UDI Barcode Identifiers

It’s virtually impossible to pick up a product around you and not see a barcode on it or its packaging. Barcodes are used as electronic identifiers across the world. From consumer products to business machines to patient wristbands, barcodes are found everywhere, playing the role of an invaluable identifier in almost every aspect of our lives.

Linear and Matrix Barcodes

The most common and instantly recognizable type of barcode identifier is the linear, ‘one-dimensional’ barcode. This barcode type utilizes a simple amalgamation of lines and spaces of varying widths to create specific patterns. Barcodes are also available in ‘2D’ form, called ‘matrix code’ or simply ‘2D code’. Matrix barcodes can contain more data per unit area as compared to linear barcodes.

Barcode Identifier on UDI Labels

The Unique Device Identification (UDI) system being implemented by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) utilizes linear barcodes. These barcode identifiers will be present on the UDI labels on medical devices, or directly on the devices if applicable.

The barcode identifiers on the UDI label will contain the following information about the medical device they’re imprinted on:

  • Device Identification

  • Batch or lot number

  • Expiration date

  • Manufacturer date


Barcodes play a huge and hugely important role in point-of-sale  management. The barcode identifiers provide detailed relevant information related  to products, expediting decisions and transactions. For instance, barcode identifiers can be used to:  
  • Quickly identify and automatically reorder fast-moving goods
  • Identify slow-selling products to prevent inventory build-up
  • Monitor merchandising changes so there’s always space for the most profitable and fastest-moving products
  • Predict seasonal variations based on data collected by barcodes
  All of the above benefits can be utilized by medical device  manufacturers as they adopt the UDI system. The manufacturers are all set to  enjoy massive supply chain anagement benefits from the application of barcode  identifiers in the UDI system.