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Assuring safe, accurate and confidential treatment of patientsí samples during IVF Procedures

Nicola Harrop

19 November 2010

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RI Witness monitors ivf laboratory process, assures safe, accurate and confidential treatment of Patients’ sperm, eggs and embryos, used in IVF Procedures.

Technology reduces risk of IVF lab mistakes by electronically identifying all patient ‘samples’ used during an infertility treatment cycle.

DENVER, CO and CORNWALL, UK, OCTOBER 25, 2010 – RI Witness software technology used to monitor patients’ eggs, sperm and embryos throughout an infertility treatment cycle, is giving thousands of infertility patients peace of mind, and ensuring the safe, accurate and confidential treatment of all biological materials. RI Witness is used to carefully track and monitor more than 23,000 in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles each year. In the US, infertility affects about 7.3 million women and their partners, or approximately 12% of the reproductive-age population.

RI Witness uses non-invasive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to track each patient’s biological ‘samples’ during the course of treatment. If wrong samples are introduced, RI Witness alerts the laboratory staff, via visual and audible signals, to help prevent mislabeling of any materials. To reduce the risk of human error, IVF clinics ‘double witness’ each procedure, having two laboratory staff members manually double-check the labeling and handling of samples.

“After integrating the system into our IVF lab procedures, we clearly appreciate the benefits of the RI Witness, giving an even higher level of confidence, comfort and security to each treatment cycle. In addition to double witnessing each procedure, our team has the added assurance that we have a reliable technology in place to guarantee authenticity of each step of the IVF process,” said Carli Chapman, BS, ELD, Associate Lab Director, Reproductive Medicine Institute, Chicago. “We are so pleased with the RI Witness that we are now integrating the technology in all of our IUI procedures as well.”

RI Witness uses RFID tags, each containing a microchip that acts as a unique digital fingerprint, safely identifying samples at the outset and tracking them through the fertilization process. Each patient is given an RFID identity card, with a unique identification. This individual identification is used with all sample materials for that patient, including Petri dishes and test tubes used in a treatment cycle. The entire system is electronically managed.

“IVF laboratories have rigorous protocols to ensure the safety of all patient samples and treatment cycles. As a result, laboratory errors are rare, but as with any medical procedure, there is a possibility for human error,” said Bill Brown, Managing Director, Research Instruments. “By creating an automated system to further validate established safety protocols, RI Witness provides added safeguards to ensure the integrity and accuracy of each treatment cycle, giving patients complete peace of mind.”

“Many of our patients do have a high level of concern about the accurate handling of their samples. Knowing we are using state-of-the-art technology to monitor and record the entire lab process and all materials used in their treatment cycle gives them greater comfort and confidence,” said Chapman.

“Only with RI Witness can an infertility clinic guarantee to their patients that their eggs, sperm and embryos are monitored continuously, during every laboratory procedure,” added Brown. “Forward-thinking clinics are integrating RI Witness into their lab practices. It is easy to use, requires no additional steps or procedures, and provides an important safeguard to prevent the possibility of error.”

RI Witness was initially installed in the United States, and is now used throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East. In the UK alone, RI Witness monitors 25% of all infertility treatment cycles.

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Date Added: 19 November 2010   Date Updated: 19 November 2010
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