Remote Monitoring amongst a Pandemic

Whilst the world is currently trying to get on top of the current COVID-19 Pandemic with ways to prevent and treat the virus, many of us are working remotely in order to do our part to “Stop the Spread” and to “flatten the curve”.   However, for many healthcare workers, scientists and manufacturers who are trying to find treatments and manufacturing personal protective equipment for those on the frontline; this is a little more difficult.  Our friends at Monnit have written an interesting blog on how their wireless sensor systems are supporting people in labs, hospitals and manufacturing plants.

Globally, private and academic labs of every discipline are diverting resources to treat and prevent COVID-19 infections. Efforts are being made within every STEM-related field to flatten the curve, creating the opportunity for healthcare workers and scientists to move beyond treatment to prevention.

Material scientists are collaborating with additive manufacturers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE). Bioengineers worldwide are delving into microfluidics to support coronavirus-fighting measures by optimising medicine delivery and developing low-cost aerosol disinfectants. Reaching across campuses and even entire industries, physical scientists and engineers of all disciplines are uniting to run statistical models and possibly invent smart PPE that halts the community spread of COVID-19.

And running in the background of every single one of these interdisciplinary initiatives:
facility managers and essential lab personnel.

Remote Monitoring Goes the Distance:

The world’s seismic shift to healthcare has placed tremendous pressure on lab and facility managers who must ensure machine reliability and prevent human error from stymying progress. And what’s more, many lab and facility maintenance staff are performing these herculean tasks with pared-down teams that reflect a new reality: social distancing.

Beyond research colleagues or maintenance team members adhering to the 1.5 Metre rule, even more personnel are toiling remotely due to stay at home mandates. This distancing makes wireless sensors critical components of any pandemic-driven business continuity plan. Whenever it is, lab managers can remotely check on cold storage temperatures. Wherever they are, facility managers can be alerted if a mission-critical machine needs attention. Whatever their roles, decentralised researchers, such as homebound grad students or research nurses, can follow along as monitored variables change and record how changes could impact outcomes.

And with pressures mounting and social distancing calling for facility managers and lab techs to do even more with less—and do it all for the greater good—these professionals are increasingly turning to remote monitoring solutions, such as Monnit Wireless Sensors, to help.

Read more below about how these wireless sensors are supporting hospitals, pharmacies, R&D engineers, and research universities worldwide within typical lab settings.

Need: On-Site Data Management
Solution: iMonnit Enterprise Appliance

Developed for sensitive operations, this PC arrives pre-configured to work as a software and database solution for remote monitoring. This device keeps data behind an organisation’s in-house security protocols and firewalls.

  • Allows governmental agencies or firms in heavily regulated industries to follow on-prem guidelines that mandate on-site data storage and analysis.

 

Need: Sharing sensor locations with all personnel
Solution:  iMonnit Sensor Mapping

Upload floorplan or lab schematics to show sensor placement.

  • Share with skeletal crews who oversee labs and machines dispersed throughout a facility or those scattered across campus.

 

Need: Ultra-low (-26°C) Sample Freezers
Solution: Three Phase Current Meter

Keep tabs on power draws; be alerted instantly if temperatures rise.

  • Protect irreplaceable samples of DNA and mRNA, or ensure the security of vaccine samples.

 

Need: Secure data collection & transmission to the cloud
Solution: ALTA Advanced Edge Gateway

Aggregate sensor data, “fingerprint” it for security, and transmit it to the cloud provider(s) and/or MQTTS server(s).

  • Ideal for widely decentralised researchers.
  • Supports R&D labs that must adhere to enterprise security protocols.

 

Use: Protect samples & monitor access to PPE/consumables
Solution: Open Closed Sensors

Discreet sensor alerts managers if a door is left ajar or when sensitive areas have been accessed.

  • Be alerted instantly if a refrigerator or freezer door is open. Step in to protect samples and hours of work.
  • Know when PPE inventory is accessed.

 

Use: R&D filling machines
Solution: Activity Detection Sensors

Ensure proper function, power status, and run time of pumps and dispensers filling nasal and oral sprays, as well as aerosol disinfectants.

 

Need: Sensor data security
Solution: SensorPrints

Easily get end-to-end data authentication for your research or healthcare data. Ensure data security from the point of generation to the point of consumption.

  • Integrate into information security protocols—helpful for enterprise-grade firms that are collaborating to tackle COVID-19-related challenges.

 

Use: Research nurses’ station
Solution: Monnit Local Alert

This centralised device broadcasts audible sensor alerts. On-unit LCD screen displays sensors readings. Tailor alerts to suit the environment: Flashing red LED, buzzer alarm & custom LCD messages.

  • Incorporate alert redundancy—ideal for healthcare hubs and facilities with 24/7 operations.

 

Use: Vaccine & Sample Storage
Solution: iMonnit HX

Provides quicker sensor heartbeats (check-ins) for mission-critical cold storage and machinery. Up to 1,440 heartbeats per day to identify subtle (yet harmful) temperature variations.

  • Optimise storage and handling protocols to protect vulnerable materials.

 

Use: Track tools, carts & trays within bustling facilities
Solution: Asset Sensor

Attach sensor to tray with samples, specimens, or medicine and tools. Sensor will alert designated personnel if removed from a specific area.

  • Know where specimens are; eliminate subjecting ill patients to redraws.
  • Follow specimens beyond the lab—ideal for multi-floor or level research facilities.

 

Need: Tracking power supplies for reliability
Solution: Wireless AC Current Meter

As machine health declines, power draws may change; abnormalities indicate that maintenance may be needed or that failure is imminent. Stay on top of changes to protect research or testing samples by remote monitoring.

  • Power supply may fluctuate as temporary structures are built.
  • Harried researchers may forget to secure cold storage; someone may tamper with power strips.

 

Use: Negative pressure tents
Solution: Differential Air Pressure Sensor

Manipulate air movement to contain infectious particles and assist with proper filtration.

  • High-performance HVAC within freestanding structures enables patient isolation and treatment while protecting the general hospital population.

 

Use: Experimental Drugs
Solution: Temperature Sensor with Probe

Automatically capture minute temp differences when storing standard and experimental drugs. Data supports preparing formulas for field trials, production, and administration.

 

The world is sending its best, brightest, and bravest healthcare professionals, engineers, and researchers into battle. And behind them are legions of maintenance techs, janitors, lab managers, facility personnel, and essential admin personnel using the Internet of Things to sanitise, inform, comfort, and protect.

To learn how Monnit Wireless Sensors and Remote Monitoring solutions can provide your organisations with the same levels of support—no matter what you do in Australia—call our office 07 3868 4255 or e-mail us at [email protected]

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