October 19, 2018
How to Set Up a WiFi Temperature Monitoring System
Are you planning to open a new pharmaceutical lab? Then it’s paramount for your new facility that you make sure to have the right WiFi temperature monitoring system in place.
But can you trust your system?
It’s a researcher or lab manager’s worst nightmare to walk in and find any temperature-controlled device has failed overnight or over the weekend, perhaps jeopardizing or ruining a ton of vaccines, products, or samples in the process.
This can be bad for your bottom line and the success of your lab. But there aren’t a ton of clear-cut guides on how to make sure this doesn’t happen with your WiFi temperature monitoring.
In this guide, we’ll look at some tips to ensure that your lab temperature monitoring system is protected and safe from error or unfortunate incidents while you are away from your lab.
Why It’s Important
Why is it important to monitor the temperature monitoring system in your lab?
Properly storing vaccines and other products is an essential factor for eradicating many diseases that are preventable in today’s world. If you don’t regulate the vaccine’s temperature, their potency can be reduced, leading to inadequate immune responses for people that receive the vaccine.
Having a temperature monitoring device (TMD) solves this problem by providing accurate information inside refrigerator and freezer storage units.
The Center For Disease Control (CDC) published this vaccine storage and handling toolkit in 2018. In the toolkit, the CDC recommends that you use a specific type of TMD known as a Digital Data Logger, or DDL.
The reason they recommend this particular device is that it allows for continuous lab temperature monitoring and recording while you are in and out of your facility.
Use the CDC toolkit to ensure your WiFi Temperature Monitoring system lines up with your inventory, preparation and storage methods, temperature guidelines, and more. It’s necessary reading for your facility.
The benefits of using a DDL are well known, but here are some that may encourage you to get your own.
While a standard thermometer can keep track of temperatures in and out of your freezers, the DDL is more effective at closely regulating and tracking the information. It also removes one task that scientists face in that you no longer have to record the data on your own or download it to a separate device.
When out-of-range temperatures are detected, the DDL immediately notifies staff members to ensure it is fixed right away. And because technology is only useful when it’s working, the DDL lets staff members know when it needs a battery changed.
What To Look For
When it comes to buying a DDL and integrating it into your facility, keep these tips in mind
First, pick a well-reviewed, experienced company that has provided DDL solutions in the past. Next, use a service that offers certified calibration services. Talk is cheap, so you want a solution that has been tested to a specific standard.
Also, keep in mind that compliance with CDC rules is necessary. Make sure you meet the regulations released in 2018.
Finally, look for something that works well and isn’t overcomplicated. The device should be easily configurable and not take a lot of time to set up and attach to the outside of the storage door or inside the unit.
How To Set-Up
With all of that out of the way, let’s take a look at how to set up a WiFi Temperature Monitoring system.
What To Track
Depending on the type of DDL you purchase, you will be able to track different things. Some examples of the data found on an LCD display are:
- Temperature (check morning/night)
- Min/Max temperature
During setup, ensure that all of these metrics are ready to trigger a warning or signal if something is off or needs to be taken care of. This way, you’ll always be protected and decrease the chance of losing any important information.
Downloading and Viewing Data
Data loggers offer several ways to get access to the data. Whether it’s getting a USB data logger and retrieving it by plugging into the computer, using an ethernet or wired LAN cable (benefit here is the low-cost option), or a wireless network, you should factor in ease of data downloading into your decision-making.
Be sure that your wireless setup is linked to all of your refrigerators or configured so that you can monitor them in groups (i.e. same floor, same room). From there, set up the Bluetooth so the data is easy to access anywhere in your facility.
Finally, you may also be able to download and access your DDL data from the cloud. Ensure that you set this up first, so you always have the data backed up somewhere online in the event of an error down the road.
WiFi Temperature Monitoring System- Wrap-Up
It’s important to have a stop-gap and safety plan in place for your WiFi temperature monitoring system inside of your lab or facility. In this guide, we looked at the guidelines for why it’s important, what the CDC has to say about it, and some tips for actually setting up your DDL device once you purchase.
Be sure to configure your device so that you are tracking the right things (temperature, min/max temperature, battery, and alarm settings), and consider the different options for downloading and viewing your data. And of course, always back up your data on an outside place like the cloud.