Electronic ID Tracking

Over the past decade, technology has greatly improved artificial reproductive technology, particularly in the area of traceability and patient safety.

One significant advancement is the implementation of Electronic ID Tracking systems in the Queensland Fertility Group’s (QFG’s) embryology laboratories. This system, known as “Witness,” utilises Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to detect and monitor activity in the IVF Laboratory.

Electronic ID Tracking, also referred to as RFID tracking, ensures that each patient’s identity is allocated to their respective samples and digitally tracks every vessel containing eggs, embryos, and sperm. This technology minimises the risk of errors in handling human samples by providing a comprehensive system for monitoring and tracking patient samples throughout the IVF process.

The Witness system employs tags attached to dishes or tubes containing patient samples, which store electronically encoded patient information. These tags are automatically identified and tracked by antennae at each workstation. If samples belonging to different patients are mistakenly placed together, an audible alarm alerts the scientist, preventing any mix-ups.

The Witness system not only monitors the movement of samples but also records the time of each technique and the items within the antennae’s range. This ensures that only one patient’s samples are handled at any given time, enhancing accuracy and reducing the chances of cross-contamination.

Electronic ID tracking eliminates the risks associated with identity errors during laboratory procedures, providing peace of mind to both patients and staff. Additionally, all witnessed procedures are recorded, allowing for auditing and verification of correct handling practices.

Technology has played a huge role in improving the safety and efficiency of artificial reproductive technology over the past decade and I look forward to seeing how it evolves over the next ten years.