If you read here often enough, you know I am a bid advocate of the use for bar codes in healthcare and you can find my on going campaign for their use with FDA recalls here and more here.  The two links have a permanent home at the top of the Medical Quack you can find at any time.  As a matter of fact they can even be used for e-prescribing authentication too.  Sean over at the Family Health Guy blog also has some additional input on how this all came together.  image

RAZCODE (Microsoft Tags) Using Smart Phones to authenticate MDs When e-Prescribing Controlled Substances

You may have seen the bar codes with the Withings Scale too.  Every time you step on the scale your weight goes right into your HealthVault account.  HealthJibe is the gateway where you sign up for the service through the gateway and register. 

Withings WiFi Connected Body Scale Integrates with Microsoft HealthVault To Use WiFi to Record Your Weight

In this case the Withings web page will send you to HealthJibe to get set up.  In essence your pounds are being authenticated through a similar gateway as mentioned about with e-prescribing.  Here’s a couple of past posts from the last few months.  Here’s a little history from a while back on how HealthVault and Google Health have this connectivity.

Connecting HealthVault/Google Health and More to RazCode Encrypted Microsoft Tags – Automate Data Input

The link below has some additional information too on how the authentication processes work with authentication and some nice videos that help explain. 

“Auth Tag” – Mobile Microsoft Bar Code Tags Using a Smartphone To Scan for Two Factor Authentication Giving Users Digital Tokens

Recently I was interviewed by the Milwaukee Journal paper about the massive Triad recalls and some of the anti bacterial wipes are still out there too…

Recalled Wipes From Triad Still Out There in Consumer Medicine Cabinets and Possibly At Some Retail Locations-Manufacturers and FDA Need To Do A Better Job-Bar Codes

As recently seen at the Microsoft Tag website…


Who wouldn’t want to just scan with a smart phone to instantly get your data in your medical records? 

Below is an article I wrote for an investment magazine on how I feel FDA recalls could really benefit with the focus on a patient who was accidentally implanted with a device that had been recalled, but was missed from being pulled from inventory and the man died a few days later when the clamp malfunctioned.  Many hospitals have a good RFID system in place today, but how about small surgical centers, doctors offices and so on?  Anyway you can see Microsoft Tags in use here on this website and nice job with Cook Medical and the vaccines!  BD 

Micro-Cap FDA Recalls Never End

Press Release:

FORT WORTH, Texas & WATERTOWN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- PedsPal, Cook Children’s Health Care System’s physician group’s purchasing program, has collaborated with athenahealth (NASDAQ:ATHN - News), Microsoft, Sanofi Pasteur, and Merck, as well as its physician members, to establish the nation’s first use of 2D barcodes on vaccines. Cook Children’s will demonstrate the new 2D barcoding technology at the upcoming American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference being held from October 15-18th in Boston, Massachusetts.

Recently, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a guidance that allows an exemption to the existing requirement to use linear (i.e., 1D) barcodes on vaccines. As a result, physicians across America who use athenaClinicals®, athenahealth’s electronic health record (EHR) service platform, will soon be able to simply scan a vaccine’s barcode and have that information automatically incorporated into a patient’s EHR. This new capability will grant a host of new physician capabilities that Cook Children’s has been developing with athenahealth through its EHR since February of 2010, including:

  • Better managing a practice’s vaccine supply—lowering their costs
  • Confirming that the vaccine about to be given is for the right child, in the right dose, and at the right time
  • Sending notice of the vaccine dose to the state’s vaccine registry automatically
  • Creating a reorder to replace the administered vaccine

“Cook Children’s is pleased to help achieve this groundbreaking milestone in the care of children,” said Jason Terk, M.D., pediatrician with the Cook Children's Physician Network and Medical Director of PedsPal. “This new barcode system not only allows us to enhance our level of care, but also sets the standard for the entire nation. As health care providers, it’s important for us not to follow, but to take the lead, in using technology. We will be able, like never before, to meet the parents’ needs in an efficient manner and in a way that fits their lifestyle.”

This unique collaborative effort will provide parents and guardians with the ability to use their smartphones to scan vaccines administered to their children directly into their personal health record stored in their Microsoft HealthVault account, assuring that they have a complete record of immunizations received, which can be accessible to the family from any Internet connection when they need it. Microsoft HealthVault is a trusted place for people to organize, store, and share health information online.

Jonathan Bush, athenahealth’s CEO and Chairman, said, “Let’s face it, asking a parent to remember the last time their college-age child got a tetanus shot is unreliable, and the odds that their current doctor in San Francisco is aware that this shot was administered in Boston 20 years ago are slim at best. In health care, the ability to not only more effectively track vaccines but to build this data into an EHR platform that can follow the patient is an absolute game-changer, and we are confident that the forward thinking of Cook Children’s to again utilize the power of our cloud-based clinical network is going to lead to an invaluable level of improved patient safety.”

Peter Neupert, Corporate Vice President, Health Solutions Group, Microsoft, said, “Applications such as this one for vaccine management will help people to understand the importance of connecting information throughout the health system and making it promptly accessible to the people who need it, whether doctors, medical inventory managers, or parents caring for their children. We’re excited to work with Cook Children’s and athenahealth to deliver solutions to help improve care and empower families to manage their health.”

About Cook Children's Health Care System

Cook Children's Health Care System is a not-for-profit, nationally recognized pediatric health care organization comprised of seven entities - a Medical Center, Physician Network, Home Health company, Northeast Hospital, Health Plan, Indemnity Company and Health Foundation. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, the integrated system has more than 60 primary and specialty care offices throughout north Texas. Its service region includes Denton, Hood, Johnson, Parker, Tarrant and Wise counties, with an additional referral area encompassing nearly half the state. Cook Children's traces its roots back to 1918, but throughout its continual change and robust growth, it still embraces an inspiring promise - to improve the health of every child in its region through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury. To live up to this promise, Cook Children's combines the art of caring with the use of leading technology and extraordinary collaboration to provide exceptional care for every child, every day. For more information, please visit www.cookchildrens.org.

About athenahealth

athenahealth, Inc. is a leading provider of cloud-based business services for physician practices. athenahealth's service offerings are based on proprietary web-native practice management and electronic health record (EHR) software, a continuously updated payer knowledge-base, integrated back-office service operations, automated and live patient communication services, and the coordination of care among participants in the health care system. For more information, please visit www.athenahealth.com or call (888) 652-8200.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the benefits and the timing of implementation of new barcode technologies. The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, and are subject to uncertainties, which may be beyond the Company’s control and could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances, or otherwise. For additional disclosure regarding these and other risks faced by the Company, see the disclosures contained in its public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, available on the Investors section of the Company’s website at http://www.athenahealth.com and on the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov.



  1. The barcode system definitely fits the health care industry, specifically the pharmaceutical sector. It helps minimize the reduction of errors when it comes to labeling the medicines, allowing for an accurate system.


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