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Tego Releases Environmental-Monitoring Technology for Pharmaceutical Applications

The Touchless Environmental Monitoring Solution includes a high-memory tag attached to items such as agar exposure plates, an app used on a handheld reading device and Tego's Asset Intelligence Platform to track the history of the item in laboratories or clean-room environments.
By Claire Swedberg
May 24, 2017

RFID platform solution provider Tego, Inc. has released an RFID-based solution for tracking environmental-monitoring components to manage the presence of contaminants in places where vaccines or medications are being made. The Touchless Environmental Monitoring Solution is aimed at providing a history of each component's history and chain of custody to better manage its use and location, as well as what items or products were located around it in the event of a contamination. Items being tracked include agar exposure plates, cleanroom airflow monitoring filters, finished drug components, and raw materials and components used to monitor the environment.

Tego's environmental-monitoring solution includes a passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tag that stores data written directly to it, as well as fixed or handheld readers from a variety of vendors, and Tego's Asset Intelligence Platform (AIP) software to manage the collected read data. By using the solution with high-memory Tego tags, multiple entities can have access to the data written on the tag itself, even if they lack access to the software, explains LaVerne Cerfolio, Tego's marketing VP.

Tego's LaVerne Cerfolio
The technology was developed as a solution for pharmaceutical companies to track such assets as the hundreds or thousands of agar exposure plates that they use to prevent contamination while making medications and vaccines. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates that companies follow Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) by certifying that every vaccine, drug or biologic product is produced in a safe and controlled environment. The plates are used to identify if any mold or other contamination takes place, thereby identifying a problem before it can reach a finished product or a patient.

RFID enables the tracking of those plates. However, because they are often moved from one workstation, lab or manufacturing facility to another, the plates can be the responsibility of multiple parties, who may or may not have access to a single software platform.

For this reason, Cerfolio explains, Tego provides tags with high-memory chips—24 kilobytes of memory—that store a unique device identifier (UDI), GS1 manufacturing information about the product itself, and any data written by those inspecting or handling the test sample.

Tego's environmental-monitoring solution tag can be securely read and written to for use downstream, Cerfolio says, "by authorized personnel when critical supply chain events occur, or if changes in the products' status are necessary." Such changes may be required in such scenarios as a soft recall.

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