Research, innovation, Laboratory, LIfe Science & healthcarE
Ohio University Innovation Center
“Cost competitiveness, great customer service, great control over the monitoring system, and low maintenance. You can't beat that.”
-Misa Hata, Laboratory Director and Regulatory Affairs Coach, Ohio University Innovation Center
Hours saved weekly in reduced manual temperature logging
- 40 temperature probes to monitor temperatures
- Freezers, refrigerators, incubators, and ambient room temperature monitoring
- Significant reduction in manual labor for daily monitoring
- 15 freezers and refrigerators that store critical raw and research materials
Ohio University Innovation Center Turns To Sonicu for Trusted, Affordable (Interoperable) Environmental Monitoring
Misa Hata strives to make it simple for startups to succeed in the complex and demanding world of tech and tech-enabled innovation.
As the Laboratory Director and Regulatory Affairs Coach at the Ohio University Innovation Center, she’s responsible for ten wet labs, two shared labs, and three small manufacturing spaces that early-stage companies utilize to conduct research and development.
Since 1983, the Ohio University Innovation Center, a business incubator located in Athens, OH, has worked with tech and tech-enabled startups, providing resources such as lab space, business guidance and support, and access to an ecosystem of experts designed to maximize a business’s chance of success. The Innovation Center to date has helped launch over 300 businesses and added over 3,000 high-paying jobs to the southeast Ohio Appalachian region, enhancing economic development in the area.
Hata strives to sustain an environment in which startup companies can be successful.
“Our goal is to reduce their operational costs and avoid any operational problems. And then help grow their business and successfully commercialize,” she said.
How to Field A Shared Wet Lab: A Technology Perspective
A wet lab is a laboratory where researchers conduct different types of experiments and where a liquid substance will be involved in most of the research.
Experiments performed in a wet lab can be as diverse as the diffraction of light to the creation of a new antibiotic.
Chemicals or hazardous products can also be handled in a wet lab, so these rooms are built and supported to avoid potential issues that could be caused by spillage and/or contamination.
To be considered a wet lab, strict specifications must be met, most of which are designed to ensure that the environmental conditions in the room are controlled.
They strive to keep contaminants out and protect the research samples within.
Enter a technology solution that monitors the critical conditions to protect the researcher’s work and to remain compliant with regulatory requirements.
“As a business incubation center, temperature monitoring is important, because biotech pharmaceutical companies have regulatory compliance requirements, depending on their products.
We have to have a 24/7 record of temperature to make sure their product, their materials, and their samples are secure,” Hata said.
“Sonicu also provides pressure monitoring, and that's an important factor for the biosafety level 2, 3, 4 and any biotechnology components. You have to monitor the samples, materials, work environment, and lab workers.”
Easy Integration of Sonicu’s Cloud-Based Wireless Remote Monitoring SoftwareUPGRADING TO AFFORDABILITY, FLEXIBILITY, AND REDUCED LABOR
Hata sought a new temperature and environmental monitoring partner when they experienced maintenance issues with simple issues like changing batteries on sensors and probes and software hiccups like too many security questions for each new log-in.
She also wanted to find a provider who could take on the burden of annual probe and meter calibration.
The SNAP program from Sonicu that mails pre-calibrated probes and sensors to customers for easy snap-in replacement and calibration, or even professionally installed, fits her requirements.
“There’s no way we can’t have this sort of system, so it comes down to ease of use, support, and cost,” she said.
“The Sonicu system provided an easier, faster solution, compared to existing systems like radio wave transmission signals. Now the cloud-based system is available, and the signal is faster and way easier to maneuver and control.”
Hata arrived at that conclusion following significant due diligence.
“Before purchasing the Sonicu system, I contacted a hospital using the system. I asked them detailed questions, and they indicated being very happy with Sonicu.” she said. “And I've been very happy, so I can appreciate it was their honest opinion.”
AIR PRESSURE DIFFERENTIAL, AMBIENT CONDITIONS & CARBON DIOXIDE:
A comprehensive environmental monitoring solution
Misa described her needs as more robust than other facilities that simply require cold storage monitoring. The Innovation Center’s shared wet labs also required monitoring for:
- Ambient temperature
- Carbon Dioxide
“We have a lot of biotech companies that have to make sure all the cell culture is healthy and intact, so it's monitoring temperature in the incubator,” she said.
“(The incubator) has to be maintained at certain degrees and the CO2 level has to be a certain level. And traditionally CO2 monitoring is expensive.”
She explained that before Sonicu, the lab had external, third-party CO2 monitoring for its incubator.
“With the Sonicu system, with additional parts purchased by the incubator, we can extract that data through the system, and then we can monitor CO2. That's a significant cost savings,” she said.
“We can make sure all the research is done properly. And the period of time for short, intense research studies can be monitored and that's a great help for us.”
She explained how ambient temperature excursions could also damage research.
“You can’t have the indicator of room temperature getting high, especially with cell cultures or any live materials; you don't want to degrade any proteins in the lab.
So room temperature monitoring is critical to long-term storage and experimental condition monitoring.
And (Air) Pressure monitoring is important to make sure all the lab rooms are protected from bacteria, viruses, and whatever material you use in the lab.
It’s very convenient and affordable for us that anyone can monitor diverse conditions in one software system.”
Hata explained that temperature excursion alerts have saved research from potential damage, especially with the mobile app.
“You don't have to be in the lab, and you don't have to log into your computers. It’s just in my pocket,” she explained.
“When the Sonicu system notifies you, you can address the issue immediately. It’s just convenient, time-saving, and you can prevent large potential damage. That's obviously valuable.”
RECRUITING NEW INCUBATOR CANDIDATES: Investing in SE Ohio
While Athens is home to Ohio University and its approximately 30,000 students, it’s also situated in one of the more rural corners of the state and is part of the larger Appalachian region that includes neighboring West Virginia and Kentucky.
Renowned for its natural beauty and rugged, remote topography, Appalachia is also one of the more economically depressed parts of the country, and the Innovation Center works to drive economic growth, especially in the tech and tech-enabled sectors.
“The overall mission of the business incubator here at the Innovation Center is to help startups not only grow and develop, but to also grow and develop the economy in the Southeast Ohio region,” said Jennifer Logan, Executive Coach, Ohio University Innovation Center.
Logan said the Innovation Center has helped build and develop over 300 startups, adding 3,000 plus jobs to the region.
“We offer high-tech labs and access to an ecosystem of Ohio University research support, and we also offer support on the business side and the commercialization pathway to help our entrepreneurs grow and develop,” Logan said.
“We have a lot of partners that we work with, and we're happy to be working with Sonicu, which offers a lot of support to our clients in the lab spaces.”
Hata said each new incubator client has access to Sonicu’s remote, wireless monitoring system without the cost and administrative burden of managing their own monitoring platform.
“When a client comes on board, we make sure to identify what has to be monitored. We explain how the Sonicu system would be beneficial for them.
The client has the choice if they need it, and they don't have to purchase the entire system. They can piggyback right on our system and make sure their product development or research is monitored,” she explained.
Additional Details about Wet Labs and their equipment
Some of the many items that are installed in all wet labs include
- Vinyl floors
- Eye washers
- Fire alarms
- Fire extinguishers
Hot and cold water may also need to be piped in, which can include deionized water and reverse osmosis.
Some of the additional features that are typically included with a wet lab extend to drain and vent services, chemical fume hoods, and materials that are wholly resistant to chemicals and bacteria.
For more information about the Ohio University Innovation Center and how it helps tech and tech-enabled startups launch, grow, and scale, please go to www.innovateohio.com.
SMART Management Tools
- Eliminated manual temperature reading and logging to increase efficiency and eliminate error.
- Allowed MiraVista to input comment and context for alarm events and automatically organize reports for federal and state regulatory reporting requirements.
- Provide archived historical data to identify potential equipment problems, define operational issues and improve processes and accountability.
Simple Installation and Expansion
- Sonicu ultra-low temperature monitoring is installed easily and is fully scalable for future expansion as Cryopoint’s business continues to develop.
Sonicu helped Ohio University with three essential services:
1. OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY: REDUCING MANUAL PROCESSES
If your team spends too much time manually logging temperature or other critical environmental conditions, Sonicu can help free up your people to focus on more value-added and patient- and customer-focused activities.
And by relying on our reliable and rugged hardware coupled with our wireless remote monitoring and Amazon Web Service cloud-based software, you greatly reduce the opportunity to introduce human error into the process.
2. COMPLIANCE AUTOMATION: ALWAYS READY
Whether it’s an FDA, CDC or Joint Commission inspection or CMS auditor, the Sonicu platform will deliver ready-made reports that help you eliminate your tedious reporting process.
This transformative process improvement also reduces the opportunity for human mishap to damage your inspection or audit.
You can relax with improved peace of mind knowing that virtually any auditor and inspector will be greeted with a simple and accurate report that demonstrates your sensitive assets and environments are being monitored and you have a plan to react if your team experiences an excursion.
3. ASSET MONITORING: CONNECT, DETECT AND PROTECT
It’s more than just knowing your sensitive environments are monitored.
It’s having smart alarms that ensure your entire team is notified via text, email and even phone calls when a potentially dangerous excursion occurs.
And it’s about powerful redundancy that protects against power and network outages.
Sonicu has invested in the research and development to innovate a solution with a singular focus: your peace of mind.
We’ve architected our solution around easy installation, an intuitive user experience and rapid and enduring return on investment.
That’s why public and private organizations grow with us.
500+ customer in all 50 states
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Temperature Monitoring Solutions
A complete system for a safer, more efficient and compliant facility
Simple Asset Protection
- Automated logging and reporting
- Designed for easy implementation
- Available on Android & IOS
- Bluetooth Wireless Connectivity
- Easy-to-Read Display Installs Anywhere
- Easy Recalibration with our SNAP program
- Customizable Alarms
- 24/7 Notifications via Call, Text, or Email
- Modular design allows you to easily add more sensors
- Complete Sensor Visibility of Data and Diagnostics
- Flexible Transmission via 4G, Radio Frequency, WiFi and Ethernet
- Long-Life Onboard Rechargeable Battery
- Automated logging and reporting
- Cloud & Mobile App Data Upload
- Onboard Data Storage
- Cloud & Mobile App Data Upload
- Meets The Joint Commission, AABB, GLP/GMP, FCC, Vaccines for Children (VFC), and FDA Requirements