Remote Freezer Monitoring
Published on September 15, 2020
UCSF has over 1,000 -80 freezers on campus storing precious materials: research samples, clinical trial samples, expensive reagents, and more. Unfortunately, freezers fail. And when they do, the consequences vary from catastrophic to expensive. During the pandemic and during off-hours, no one may be in the lab to hear a door alarm. Remote monitoring is needed.
The UCSF Facilities department is pleased to offer free remote temperature monitoring and workflow solution for -80 freezers.
The Remote Monitoring Program
The remote monitoring program is available to UCSF research labs with -80 freezer(s). The program provides the hardware, software, and network connectivity for remote monitoring.
Tempathic is a third party software company that has been selected as the primary software module for UCSF. However, Labs have the option of using either iMonnit software or Tempathic software, which is in pilot stage through December 2020. Both programs support text, phone, and email notifications for multiple users. Tempathic software also provides an alert escalation and resolution workflows. Information for both software applications can be found below.
Tempathic software monitors the Monnit sensors and alerts when there is a temperature excursion or inactivity. Alerts are escalated until an authorized responder acknowledges alerts and guides responders through the necessary steps to ensure stored materials are kept safe.
These guided workflows make it practical for a less experienced member of your team to handle the situation. That’s a relief when you can’t always go on campus.
At anytime from anywhere, you can use your Smartphone or a connected computer to:
● Check all your freezer temperatures
● Update the escalation path to reflect the staff scheduled to be on campus
● Acknowledge or escalate an alert
● Follow the workflow to resolve the alert
● Monitor your colleague’s progress resolving an alert
● Review the timeline of events
Facilities Services has worked with UCSF IT Services to ensure the hardware and software applications provided by Monnit and Tempathic are cleared for use by UCSF.
How to get started
Submit a Facilities Work Order. After your work order is received, we will send you an intake form to gather information needed to support your request.
Once your request is submitted:
● Facilities will provide sensor(s), installation instructions, and an install kit of materials. You will install the sensors unless you’ve elected to have facilities install them. Installation is quite simple and takes just minutes.
● Facilities/Tempathic support will set up your account and configure the sensors, thresholds, alerts, escalation path, and users. Each user will receive an account invitation via email.
● Tempathic will email users with links to short videos explaining how to use the software and make configuration changes.
● Ongoing software support (for either iMonnit or Tempathic) is available via email or phone during regular business hours from Tempathic’s support team. For sensor or gateway support, contact Facilities Lab Services.
How it all works
The Monnit sensor is installed on the -80 freezer by the program participant (you). Once the batteries are installed, the sensor will wirelessly connect to the network gateway and then to the cloud. Once connected, the software will collect and display the temperature data.
Labs that currently use iMonnit software may continue to do so, or may elect to use Tempathic software instead. Users may choose to switch between iMonnit and Tempathic at any time. When using iMonnit, Tempathic notifications will be disabled to prevent duplicate alerts.