Unit dose packaging means that one dose of a medication is packaged individually rather than contained together in a bottle for example. This form of packaging is common in hospitals that incorporate (externally affixed) barcoded medication administration systems. It is also used in common OTC-as-needed medications to allow the consumer to travel with a single dose rather than a bottle.
In this application of the technology, a machine-readable data label is incorporated into this unit dose packaging in such a way that it may only be scanned once the packaging has been opened. Blister packs and unit dosing packing (UDP) have substantial advantages when incorporated with the present invention. It is not financially feasible to apply digital sensors to blister packs and unit dose packaging. While digital bottles and sensors can detect when a medication bottle was opened, QR code utilization produces the same data and similar end results at a fraction of the cost and is not limited exclusively to bottles.
In the UDP and blister pack application, another step in the medication taking process has been proven. In the medication bottle application, the patient must go to their bottle, open it, scan the QR code to mark a dose as taken. In the UDP and blister pack application, the patient still takes the previous steps, but now when they open the container, their exact dose is accessible and cannot be returned to the container. The end result is the patient having their exact prescribed dose on hand and documented.