Ellab helps keep Covid testing on track


06 January 2022
Ellab supplied Oncologica with the Hanwell IceSpy system

A monitoring system from Ellab is helping to keep Covid testing on track for a leading precision oncology service laboratory and contract research organisation.

Unexpected flaws in refrigeration equipment and changes in laboratory air and humidity levels are issues capable of damaging reagents vital to the Covid-19 testing process. It’s critical the environment is maintained at the correct temperature, especially because of the high risk of the virus to immunocompromised cancer patients.

Potential variations in parameters, no matter how slight, could render testing reagents ineffective. Medical fridges and freezers require dedicated monitoring systems, as supplied by Ellab Monitoring Solutions to Oncoligica UK, which offers a rapid Covid-19 testing and surveillance service.

Oncologica UK 's previous experience of handheld calibrated temperature probes, or staff manually checking the instrument at specific times each day, did not provide a true temperature reading. Nor did it account for human error, and a great deal of staff time was wasted.

To overcome these challenges, Ellab supplied Oncologica with the Hanwell IceSpy system to ensure the integrity of the testing reagents through 24/7 wireless monitoring. The system not only provides access to real-time temperature data and an audit trail without the hassle of manual interception, its innovative early warning system also alerts staff when parameter boundaries are breached. This prevents a loss of materials, while promoting a safer and more efficient way of monitoring data over an extended period.

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Important testing reagents are either stored in fridges between 2 and 8°C and freezers ranging from -20 to -80°C; or at room temperature. The Hanwell monitoring technology is offering the lab peace of mind that these critical conditions are being maintained, says Keeley Monsen, operations manager for Oncologica. 

She explains: “We’re impressed with the 24/7 monitoring. The system provides a great audit trail proving compliance to specific temperature/humidity requirements at any point in time. The fact that it is automated also means that we do not have to have staff taking readings. It is a vital upgrade for monitoring efficiency and reagent safety.”

Jason Todd, business development executive at Ellab, said: “Hanwell IceSpy wireless transmitters are the perfect solution for Oncologica, who needed to measure varying parameters flexibly and reliably. Using the Hanwell IceSpy Network Receiver, data became live and wirelessly transferable 24/7 to avoid the errors and variations that are prevalent with manual readings.” 

  • The manufacturer of wireless environmental monitoring equipment recently changed its name from Hanwell to Ellab Monitoring Solutions, following the Hertfordshire-based company’s acquisition in 2019 by the Ellab Group.

Ellab Monitoring Solutions