The need to verify the authenticity of medical equipment and now vaccines, which are on the front line of the fight against COVID-19, has never been greater. Sadly they are also prime targets for counterfeiters. It is imperative to authenticate these products. TrueMed, a Finland-based tech start-up, says it has come up with the first end to end counterfeit medicine detection able to be accessed from every pocket.
“We offer an AI powered optical detection system against counterfeit medicines and medical products. What’s unique is that it’s a non-additive solution nothing needs to be added to the product,” co-founder of TrueMed, Tuomas Kannas, explains. TrueMed also provides add on services that help the customer with tracking and tracing of counterfeits.
This means that pharma and medical device companies can forget about stickers, tags, holograms and invisible inks. Using a combination of machine vision and artificial intelligence the app and the system behind it, will instantly tell if you are in possession of the authentic article or not, says the company.
The team created a fast, efficient and portable solution, an on demand service available in every mobile phone with a camera. AI can be used to cross reference any package, pill or powder with existing production print files, as well as trace sources and routes of counterfeits and compare them to similar items that had surfaced somewhere previously.
TrueMed Oy was officially founded in October 2019. That same month, a pilot with a Top 5 global pharmaceutical company kicked off with other pilots following in its wake.“In addition to Big Pharma, work is ongoing with public safety and public health players,” Kannas says, citing also good connections with the World Health Organization and UNAIDS.
As the coronavirus crisis hit, TrueMed became engaged in medical product recognition helping to make sure that, for example, face masks and coronavirus test kits were legitimate.
An early project was with Finnish material supplier Suominen to pilot and deliver an innovative solution for protecting a new nonwoven FIBRELLA® Shield based face masks in a real world setting.
“Determining if the product is genuine or a counterfeit is done through a mobile phone app, TrueMed Scanner. We provide Suominen an identification process and mechanism that can detect the product authenticity on the fibre level of the material. Suominen Intelligent Nonwovens utilizes the proprietary AI and machine vision platform. Additionally we can read all the necessary codes and markings on the product and it’s packaging, explains TrueMed’s CEO Jyrki Berg.
“Next we will bring vaccine protection,” says Kannas, “Not only identifying the counterfeits but Tracking & Tracing the routes and sources.