May 17, 2020

Expiration Message Now Appears on Pharmaceutical Packaging

3 min
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Written by Alyssa Clark Ever made the mistake of taking expired medication? Are those warnings and dates written in inconspicuous places or in a font...

Written by Alyssa Clark


Ever made the mistake of taking expired medication? Are those warnings and dates written in inconspicuous places or in a font that’s way too small to easily make-out?

A revolutionary package design for pharmaceuticals has reduced the pain of scanning for expired medication as easy, and quick as at a glance in order to better protect patients from taking expired pharmaceuticals. The term has been named as “Self Expiring”, and it is a development in which the printed membrane slowly reveals an expiration message over a period of time, inevitably stating “not fit for consumption” blatantly when the pills have exceeded their expiration date.

Already winning the Red Dot design award for this ingenious upgrade, Indian designers Gautam Goel and Knaupriya Goel have changed the game for pharmaceutical packaging everywhere. There were over 15,000 applications for the prestigious Red Dot award, from over 70 countries around the world, last year alone. With over 55 years of design experience, Gautam and Knaupriya have built one of the most recognizable and professional design companies in the world.

The way that this “Self Expiring” design works is explained best by describing the two layers that comprise it: first, is the conventional medicinal label used by almost all pharmaceutical companies, and second is the expiration warning itself. These two layers are separated by a diffusible type of material which allows the message to appear gradually over time. When the medicine is placed into the packaging, the ink from the expiration alert will slowly begin to leak through the first layer of packaging. At the time when the pills are officially expired, the warning messages becomes strongly apparent and completely readable, in order to best accommodate older patients who struggle reading fine print.

Some of the most common problems with existing expiration dates and warning messages are that they can lose information on the bottle from everyday wear and tear or transportation; they have unreadable typeface, or a non-universal language choice. All of these factors play a part in the market’s need for a new, refurbished packaging solution for the pharmaceutical world. The life-threatening risks of not abiding by these important expiration messages is cause enough to revisit their effectiveness as a whole and look for solutions to best protect the public from any unnecessary harm.

This “Goel” design perfectly evades these potential problems by utilizing a widely-known sign of danger in the typical circle with a cross inside several times, as well as a well-written message in the respective regional language. This helps to accommodate those who are illiterate by utilizing the image instead of words, and also helps people who will not speak the language chosen on the bottle. Chosen colors are meant to signify danger and redirect patients away from the medication, which takes a huge amount of the burden off of the users, allowing it to finally be easier for patients to look out for their well being by not ingesting expired pills.

Hoping to combat the problem of selling illegal pills for financial gain and avoiding the unnecessary life-threatening risk of ingesting expired meds, this “Goel” design has the industry’s hopes high in terms of producing results and helping combat these two problems occurring in the pharmaceutical world. 


About the Author

Alyssa Clark is the Editor of Healthcare Global

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Jun 18, 2021

Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool 

2 min
Skin Analytics uses AI to detect skin cancer and will be deployed across the NHS to ease patient backlogs

An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system. 

NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion. 

Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making. 

In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog. 

Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening. 

DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.

Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.

Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges. 

"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”

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