Did you know? According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, approximately $260 billion in bio-pharma products are temperature-sensitive. As these products are shipped through the “cold-chain” process daily to arrive at hospitals, pharmacies and other medical/dental destinations, there’s a nagging question: Has it ever been exposed to hot or cold temperatures that results in a loss of efficacy?
This week we announced our partnership with Chromatic Technologies Inc. (CTI) to introduce a revolutionary new product we’ve coined, BlindSpotz™. This freeze-warning technology can be printed economically on individual packages, vials and syringes to help protect medical supplies and other critical applications, while dramatically saving money by lowering product waste.
The current cold-chain technology to record temperatures between 4°C (39° F) and -4°C (25° F) costs around $3 per device. CTI’s BlindSpotz™ freeze spot technology costs pennies per package. The CTI capability embeds the technology into an ink system that can be incorporated into the existing printing process for packaging. Now billions of packages of vaccines as well as lettuce, seafood, strawberries, flowers and paint can be individually inspected for quality and safety.
“We’ve been challenged by the pharmaceutical industry to create a simple, low-cost freeze indicator for the individual vial that is intuitive to a medical worker and offers the option to make it easy to record data of temperature damage, drug type, location. BlindSpotz™ technology does that,” said Randall Lane, ATI’s chief strategy officer.
“Freeze-sensitive prescriptions can now be sent by mail and it’s easy for patients to confirm the product hasn’t been exposed to freezing temperatures. It’s also a game-changer in saving money. Today, a single dose of HepB in the U.S. for a patient costs $700. If a hospital has 100 doses in a refrigerator that has a freezing incident, it is required to discard $70,000 in inventory. With the BlindSpotz™ on-vial freeze indicator, the doses can be quickly sorted into ‘O.K.’ and ‘Frozen. Do not use.’ If inspection finds that only 10% have been damaged, that’s a savings of $63,000,” added Lane.
In addition to medical samples, vaccines and pharma products, freezing temperatures can impact fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and meat, flowers, agricultural products, ink, chemicals, solvents, paint, food home delivery and certain types of mail or freight.
Patrick Edson, CTI’s chief marketing officer, explains that “Every packaging company in the world that supports food, medical and industrial clients just got access to a new pipeline of innovation to help their clients improve quality, safety and create a better consumer experience. It just requires one print station and the technology can be implemented.”
Extensive government regulations from the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture require cold-chain monitoring on any food and drug product affected by temperature. The ability to now record data and inspect at the package level is an economical, dramatic improvement in monitoring and reporting.
BlindSpotz™ is available in UV- and Water-based Flexo, Water-based Gravure, Wet Offset, UV-Wet Offset ink formulas, as well as finished devices. Additional technology for devices and on-pack printing is available to alert in event of thawing, warming outside of refrigeration specifications, high-heat damage and tampering.
To speak with an ATI representative about BlindSpotz - click here