Medical refrigerators are used for storing medicines normally between 2°C to 8°C. It is essential that the temperature is always within these temperature limits. Otherwise, the quality of these medicines will be affected. Even though this is mainly applicable for medicine refrigerator, there are a lot of other hospital refrigerators, which require critical monitoring. We can use the same system for all these applications. However, the temperature alert range will be different based on the application of each medical fridge.
Necessity of refrigerator monitoring and recording system
The challenge with medical refrigerators is that as soon as we open the door, the temperature increases. In a pharmacy, the pharmacist has to open the door many times. It may not be possible to provide sufficient interval between two openings. So once the door is opened the temperature increases. As soon as we close the door, the fridge tries to reduce and maintain the temperature. However, we may have to open the door once again to take another medicine. This again disturbs the cooling cycle. Thus, it is very difficult to maintain the temperature between 2°C to 8°C.
This makes it necessary to monitor and record the temperature inside a medical refrigerator. Most of the health authorities specify to record the temperature and store the data for verification.
How to select a Medical refrigerator monitoring alert system?
The basic criteria for selection of a suitable fridge temperature recording system with the alert are explained below.
- Recording of temperature is a basic requirement.
- The temperature sensor should be waterproof because there will be moisture inside the refrigerator.
- It is better to insert the sensor inside a glycol bottle. This is to absorb sudden fluctuations. Glycol has the thermal properties similar to medicine. Hence, the sensor will not record the air temperature. But it will measure and record the temperature similar to that of a medicine kept inside the medical fridge.
- If you are inserting the sensor inside a glycol bottle, the sensor has to be absolutely waterproof.
- What are the types of alerts required viz. Email, SMS and phone call alerts. If the medicines are of critical nature, you may prefer to use phone call alerts.
- Power failure alert system can be connected optionally if required by you. This might be especially useful for pharmacies or clinics which are not attended continuously.
- Door opening monitoring for a medical fridge is also an optional system. This will record opening and closing time of the door. Also, it can generate an alert if the door is kept open beyond a certain duration.
- The system should continue recording even in the case of a local power failure.
- You can select a system with data transmission through WiFi or wired LAN. The data recording will be transmitted to a cloud-based recording system.
Power failure alert for refrigerators
Power failure alert is a requirement in many instances of medical refrigerator monitoring. The system can generate a phone call and SMS alert in case of electrical power failure. The system operates on a SIM card based dialer system. The phone call alert system is with battery backup. Hence it is not dependent on an internet connection or LAN connectivity.
As soon as there is a power failure it will generate phone calls to 8 operators one by one. Upon attending the call, you can listen to a custom recorded voice message indicating the type of fault, location of the fault etc. As an example, it will deliver a voice message ‘Power failure at refrigerator 2 at Dubai’. Also, it will deliver an SMS message at the same time. It keeps on calling the 8 people until one of them picks up the call.
Recording and alert for refrigerator door opening
This is an optional system to monitor and record the door opening of a medical refrigerator. This may not be an essential part of a refrigerator monitoring system for normal applications. It can record the opening time and closing time of each and every door opening. This will help you to analyze the temperature pattern inside the refrigerator in relation to the door opening.
Also, it can generate a local beep alarm if the door is kept open beyond a certain duration. If you would like to have medical refrigerator door monitoring for auditing purposes, please contact us with your requirements.
Features of our medical fridge recording and alert system model VAC – 085 – R
We are offering a complete range of solutions for medical refrigerator monitoring with alerts. The main features are as below.
- It is WiFi based medical fridge recording and monitoring system. We can optionally offer wired LAN connectivity as well.
- It has its own memory to record the readings. Also, it transmits the data continuously to cloud-based storage.
- Any number of users can view and download the data of each medical fridge from the internet.
- We offer free software without any monthly or annual charges.
- A free email alert is part of the system. A phone call and SMS alerts can be configured as optional packages.
- Power failure alarm system is optional and will be with a SIM card and battery backup.
Comparison of a Wireless, WiFi, Radio frequency and Zigbee based refrigerator monitoring system
- A wireless monitoring system can be any system, which does not use wired LAN for transmission of data. WiFi, radio frequency, and Zigbee fall into this category.
- WiFi based medical fridge monitoring system uses WiFi transmission method for transmission of data. Normal WiFi routers existing in client premises will be used.
- Radio Frequency system will use the Rf system for data transmission. It requires a set of sensors and receivers. The receiver will be connected to a computer or server for further processing. While using RF system, you will require multiple receivers. The data transmission across rooms will not be very effective. As an example, we will consider that you have one medical fridge in one room and another fridge couple of rooms away. In each room, you will need one set of sensors and one receiver. When you add a new medical fridge in the same room, you will not need an additional receiver. The existing receiver will take care of the same. However, for configuring the same you will need the assistance of the supplier every time. Rf monitoring system is best suited if you have a big hall with a lot of medical refrigerators in the same room without any partition walls. In this case, you can manage with one receiver and 50 to 60 refrigerators.
- In the case of WiFi, the advantage is that A WiFI router is very cheap and easily available in the market. Even moving a medical refrigerator to another room does not affect the recording if the WiFi network is same. This will not require any reconfiguration.
- Zigbee is similar to Radiofrequency system and advantages and disadvantages are almost similar.
- For medical refrigerators, we generally recommend WiFi based refrigerator monitoring system instead of wired LAN system or Radio frequency based system. The advantage is that you can connect any number of medical fridges to a single WiFi. If you go for a wired LAN, you will require one LAN point for every medical fridge. You will always need to relocate medical fridges, take it out for maintenance etc. Under these circumstances, it will be easy to manage the same without assistance from the supplier.