For most of us, the blister packs our medicines come in are just temporary barriers to be scratched open with our fingernails or popped open like Chiclets. We usually don’t even pay attention to the tiny, vaguely printed expiration dates tattooed on the silver skin of our aspirin or cough medicine’s packaging; we take for granted that it’s in date.
Yet around the world, billions of people can’t take the expiration dates of their medication for granted. Doing so can, and often is, fatal. A new concept could put an end to that by encapsulating our medicines in strips that change color as they expires, transforming the packaging of dangerously out-of-date medication into a chromatic warning. But will big pharma bring it to market?
Gautam Goel and Kanupriya Goel are a husband-and-wife doctor/designer team who were inspired to try to tackle the problem of expiring medicines after helping their grandparents clean out their medicine cabinets. “In their frail states, with such limited vision and dexterity, they found it extremely challenging to read the expiration dates printed in these tiny five-point fonts on their medicine strips,” the Goels tell Co.Design. And even if they could read the expiration dates, they found it difficult to interpret medical information on a package that was written in English, a language that was not their native one.