or more recipients are notified to administer the dose of product.