RI Witness technology virtually eliminates identification error.
If you’re reading this, you may have already experienced a rollercoaster ride on your fertility journey. For many, taking the next step to assisted reproduction and IVF brings new concerns and fears since you have to put faith and trust in the hands of others – laboratory staff and embryologists handling your eggs, sperm and embryos. You can rest assured that embryologists are some of the most dedicated, exacting professionals in healthcare. They pride themselves in the care and attention they give each and every patient. Because of this attention to detail, errors are exceedingly rare, but as occasional news reports illustrate, they can still occur.
The matching of patients, samples, tubes and dishes is a perfect example of processes that benefit from modern technology. While traditionally performed manually, requiring two embryologists, there are now electronic options to automate this process. At Kindbody, we’re using an industry-leading, state-of-the-art witnessing system – called RI Witness – to assure that all movements of your gametes and embryos are tracked by a highly sensitive electronic system. Specifically designed for the IVF clinic, Electronic IVF Security Tagging monitors every step of IVF to guard against mis-identification while also streamlining the IVF process. Unlike other electronic systems that use only barcodes, every step of the IVF procedure is detected without any requirement from the embryologist. As a trailblazer in the fertility space, Kindbody is one of fewer than 15% of clinics using RFID electronic witnessing. This system ensures that we’re providing the highest possible security and safeguarding of your samples.
How Does the System Work?
The system uses radio frequency ID technology (RFID) – where wireless RFID tags are attached to all culture dishes and test tubes and match with a unique ID for each patient. Electronic Security Tagging workstations are placed at work areas in the lab to automatically detect RFID labels in the workspace, tracking the patient identity through the procedure. If at any time the wrong samples are introduced into the work area, Electronic Security Tagging warns the laboratory personnel both visually and audibly, thus identifying mismatches before they happen. This fully automated system operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which enables our team to give their full attention to caring for your samples.
The IVF cycle is a series of important identification events. The first step is the assignment of a patient RFID attached to your sample and recorded on your own ID card. Every time a new culture dish or tube is introduced into the system, it is assigned your unique RFID and the scanners in the lab confirm that the IDs match. Every step in the process is tracked – from matching sperm and eggs to each patient at the point of entry into the lab, to the mixing of sperm and eggs, to the embryo transfer when embryos are matched back to the patient. The only time an RFID is not used is during the freezing process – because the RFID signal can’t be detected accurately while in liquid nitrogen. At this stage, the RI Witness system uses unique barcodes for each device holding frozen eggs or embryos. When a patient has a frozen embryo transfer, the barcode system is used to match the embryo storage device to an RFID-tagged dish, thus assuring the chain of custody of the sample is intact.
We understand you want to know everything is being taken care of as you embark on a life changing journey. RI Witness allows lab staff to perform procedures with total confidence, giving all team members peace of mind. Because the system is automatic and does not require continual interruptions for manual witnessing, it means the embryologist can give their full attention to caring for your samples. This allows you to rest assured that your samples are being managed and tracked in the most secure possible way.