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RI WITNESS™ - Safeguard of Embryos in the Laboratory

By Dr Yanhe Liu (Scientific Director)


An important question to ask when starting out at a new fertility clinic is “What are the witnessing procedures within the laboratory to ensure there are no mix-ups?” While embryologists are a fastidious and dedicated bunch, like in any procedural setting there is always room for human error. What can be done to minimise this?



RI Witness™ is an electronic witnessing system which Fertility North uses in the embryology laboratory. This system improves traceability and quality control of laboratory procedures, while reducing laboratory based risk. The RI Witness™ uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to track and record sperm, eggs and embryos at each step of the IVF procedure, creating an error free environment for patient samples processed in the laboratory.


One unique self-adhesive RFID tag is labelled on each test tube or petri dish that carries patient samples, making it impossible to be misread by the electronic reader used in the system. The RI Witness™ also records every single event where patient samples are moved from one test tube or petri dish to the next one, making sure there is only one patient being worked on at one work station at one time. In the event of samples from different patients being detected in the same work area, it warns laboratory staff both visually and audibly. This brings increased reliability over the conventional double manual witnessing while reducing distraction of laboratory staff members. ​


Studies done on this system concluded that RI Witness™ accurately recorded all laboratory procedures, and reduced human error compared with similar clinical lab activities carried out with traditional witnessing protocols.


This allows us to offer our patients ease of mind, and a guarantee that we have done everything possible to keep your embryos safe.

When you visit your fertility specialist, be sure to ask what they are doing to safeguard your embryos in the lab.