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RI Witness™

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RI Witness™ is the most useful, simple, indispensable ART management system in the world of bio-medical technology. It frees up your time, energy and expertise by automatically tracking and recording every piece of data across all your work areas, creating a comprehensive record of each patient at the same time. This fail-safe process fills everyone with total confidence.

How RI Witness™ came to be

RI Witness™ is the lab system you told us you needed. You told us how time consuming cross-checking is, so we made it automatic. You were concerned about problems rising from involuntary automaticity, so we eradicated them. You reported that your processes bottlenecked, so we streamlined them. You said your patients wanted their samples 100% safeguarding, so we enabled this. You keep telling us where you need a better solution and we keep improving RI Witness™ with features that are sophisticated, yet simple to use.

How it works for you

Using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology to track and record patient samples at each step of the ART process, RI Witness™ works as a safeguard and a reassurance for both you and your patients. At the
same time, the system captures information regarding the cycle progress and operator actions, sending the data to a common server for patient records or collating it to provide a real time record of what is
happening in the lab.


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RI Witness™ is easy to use, is compatible with any lab set-up, streamlines your working practice overnight and improves the day-to-day efficiency of a lab1.

Protecting you

With RFID technology, every ID is totally unique and cannot be misread, making the RI Witness™ system both a reliable replacement to manual double witnessing as well as a solution for reducing staff distractions. RI Witness™ readers and touch screens are installed at every work area both inside and outside the lab where patients or patient samples are treated. Self-adhesive RFID tags are available to fit containers such as Petri dishes or test tubes that contain patient samples. These tags enable the readers to register the containers in the work area and monitor a patient’s identity at every stage of the treatment.
The RI Witness™ RFID technology has been proven to be safe in mouse embryo tests continued up to the second generation2 and each batch of RFID tags is MEA tested. The RI Witness™ system monitors every instance when gametes or embryos are transferred from one container to the next and ensures that only one patient can be worked on, at one workstation, at one time, safeguarding sample identity.


If at any time, samples from incompatible patients are introduced into the same work area, RI Witness™ warns the lab personnel both visually and audibly. Monitoring is constant, so an identity check can never be overlooked. RI Witness™ takes away the uncertainty, giving you increased confidence in all that you do. It protects both you and your lab.

Prompting and guiding

To aid a smooth workflow, many labs have installed the live cycle overview display board to show the cycle type and the last or next procedures performed or scheduled for that day. Positioned on the lab wall, the lab team gain an overview of the work for the day.


Most labs record cycle information on paper forms which then need to be separately transcribed into a computer database. The Data Capture feature enables you and your colleagues to enter data into patient records using small touch screen displays or a keyboard and mouse interface installed at work areas. By inputting directly, transcription errors are eliminated and multiple data handling is avoided. Data can be accessed and analysed immediately from anywhere on the system.

RI Witness™ makes the paperless laboratory a reality.


You told us you want to be able to review what is happening in the laboratory so that you can improve standards and results. RI Witness™ will help you navigate through the wealth of information it collects in easy to read reports. It can consolidate the who and when, sample images and procedural films, consumables or media auditing, allowing you to make considered decisions on how to improve your lab management.

1Thornhill, A., Brunetti, X. & Bird, S., 2013. Measuring human error in the IVF laboratory using an electronic witnessing system. 17th World Congress

2White paper using independent research shows no deleterious effect of RI Witness™ RFID on mouse embryos all the way to second generation. The paper is available on demand and on the RI website.

RI Elements Specification Table JPEG

  RI Witness™ Patient Information (274.5 KiB, 1,310 hits)

  Bridge Clinic - Reducing Human Error in IVF with Electronic Witnessing (581.8 KiB, 1,643 hits)

  Cutting edge technology in a French ART laboratory (1.1 MB, 812 hits)

  RI Witness Brochure (1.9 MB, 0 hits)

  Product Catalogue (5.6 MB, 0 hits)

  RI Witness™ Product Guide (831.1 KiB, 6 hits)

“I certainly feel that we are now doing absolutely everything that we can to satisfy our patient’s worries, and numerous patients have informed us that they feel better knowing that this safeguard, RI Witness™, is in place.”

Shaun Kelly, Overlake Reproductive Health – USA


“RI Witness has improved efficiency by streamlining our working practice – lab procedures are performed at the optimum time with a real-time Witness. The ease of operation is great and Witness has also proved to be a versatile audit tool.”

Sophie Jewitt, Gateshead Fertility Unit – UK


“I am a Senior Embryologist at the Herts and Essex Fertility Centre and I have had experience of using IVF witness for over three years now.

IVF Witness has made a dramatic difference to our working practice in the laboratory at the Herts and Essex Fertility Centre, as it eliminates the need for non-critical steps, such as sperm preparations, to be double witnessed by another embryologist which is laborious and time consuming in our busy working centre. The Witness system creates a designated work station in each flow hood where our clinical work is conducted, and the use of radio-frequency tags allows patients gametes to be ‘labelled’ as they pass through different stages in the laboratory, with each operator having their own protected username and password. The ‘working areas’ ensure that only one patients gametes are worked on by any given operator at any given time, acting to reassure embryologists and give patients extra confidence in a secure system which safeguards their precious gametes and embryos at all times in the laboratory.

The system is easy to use and to introduce to new staff members, and the witness reports generated at the conclusion of every treatment cycle provides an at-a-glance copy of which staff member has been involved in every step of the patients’ treatment, as well as recording the time and date of procedures which fulfils regulatory requirements.

The Witness system has been positively received by our patients and staff alike. I can honestly say I wouldn’t want to work in a centre which doesn’t use this system in the future, as safety of the patient is paramount to our working practice as embryologists, and this extra security can only be of benefit in reassuring patients that we are taking every step to offer them the very best care possible.”

Lynne Glover, Herts and Essex Fertilty – UK

Q: What is RFID?

A. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a generic term for technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify objects. Labels with tiny microchips embedded into them are attached to all plastic-ware such culture dishes, test tubes, patient identity cards etc. before being assigned to a patient. These microchips are read by the RI Witness™ sensors.

There is no need to directly scan the labels, the whole process is automatic and many tags can be read simultaneously.Q: How does the RFID label transmit the information?

A: RI Witness™ uses RFID tags, which are made up of a microchip with an antenna, and an interrogator or reader with an antenna. The reader sends out electromagnetic waves and the tag antenna is tuned to receive these waves. The RFID tag draws power from field created by the reader and uses it to power the microchip’s circuits. The microchip then modulates the waves that the tag sends back to the reader and the reader converts the new waves into digital data.

Q: Are there any health risks associated with RFID and radio waves?

A: RI Witness™ RFID uses a radio frequency similar to the signals received by your car radio. RI has conducted exhaustive Mouse Embryo Assay (MEA) to demonstrate that RI Witness™ RFID does not have any detrimental effect on the development of embryos. These tests used radio waves which are 700 times stronger than that used in the actual product. Competitor products use red light barcode scanners. Research has suggested that red light can have a deleterious effect on embryo development in Mouse Embryo Assays1.

1Itoh, et al., 1993. Influence of Light Irradiation on the Development of Mouse Eggs in Culture. In Engineering in Medicine and Biology, Proceedings of the 15th Annual International Conference of IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. San Diego, 28-31 October 1993. San Diego: IEEE

Q: Why is RFID better than using bar codes?

A: The most significant difference is that barcodes use line-of-sight red laser technology . That is, a scanner has to “see” the barcode to read it, which means it is necessary to orientate the barcode towards a scanner for it to be read. Radio Frequency Identification, by contrast, doesn’t require line of sight. RFID tags can be read as long as they are within range of a reader. In addition, multiple RFID tags can be read at the same time, meaning that a whole collection of items can be identified together. RI Witness™ uses this ability to automatically check everything that is brought into the working area.

Q: Why RFID?

A: Other methods currently employed to match patients’ sperm, oocytes and embryos, rely on the user remembering to make some kind of check, this can be prone to human error, and if not done correctly, can give a false record. RI Witness™ uses RFID technology to provide a level of security that should eradicate errors. RFID technology monitors everything in every work area, every second of every day. RFID offers an extremely large number of unique identities. This means that each sample container can have its own UID and that procedures can be tracked in detail. The system knows exactly what has happened to the samples and which containers were used. Lastly, the communication between tag and reader is very secure. So secure in fact that RFID evidence can be submitted in a court of law, where barcode evidence cannot.