Automated Biobank Sample Monitoring

A cloud-based predictive analytics platform for sample monitoring

Client situation:

Biological samples often contain precious, hard-to-acquire cells and tissues that must be kept at strict environmental conditions for preservation.  Our client, a major manufacturer of biobanking equipment, wanted to improve their products by adding a cloud-based remote monitoring feature that could assess a variety of metrics and create alerts for abnormal readings.  Saguaro was enlisted to help create this feature.

What Saguaro did:

Our engineers were able to leverage existing, simple temperature sensors already inside the biobank equipment to create an extended set of sensors for additional data and parameters.  Our team also added support for monitoring system error parameters, for sending notifications, and for accessing historical data for audit purposes.

The application is hosted on a Microsoft Azure Cloud machine.  Sensors inside the biobank equipment collect and send information about temperature and humidity to a 3rd party service. Our application then regularly polls this service to see if any sensor values have changed.  Threshold values for various parameters are configurable, and system errors are automatically sent to our application, which sends an email to our client’s support team.

Client benefit:

As a result of Saguaro’s help, our client was able to launch a superior biobanking product that can give academic and pharmaceutical researchers peace of mind that their samples are taken care of.  The information generated by the application has resulted in rapid reaction time from field engineers in response to errors, who can often fix the site problems even before users know they exist.  Moreover, with predictive analytics built in, the application allows our client to leverage collected data to foresee future errors before they occur.

Languages and tools used in this project: TFS (code versioning system); Microsoft SQL Serverl; C#; EntityFramework: REST API backbone and ORM; Javascript; Microsoft Message Queue (MSMQ); Microsoft Azure (for hosting); SignalR.

Back to case studies