SpectrometerSeeking out fake meds
With LinkSquare, the Californian start-up Stratio has developed a spectrometer that for now primarily helps consumers who order medications over the Internet. The device, which can be connected to a smart phone via a USB cable, uses a light wavelength analysis to check whether the tablet really contains what the packaging or insert claims. The results of the LinkSquare analysis are set to Stratio’s web database via a smart phone app and are compared with the reliable medication information stored there. If deviations from the standard formula are identified, the user at least knows that he or she is dealing with a fairly dubious online “pharmacy”.
Spectrometer for foods coming soon?
And it seems to happen fairly often. According to Interpol, a good twenty million packets of fake medications sent via the Internet were seized last year alone. The undetected cases are clearly an unknown quantity. For the future, Stratio plans to expand its spectrometer technology beyond medications and into the area of food, to enable false declarations on fish or meat products, for example, to be uncovered.