QR codes are the “new” buzz in the Tech community but are they worth the excitement particularly for Pharma/Biotech; as you know, QR codes are often used for adding web links to a printed page (Great marketing tool) or obtaining additional information about an author and/or subject matter. You can scan a QR code using a web cam or mobile phone camera, the QR reader application may take you to a Web site, a YouTube video or some other content. Recently, LinkedIn featured an application through Ping Tags http://www.pingstags.com that will allow you to link your business card to your LinkedIn profile. Good idea for personal branding – establishing your professional reputation. You can also develop your own QR code : http://www.QR-barcodes.com/online-generator/
I think QR codes are a great marketing tool; what an excellent way to drive traffic to your website. Should they be utilized by clinical trials.gov, FDA as a communication tool, NIH or Medical Centers that want to market their expertise? Hopefully, it is being assessed by the Pharmaceutical and Biotech industry and not just observed from afar. Should the FDA establish regulations for the Pharmaceutical and Biotech companies to follow? These are all questions that I hope will be addressed soon.
To read QR codes is not necessarily a straight forward process but you can get details at http://www.kaywa.com under categories (right side of the page), go to kaywa reader, another useful website is http://www.p8tch.com
I think it may be a bit premature for Pharma/Biotech to join in on the hype or disregard QR codes all together as not being useful. In my opinion, there is a place for them but time for further assessment is needed. Hospitals and academic medical centers are using social media to reach out to patients; at one time hospital decision makers did not really see the value in social media for their industry and there is still an ongoing debate as to whether social media is a security risks or violates HIPPA. Are QR codes in for the same expectation/rap?