Pharma packaging becomes a digital communication “hub”
In these days Milan is on the front pages of all the world’s newspapers: the cause, unfortunately well known, is the Coronavirus. A reality that we are experiencing directly, since our factory is located at the gates of the city.
Leaving aside the health recommendations (which we leave to the institutions responsible for managing the emergency) there is one aspect of this story that rised our attention: the misinterpretation of the use of common preventive health devices, like masks or latex gloves.
Social media and television are full of images of people wearing masks and gloves in the most diverse contexts: in the subway, in offices, in supermarkets taken, even in parks and open spaces. These are consumer products but in these days they are so in demand that they seem impossible to find (together with liquid or gel disinfectants); in some cases there has also been a dizzying rise in prices.
What’s wrong? Simple: as repeatedly confirmed by the health authorities and reported by newspapers, the masks should be worn only if you suspect you have contracted the coronavirus and in the presence of symptoms such as coughing or sneezing, or if you take care of a person with suspected infection with coronavirus.
Their main purpose is to protect the health of those around us and they must be accompanied by other hygiene measures, such as washing hands properly. This “race to the mask” is therefore unjustified. But despite continuing to point it out, people still look for them and wear them.
For latex gloves it is pretty the same thing: on television we see people wearing them, taking them off, holding them in their hands, placing them on any surface. If the intention is to really avoid contact with potentially risky microbes, they should be removed carefully!
Why does it happen? The information on the correct use of these devices is not lacking: it can be found in newspapers, on institutional websites and social profiles, it is repeated on television.
The problem is it always come apart from the device itself.
The use of a drug or a health tool should never be taken for granted, especially by non-professionals or inexperienced people. At a time of great turmoil, reliable information on their correct use must be immediately available, also through concrete examples. Otherwise, there are two possibilities:
a) people do not seek information, they just follow their intuition, inevitably making mistakes;
b) people seek information online, where it is very difficult to distinguish between reliable news and fake news.
Of course, there are medical leflets: but sometimes they seem difficult to understand and they often got lost.
We need new communication solutions that bind permanently to the drug or the medical device itself.
This is why we have created the Smart Tube: an “intelligent” aluminum tube, capable of interfacing with a free mobile app. Just scan the tube from any angle with the app to be sent back to exclusive digital content. The secret is in an “invisible” code that is hidden inside the print artwork on the entire surface of the tube. A real direct digital communication channel between the healthcare product and its user. The advantages of this solution are manifold:
– it is long-lasting: it does not bind to a sheet (which is easily lost or damaged) or to the cardboard box (which is thrown away immediately) but to the primary packaging, that is the aluminum tube for drugs; moreover, the code is always readable, even when the tube is used, crushed or completely squeezed.
– It’s multimedial: the digital code can be linked to websites, explanatory videos on how to use the product, video interviews with doctor’s advice, product surveys, Facebook pages and even podcasts. For example, the leaflet can be made available in multiple languages or in an audio version, to facilitate its use by unsighted or partially sighted people.
– It’s safe. The code is unique and cannot be duplicated, protected by sophisticated IT security systems to further guarantee anti-counterfeiting both for the product and the information related to it. In addition, it provides general statistics on the scans, useful for understanding the interests of the public.
For a pharmaceutical company, an important asset; for consumers, a real added value.
To give you a concrete idea of the possibilities offered by Smart Tube, we have created an example: Revelio, an “imaginary” ointment to fight psoriasis and spread valuable information about how to treat and live with it.