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Suzuken Group Deploys RFID-Enabled Coolers for Drug Tracking

The system, provided by ASD Healthcare, was piloted for 18 months, and now will include approximately 1,000 coolers at distribution sites, hospitals and drug stores.
By Claire Swedberg

The Cubixx system monitors and collects the temperature within each Cubixx unit, along with the expiration dates of any products stored inside. The cooler also comes with security technology that could require the identification of a worker before drugs can be accessed.

In this case, when a user is removing a medication, that individual can be prompted to indicate his or her identity before the cooler can be opened. A touchscreen on the unit's front lists the names of all employees authorized to remove products, at which time the user presses his or her name. Information such as the time and date, as well as the person removing the product, is then stored. Once the medication is removed, the Cubixx software records that action and the status is updated in Suzuken's own management software.

One of the unique challenges for this installation, Flori says, was the sheer size of the deployment. It is likely to grow as the drug company continues to deploy coolers at its own distribution centers, at customer sites and in vehicles. "In full-scale," he states, "it will be in hospitals, retail drug stores and clinics."

More challenging, however was meeting Japan's half-watt energy-source requirements. Other countries typically allow up to one-watt power supply in the Cubixx devices.

In the meantime, Flori says, companies worldwide are continuing to acquire the Cubixx system for both large and small deployments. "We continue to expand pervasively across the U.S. and other geographies as well," he adds, including in small clinics, as well as at hospitals and supplier sites.

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