Ai Cure Technologies LLC, was established in 2009 to develop computer vision solutions to ensure safer medication usage. This SBIR Phase I will allow Ai Cure Technologies to prove feasibility of an innovative identification and anti-counterfei labeling solution that replaces traditional barcodes and utilizes the self-similarity properties of fractals to encode and print unique secure fractal patterns directly onto pills or capsules. This SBIR Phase I will allow technical feasibility of this solution, Fractal-ID"""""""", to be demonstrated and will test if a fractal pattern can be printed onto a pill and then recognized with computer vision software. The ability to accurately identify and authenticate pills enables medication to be correctly prescribed and administered. Yet a drug's packaging and labeling is not a stamp of authenticity. It is almost impossible for patients and healthcare professionals to identify pills based on their physical characteristics and to decipher the pill's imprint, its unique identifying code. As a result, the twin problems of counterfeit medication and medication errors - both of which depend upon pill identification - are very difficult to stem. Medication errors contribute heavily to the public health burden. 1.5 million people are harmed every year in the US because of medication errors and the cost for hospitals alone is approximately $3.5 billion. The physical appearances of pills play a large part - it is estimated that a pill's packaging and labeling are responsible for one third of medication errors. More than 10% of the world's drugs are counterfeit, rising to 50% for certain drugs in developing countries. The counterfeit drug market is estimated to be between $75 and $200 billion per year and is growing in countries with strict regulations. 100,000 deaths are attributed to counterfeit drugs every year and there is an unknown morbidity toll since substandard or counterfeit medicines are also responsible for drug resistance, therapeutic failure and dangerous health outcomes. Since medications are repackaged and change hands many times in the supply chain, direct pill and capsule labeling offers a more robust solution to medication identification. While barcodes may be used to serialize individual pills, their fixed designs are unsuitable for the shape, color, texture variablity found in pills and capsules. Furthermore, barcodes are easy to replicate, require fixed surface areas and specific alignment for printing, and are rendered unusable if occlusion occurs due to handling or damage. In addition, the item's physical attributes are distinct from the barcode itself. Ai Cure Technologies will offer pharmaceutical manufacturers, Fractal-ID(tm), a medication identification and authentication solution. The solution will equip manufacturers with printers and a license to a secure fractal label library;consumers will have access to a free computer vision software application to identify fractal pills;and investigators will be provided with higher resolution authentication tools.
The ability to accurately identify and authenticate pills enables medication to be correctly prescribed and administered. As a result, the twin problems of counterfeit medication and medication errors - both of which depend upon pill identification - are very difficult to stem. Ai Cure Technologies will offer a medication identification solution for pils and capsules that will allow manufacturers, anti-counterfeit investigators, and patients to identif and authenticate medication.