The QTA Tracer System, developed by Tridentify, provides accurate information about the temperature, quality and position of donated blood or other temperature sensitive biological products distributed at a hospital or blood centre.
If a blood bag with erythrocytes is stored at a temperature of 2-6 °C, its quality can be maintained for 42 days in Sweden. However, it often reaches higher temperatures on its way from vein (donator) to vein (recipient).
In room temperature its quality can only be maintained for one day. Since the medical staff commonly doesn’t know if, when, by how much and for how long the temperature has exceeded 6 °C for a given blood bag, there is a risk for much donated blood being discarded due to uncertainty and for sake of patient safety.
”Blood transfusions are regarded as organ transplantations and I find it strange that the quality control of donated blood does not have higher priority. Our innovation sprung from the idea from Ryhov Blood Centre request that it should be possible to monitor the erythrocytes after they’ve being processed,” says Christian Strandberg, CEO of Tridentify, a company at the Sahlgrenska Science Park.
Saves a Lot of Blood and Money
The QTA Tracer System, which is classed as IIa medical device, monitors the blood bag’s temperature and stores the information. From this data the tracer calculates the blood’s real shelf life. Also, where the variations in temperature occurred is registered and stored. Each bag and tracer has an ID in the form of a bar code. The sensor is communicating via Bluetooth 4.0. With an IPhone / Android / computer it is possible to know the position of each bag and what temperature it has in realtime.
In Sweden, approx. 500,000 blood bags are handled each year, and each bag of donated blood costs SEK 1,000 to 1,500. Despite the great health-economic gains that the tracer implies healthcare providers in Sweden has shown slow adaptations for new Swedish innovation. Instead, Tridentify has signed a 3-year agreement with a hospital in Bilbao, Spain.
”With our system, the hospital has reduced their discarded blood up to 75%, and thereby saved a lot of blood, money and safekeeping a perishable unique donation form a decreasing number of donators. With the hospital as reference, we’re now seeking investors for internationalisation of our company,” Christian Strandberg comments.
In addition to whole blood, thrombocytes, erythrocytes and plasma, the QTA Tracer System could potentially also be used for clinical trials, test tubes, pharmaceuticals and reagents.