Biometrics Firm Combats Prescription Drug Abuse With Fingerprint Technology

The personal medication lock box with fingerprint technology said to prevent unauthorized access.

HENDERSON, Nev. – A security company wants to tackle the $55 billion cost of prescription drug abuse market using biometrics, according to MedCity News. Rx DrugSAFE is applying its technology to safely store prescription medications in lock boxes to prevent unintentional overdoses, particularly among teens.

In an interview with Rx DrugSAFE principal Lorraine Yarde at the MidAmerica Healthcare Venture Forum, she told MedCity News it is also working on a prototype that would apply biometrics to patient controlled analgesic, used to help patients control pain levels. It would use a fingerprint sensor to control not only who accesses the product, but also how frequently and the amount of the drug they have.

In 2013, there were 43,982 drug overdose deaths in the United States, most of which were unintentional, MedCity News reported.

Its first industry customer is the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Abuse which, like many states, is using federal funds to stem prescription drug abuse. In addition to state and county governments, Yarde said it sees payers as potential customers since prescription drug abuse impacts their costs as well.

The product is sold to consumers through its website and Amazon. In the near future it plans to add Bluetooth and wireless capabilities so the drug safe can be used with other devices.

Yarde has worked with biometrics before. She was COO of Biometrx, which developed a way to integrate fingerprint recognition for home security to open and lock up garage doors, gates and door locks and lockers to store guns. MarketShare Recovery later acquired the business. She formed Rx DugSafe in 2010 but it only began actively developing its technology in 2013.

Rx DrugSafe isn’t the only company applying biometrics to prescription drug security, according to MedCity News. Medbox, for example, also uses a fingerprint scanner for its medication dispenser. But the fact that Rx is also making its scanner available to consumers rather than focusing on pharmacies sets it apart.

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