When shipping or storing biological samples or temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals, it is vital to ensure that conditions remain within guidelines. Equipped with NFC chip and temperature sensor, the newly designed reusable TubeSense® temperature logging device offers a smart solution for the logistics of both biological samples (e.g. blood, urine, saliva) and temperature-sensitive biological medication with simultaneous storage of sample specifications, sample data, transport time and temperature profile during transport and storage. By one simple scan of the device, all data can be securely saved and stored on a cloud-based server or in a Laboratory Information Management System.
The team behind TubeSense® has developed a technologically new way to identify and monitor biological samples and temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals during transport and storage, making optimal use of the latest developments in near-field-communication technology (NFC).
TubeSense software suite
The TubeSense® suite offers unprecedented possibilities for reliable shipment of temperature-sensitive samples by bringing together:
● Identification (who took the blood sample in which sample device and at what time?);
● Tracking & Tracing (when was the blood sample in which location?);
● Monitoring (what temperature profile has the sample undergone, within which time window, and how long has the sample been traveling during mailing?);
● Communication and Logging (when entering the lab, all data is read and stored).
The TubeSense® smart vial software solution is built upon a Web Server based back-end with Windows and Smartphone App front-ends. It’s a multi-tenant cloud solution servicing multiple customers and it can be used with different front-end user applications. Currently, TubeSense offers a Windows-based front-end that can easily be configured to the customers’ needs, while a smartphone app is being developed. The server-side application manages all data and contains the logic that interprets temperature and time data. Based on so-called temperature profiles the temperature data is analyzed after which advice is generated (e.g. ‘ conditions during transport were good or not’). Different bodily fluids, different lab tests, and different pharmaceuticals demand different transport conditions and therefore different temperature profiles can be entered into the system.
The current Windows front-end application is intuitive and straightforward. It can be configured for both ‘ one-leg’ and ‘ two-leg’ logistics. The app supports both sending out TubeSense® devices to clients/patients (the user selects initiate mode) and receiving TubeSense® logging devices (the user selects receive mode).
In response to demand from various customers we designed the back office server application as a modular software suite, consisting of specific modules that are built upon the basic TubeSense Web Server engine. Currently, the following three software versions are being developed:
1. TubeSense Home-Collect
2. TubeSense Hospital
3. TubeSense Pharma
This version focuses on tracking and tracing of biological samples as well as the monitoring of transport conditions (initially temperature and in future versions also light and shock sensing). It supports various transport situations, such as tracking & tracing from laboratory to customer, as well as ‘ two-leg’ situations where empty vials are sent to customers/patients and sent back to the laboratory. Although TubeSense was primarily developed for temperature monitoring purposes, there also appears to be a large market for just the track and trace functionality. Since the existing software fully supports this, TubeSense Home-Collect will also target this application.
This is an end-to-end logistics solution for hospital environments, supporting:
1. Collection of biological samples within the hospital environment and initiation of transport orders;
2. Management and monitoring of the internal transport within the hospital (internal transport boxes), including planning and tracking handover points;
3. Management and monitoring of external transport from the hospital to external medical labs;
4. Management and monitoring of receipt and processing within the lab.
The software solution includes extensive dashboards that show the status of all transport orders at any given time (on item/vial level), and gives an overview of the statistics.
This version focuses on tracking & tracing and transport condition monitoring of protein pharmaceuticals and vaccines. It includes extensive possibilities for customer/patient interaction (providing easy access to use guides, medicine adherence tools and communities), dual-frequency tag support (UHF RFID and NFC), anti-counterfeiting and anti-tampering. Dual-frequency provides end-to-end visibility of shipments and products throughout the complete supply chain. TubeSense Pharma will be provided with temperature, light and shock sensors when needed for specific applications.