RFID pilot checks Chinese meds for authenticity

LSCM RFID reader unitA pilot project in Hong Kong is examining the use of radiofrequency identification (RFID) to authenticate traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) in the retail setting.

The Hong Kong R&D Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management Enabling Technologies (LSCM) is heading the pilot, which involves placing RFID tags on packs of TCM during manufacturing which can be read using a scanner in-store.

The LSCM R&D Centre is working with companies such as Chinese Pharmaceuticals, Eu Yan Sang, Hin Sang Hong, Ling Nam Medicine Factory and Wisdom Come on the project, which has the registered trademark Authen√Tick.

It involves setting up an authentication network with "secured communication and reliable authentication processing between third-party operated readers and authentication platform through the open Internet."

In the LSCM's latest newsletter it notes that when a product with an RFID tag embedded in package connects with an RFID reader, an authentication check would be processed with the result known in a few seconds.

"Product information such as product ingredients and laboratory test certifications can also be simultaneously acquired," it says. The pilot also plans to use QR codes on packs so that consumers can use their own smartphones for product information checking.

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