May 2019, Berlin/Waldkirch. August Faller, a leading manufacturer of pharmaceutical packaging, has won the German Innovation Award for 2019. The coveted distinction was presented in the category “Excellence in Business to Business – Medical Technologies” at a ceremony on 28 May in Berlin. Faller was honoured for its digitalised, interactive packaging solution called “Medical Prescription”, which actively helps users to take their medication in the correct way.
Interest in so-called smart packaging is rapidly growing in the pharmaceutical industry. Intelligent, digitalised packages for pharmaceutical products can increase patient compliance and simplify use. August Faller has therefore developed several interactive packaging prototypes in collaboration with AVNET Integrated and Pforzheim University. The “Medical Prescription” model made a big impression on the selection committee for the German Innovation Award.
Digitalised folding boxes have extremely flat electronic units with an epaper display, control keys, a microcontroller, a battery and a Bluetooth interface. Doctors or pharmacists can use an app to transfer individualised instructions for use directly onto the package. The package automatically monitors the number of tablets inside and reminds the patient when it is time to take the medication by means of an integrated clock, LED and acoustic signal. If the contents fall to a certain minimum level, the display also gives a warning and recommends ordering a new prescription.
Pioneer in smart packaging
“We were very pleased to receive the German Innovation Award,” says Armin Rambach, head of research & development at August Faller. “This is further proof of the great potential that smart packaging holds for the future, and we intend to be a pioneer in this area.” Faller has also developed prototypes of other packaging applications, for example bottles that measure the level of liquid medications. “We are certain that digitalisation and interactivity will be the key trends in our industry in the coming years,” Rambach adds.
The German Innovation Award was established by the German Bundestag in 2018 and is presented by the German Design Council. It honours highly innovative products and solutions across all industrial sectors that demonstrably generate added value. The winners are selected by an independent, interdisciplinary committee of experts from industry, academia and the financial sector. The award is given in two classes, each of which is divided into several categories. The competition is open to companies from all economic sectors as well as to non-commercial and state organisations throughout the world.