“Since I started using RI Witness in my laboratory the embryologists sleep better and so do the patients.”
Jean–Claude Jacquet, Medical Biologist in Reproduction,
Oriade PMA Grenoble, Rhône Alpes, France
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What is RI Witness?
RI Witness uses Radio Frequency Identification(RFID) to detect and monitor all activity in the IVF Laboratory. The system helps mitigate the risk of human error every time samples are moved from one dish or tube to another, and safeguards every step of the IVF cycle.
Throughout the lab, RI Witness readers are situated wherever work is undertaken, critically where samples are handled. Embryology heated or unheated plates with in-built RFID readers can be integrated into a worktop.
They are active all day, every day, so a check cannot be overlooked.
An RI Witness work area has a tablet computer connected to the server, integrated with your clinic’s patient database*. Thanks to self-adhesive RFID tags attached to all the laboratory plasticware, it is possible to ensure protocols are followed and only compatible samples are worked on at any one time.
The system is automatic, so it does not require additional steps by embryologists to identify samples, which are necessary with human double witnessing or barcode witnessing systems.
By automatically tracking, monitoring and recording across all your work areas, RI Witness frees up your time, energy and expertise.
This secured process fills everyone with total confidence2.
*Subject to compatibility, some programming may be required
Why Do I Need RI Witness?
What if you had a mix-up?
Many embryologists tell us this concerns them, and from time to time, the media reports an error which has wide-reaching effects; not only on the family but also the embryologists, the lab and the wider community’s perception of IVF practices. Primarily, RI Witness was designed to mitigate this risk. Through constant monitoring it reduces the chance of human error associated with repetitive tasks and misperception1,3.
Compared to other witnessing protocols it involves less disruption and accelerates the speed of witnessing which can reduce the time an embryo is out of the incubator3.
In response to ongoing customer feedback, RI Witness has been developed to include many time-saving features to make laboratory work easier. RI Witness does the work of many people, potentially freeing up staff members to carry out more procedures, increasing overall laboratory efficiency. It can also be used as a quality management tool ensuring consistent adoption of laboratory protocols and monitoring staff performance and simplifying audits.
Using RI Witness, provides your clinic with a competitive advantage while offering a secure, patient-orientated service.
“RI Witness has improved efficiency by streamlining our working practice – laboratory procedures are performed at the optimum time with a real-time witness.
The ease of operation is great and the system has proved to be a versatile audit tool.”
Sophie Jewitt, Senior Clinical Embryologist
Gateshead Fertility Unit, England
How Does It Work?
The Order Codes for RI Witness™ will depend on your particular configuration.
2 Townsend N, Ah-Moye M, Bunyan K, Engley S, Evans D, Glover L, McClure A, Ogutu D, Richardson L, (2016). Can electronic witnessing with RFID tags safeguard patients and mitigate risk in an IVF laboratory?
3 Sanges F, Maggiulli R, Albricci L, Romano S, Scarica C, Schimberni M, Giallonardo A, Vattraino G, Ubaldi F, Rienzi L, (2013). Implementing an electronic witnessing system into a busy IVF clinic- one clinic’s experience.
4 Patel B, Schnauffer K, Gregoire R, Kingsland C R, Troup S, (2011). An investigation into the efficiency of RFID electronic witnessing compared to manual witnessing.
5 Department of Health (2004). Independent review of the circumstances surrounding four adverse events that occurred in the Reproductive Medicine Units at The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. [online] London. Available at: http://www.who.int/patientsafety/information_centre/reports/Independent_review_Leeds.pdf [Accessed 12 May 2017].
6 Research Instruments Ltd. (2005). Test Report on Mouse testing of RFID Tagging System “IVF Witness”. Certificate of Analysis (Ectors, FJ, August 2005, GIGA Université de Liège,Belgium) Certificate of Calibration (Wragge-Morley, B. ETC, UK, May 2005) Certificate of Analysis (Pearce, J, May 2007, Embryotech, Wilmington USA)
7 Obradors, A. (2016). How can we mitigate the risk of error in the IVF Lab?
8 Forte, M., Faustini, F., Maggiulli, R., Scarica, C., Romano, S., Ottolini, C., Farcomeni, A., Palagiano, A., Capalbo, A., Ubaldi, F. and Rienzi, L. (2016). Electronic witness system in IVF – patients perspective. Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, 33(9), pp.1215-1222.
RI Witness™ Publications
2017 ESHRE presentation – An 8 year snapshot of insightful data using RI Witness: an absolute necessity for your IVF laboratory – Dr Stephen Troup Scientific Director, IVI UK
Q: What is RFID?
A. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a generic term for technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify objects. Labels with tiny microchips embedded in them are attached to all plasticware such culture dishes, test tubes and patient identity cards before being assigned to a patient. These microchips are read by the RI Witness readers. There is no need to directly scan the labels, the whole process is automatic and many tags can be read simultaneously.
Q: How does the RFID label transmit the information?
A: RI Witness uses RFID tags and a reader. The reader sends out electromagnetic waves and the tag receives these waves. The RFID tag draws power from the field created by the reader and uses it to power the microchip’s circuits. The microchip then modulates the waves that the tag sends back to the reader and the reader converts the new waves into digital data.
Q: Are there any health risks associated with RFID and radio waves?
A: RI Witness uses a radio frequency similar to the signals received by your car radio. We have organised exhaustive independent Mouse Embryo Assay (MEA) studies to demonstrate that RI Witness RFID does not have any detrimental effect on the development of embryos. These tests used radio waves which are 700 times stronger than those used by the actual product.
Q: Why is RFID better than using barcodes?
A: The most significant difference is that barcodes use line-of-sight technology. That is, a scanner has to “see” the barcode to read it, which means it is necessary to orientate the barcode towards a scanner for it to be read. Barcode systems therefore rely on the user remembering to confirm patients’ sperm, oocytes and embryos match. This can be prone to human error, and if not done correctly, can give a false record.
RFID, by contrast, doesn’t require line-of-sight. Tags can be read as long as they are within range of a reader. In addition, multiple RFID tags can be read at the same time, meaning that several items can be identified together. RI Witness uses this ability to automatically check everything that is brought into the working area.
RFID technology provides a level of security that can eliminate human identification errors. It monitors everything in every work area, every second of every day. It also offers an extremely large number of unique identities (UID). This means that each sample container can has its own UID and that procedures can be tracked in detail. The system knows exactly what has happened to the samples and which containers were used. The communication between tag and reader is very secure.