Cryo Tank Monitoring
Maintaining temperature of cryogenic storage tanks is vitally important to ensure the samples are not harmed. There have been many stories of valuable samples lost due to power outages or simple evaporation of liquid nitrogen. Cryo tank monitoring could have prevented these loses.
In a one-week period, two fertility clinics in the US reported issues with cryogenic storage conditions for frozen eggs and embryos. As a result, the viability of thousands of egg and embryo samples is now in question. The estimated cost of lost material, based on the medical procedure expenses and annual storage fees, exceeds ten million dollars. To further complicate matters, in some circumstances, the lost embryos are irreplaceable, as highlighted in lawsuits against both facilities.
Both fertility clinics are investigating the circumstances that led to such unfortunate outcomes. Possible reasons include one or more of the following: faulty equipment, defective alerts/monitoring system, or human error. Other facilities around the country are also reviewing their storage and monitoring protocols to avert similar unfavorable outcomes.
The advent and maturation of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT) has a growing presence in our lives. Imagine what we could achieve if we were to unleash the powers of these solutions for science and medicine. Remote monitoring and alerting through IoT capable devices enable lab technicians to monitor and receive alerts, should storage conditions deviate from specified settings. Furthermore, machine learning and AI allow us to study equipment performance over time and identify deviations for predictive failure analysis. Sophisticated, yet simple solutions, for when the stakes are high and the samples are irreplaceable.