The coronavirus pandemic has led to greatly increased demand for personal protective equipment (PPE). Agencies around the world have been hurriedly shipping any available supplies to healthcare centres, comprising millions of units.
Regrettably, healthcare workers are reporting that some of these supplies are past their stated expiration dates, potentially rendering them unusable for critical procedures such as surgery.
This scenario is a dramatic example of the importance of implementing clear and easy to use indicators to allow monitoring of medical supplies against their designed lifetime, thus ensuring complete efficacy.
Products with finite lifetimes include face mask filters, cannulas and IV feeds, as well as many chemicals such as hand sanitisers.
While the shipping and even the use of time expired medical supplies is understandable in the current public health emergency, healthcare authorities planning their procurement systems have the opportunity to ensure the safe restocking of supplies going forward.
At Timestrip, we are committed to doing all we can to help so please just let us know.
As the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak is felt by businesses around the world, we wanted to let our contacts, partners and clients know what we are doing at Timestrip UK.
We are deeply concerned about the welfare of our staff, customers, suppliers and distributors, as we work hard to adapt to significant changes at work.
We regard the health and safety of our employees as of the highest importance, and our people are generally working from their home base using electronic communications including video conferencing. We are reducing travel to a minimum. We also suggest that meetings with external parties are held remotely.
While we do not expect this will cause a loss of service level, should you have any concerns, please let us know.
On a positive note, we would like to reassure you that we are working with our customers and distributors around the world to ensure the continued supply of our time and temperature indicators in the future.
Indeed, we are responding to an increased demand, especially for those products that form a part of best practice hygiene procedures.
Exclusive Timestrip Feature on That's West Anglia. Watch below:
This little sticker plays an important part in measuring temperature breaches for seafood. The chemicals inside the indicator react to changes in temperature, irreversibly revealing any instances which might have impacted the quality of the product.
We supply into sectors like healthcare, blood, pharmaceutical, life science, and food which are all highly regulated sectors. These are regulated by the WHO, the FDA and other regulatory bodies globally.
At Timestrip, we have solutions that help the client adhere to those regulations and enable them to have confidence that their products are getting to the end location in the right status.
The technology can be adapted for a range of purposes.
We have time indicators that span 1 hour right up to 24 months and it's used as a visual impact reminder to do something. And that could be anything from replacing a water filter in your home or replacing the filter in your cooker hood.
But not only things in the home it's also used in the profession where healthcare professionals are reminded to renew or replace or change their antibacterial curtains. As well as replacements of cannulas, catheters, IV lines, and other applications like the prompt endoscope reprocessing which is a regulation and we help adhere to those regulations.
Regulations say if blood goes above 10°C through transportation it has to be discarded. Our indicators are proof it hasn't gone above 10°C if it hasn't and those blood bags can be put back in and reassigned to other patients.
Once the breach has happened they are non reversible. So once it has happened it can not be reversed or changed in anyway and this is one of the positive characteristics of the technology itself.
Our eTimestrip is an indicator which can run for a long time because of being an electronic device. It is used for one or more temperature breaches. It has a traffic light system: red, green and amber to indicate to the user a temperature breach has occurred. And also it has the ability, by use of an app, to capture those breaches.
It captures the level of breach, the duration of breach, and also the time and date it occurred. This information is then uploaded to an application. the product itself is compliant to the 21CF Part 11D regulation which is very beneficial for pharmaceutical shipments, and highly valued and regulated product shipments.
With the press of a button the indicator gets to work. It may look simple, but this tiny piece of smart technology is as smart as it needs to be to carry out its mission. Science magazine, the Scientific American, named sensor technology as one of the emerging technologies for 2019, with potential to provide major benefits to society in the future.
Timestrip has won a mention in the ‘Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2019’ by the prestigious magazine Scientific American.
The December edition analysed the emerging technology trends that are ‘poised to rattle the status quo’.
Timestrip was identified as one of the technologies with the potential to vastly improve food safety with its sensors to monitor the quality and safety of food.
Scientific American worked with the World Economic Forum to evaluate those trends that are attracting a lot of interest, and have the potential to provide major benefits to societies and economies. The selected few are expected to make significant inroads in the future.
Timestrip Food Temp indicators have been designed with FDA guidance in mind
The compact electronic temperature breach indicators are affixed to product packages. eTimestrip clearly shows the temperature conditions during the entire supply chain, including the ‘last mile’.
Traffic light LEDs on the device show status information. Users can download the free smartphone app to retrieve data wirelessly.
A more detailed report can be generated and stored. This shows the date, time and extent of any temperature breaches that may have occurred.
By providing an auditable timed record of breaches, the electronic indicators open up a wide range of applications. They can monitor cost effectively throughout the supply chain.
eTimestrip will be used in pharmaceutical, healthcare, bulk food and other high value applications with temperature sensitive products.
eTimestrip indicators fit between traditional chemical indicators and expensive data loggers. The electronic temperature indicators provide a cost effective solution without complex software or special training to use.
The electronic temperature indicators
At launch, two products are available with a a measuring range of -30 °C to 70 °C:
eTimestrip TIR 2-8°C is designed principally for pharmaceuticals shipments.
eTimestrip TIR No Freeze 0°C is intended for use on products sensitive to freezing temperatures.
The addition of eTimestrip to our existing portfolio of temperature and time monitoring technology is part of our vision for Timestrip as a progressive, innovate business.
Our clients in a wide range of sectors look to Timestrip products to give peace of mind throughout the transportation and storage lifecycle of their goods.
Nora Murphy, Commercial Director of Timestrip
The new eTimestrip electronic temperature breach indicators are now available, and complement the company’s core product offering of stock, bespoke and custom branded indicators.
In December, Timestrip was identified in the ‘Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2019’ by Scientific American magazine. The report analysed the technology trends that are ‘poised to rattle the status quo’, with the potential for sensors to vastly improve the safety and quality of food.
An FDA-approved Irreversible Time and Temperature Indicator that ensures that only viable whole blood supplies are used post-transit
The high tech, low cost alternative to electronic dataloggers
[su_list icon="icon: check" icon_color="#009cde"]
Delivery of unambiguous safety data
Ease of use
Low carbon footprint
A critical issue for medical professionals is ensuring the viability of blood supplies once they leave the highly controlled storage environment, such as a blood bank refrigerator or a hospital blood storage facility. This aspect of the so-called blood cold chain is essential for ensuring that these are kept at the correct temperature right up to the time they are administered by trauma units, ERs, operating theatre staff, air/ ground ambulances, and any other situation requiring blood to be transported from storage units out to patients.
During transit, whole blood needs to be
kept within a temperature range of 2°C/36OF
Below this range, there is a risk of freezing with the formation of ice
crystals, rendering the blood unusable, while upper temperature breaches create
the possibility of blood being affected by an overgrowth of non-specific
bacteria, which may have entered the blood unit during collection or component
Both these situations have serious
consequences: the cost implications of a wasted product and/or more seriously,
a patient that is put at risk.
Thanks to its innovative technology,
Timestrip® Blood Temp 10 removes this uncertainty by providing clear,
unambiguous data as to whether a supply of whole blood is safe to use or be
returned to storage.
This is achieved thanks to the smart
label’s two indicator windows:
• the first window to indicate if the
label has been activated
• the second to indicate if a temperature
breach has occurred
Thus, at a glance, medical staff know if
a supply of whole blood is not only safe to use post-transit. The smart label
also ensures a higher level of quality of the product is delivered by
monitoring of temperature throughout transit.
Moreover, thanks to its irreversible feature,
once the smart label has reacted to a temperature breach, this cannot be
undone. For security reasons, the colour of the label’s indicator window stays
With a temperature accuracy of +/- 0.5°C,
this means that the Timestrip® label is designed with reliable and, more
importantly, trustworthy technology as assessed by some of the world’s most
stringent criteria. Moreover, extra security is assured by every Timestrip®
label having its own unique serial number, thus ensuring full traceability.
Checking this list of features brings
further benefits to healthcare providers involved in the transportation of
whole blood by also ticking the box for local and internal regulatory
Because Timestrip® Blood Temp 10 ensures
that only viable blood supplies are either administered post-transit, or
returned to storage, the possibility of precautionary disposal is eliminated.
This reduction in waste can have significant cost benefits.
In fact, studies
have shown that loss rates without a Timestrip® are around 5%. These are halved with its use. In fact,
reducing a loss rate by 9.9% pays for the total investment and a conservative
19.8% reduction doubles the ROI.
generation of similar positive temperature monitoring outcomes are possible
using other products, such as electronic devices. These, however, are far
Ease of use
Apart from delivering clear, unambiguous data as to
whether post-transit a unit of whole blood may be used or returned to storage
thanks its innovative indicator windows, the Timestrip® Blood Temp 10 is also
remarkably easy to use.
In fact, unlike other whole blood temperature
monitoring solutions on the market, Timestrip® Blood Temp 10 is a unique FDA
510(k) medical device that does not require preconditioning. Moreover, it is
also CE approved and designed for:
• quick and easy application
• no prior conditioning by blood storage staff
• temperature breach data delivered at a glance by
medical field personnel.
Prior to the transit of a unit of whole blood, a
simple squeeze of the label’s activation blister is all that is required for
temperature monitoring of a unit of whole blood to begin. Then the label just
needs to stuck on the unit.
Squeeze, peel and stick – that’s it!
And the end of transit, Timestrip® technology has
also been designed for maximum ease of use:
• until activation, the first indicator window is
yellow and the second is white
• upon activation, the first indicator window turns
• if a temperature breach has occurred during transit, the duration of the breach is indicated by the second white indicator window that proportionately fills up with blue dye
Irreversible, single use
19mm x 32mm
Visual proof of temperature exposure
Advantages over electronic dataloggers
being less expensive, Timestrip® Blood Temp 10 does not involve a datalogger’s
complicated and sometimes cumbersome unit return program that is necessary to
make it more affordable. The smart label’s single use indicator makes it the
ideal fit for simple, straightforward and effective temperature monitoring.
Timestrip® also is a super convenient shape: small, flat, with no batteries or
any other electronic components to them.
green credentials, the Timestrip® also outstrips traditional dataloggers in
terms of carbon footprint, because the latter eventually needs to be either be
thrown away or sent back to source to justify the expenditure.
the Timestrip® has the potential of generating more accurate safety data.
Indeed, because a container of units of whole blood will tend to use just a
single datalogger, inevitably the temperature of ambient air within the
container is taken into account, potentially generating less than accurate
Timestrip® labels however, every single unit has its own temperature indicator.
This means that the possibility of rejecting an entire shipment based on a
single result is eliminated.
Timestrip will be attending the 29th Regional Congress of the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) in Basel, Switzerland from 22nd - 26th June 2019
We will demonstrate our Timestrip® Blood Temp 10 and Timestrip® Blood Temp 6 at the exhibition. We will be at Booth U106, Hall 4.U, please drop by and get a sample of our Blood Temp indicators to take away with you.
Our Blood Temp irreversible blood bag temperature indicators monitor temperature compliance in blood bags. They are especially relevant for monitoring blood temperature during transit from the highly controlled environment of the blood bank to use or store in a different destination, such as a hospital.
ISBT is a society in the field of blood transfusion, transplants, science and medicine. It facilitates knowledge about transfusion medicine to serve the interests of donors and patients.
Whether in a major teaching hospital, a walk-in clinic or a
doctor’s surgery, any type of healthcare boils down to two broad objectives:
improved patient outcomes and the best possible use of resources.
Although historically reconciling patient health and the
harsh realities of budgetary constraints have at times led to difficult
choices, the fact is that by integrating technology and innovation into
decision making around resource allocation, both objectives can be achieved at
the same time.
Indeed, thanks to its high tech / low cost Time and
Temperature Indicator labels, Timestrip® is able to provide healthcare
providers and the pharmaceutical sector with a broad range of practical,
user-friendly solutions that:
✔ Ensure product
✔ Reduce product
✔ Ensure regulatory
✔ Reduce time and
temperature monitoring costs
But what does this look like in practice?
Improving quality control and efficiency
Tenet Healthcare is US healthcare provider that faced the
challenge of needing to effectively manage how it processed bags of whole
blood. On the one hand, it faced the need to comply with local regulatory
requirements related to the use of effective temperature monitoring for blood
products; and on the other, it had to discard any bag of blood that had been
exposed to a temperature above 10°C for more than 30 minutes.
The company needed to be absolutely certain that any unused
bag of whole blood was 100% safe to be returned to storage for future use. It
had also noted ongoing difficulties in using other blood temperature
indicators. Potentially, the latter could lead to doubts about product safety,
which in turn would require that bag of blood to be discarded, possibly
✔ Maintenance of
quality control during transportation and storage
✔ Support in
complying with regulatory guidelines
Cost-effective regulatory compliance
Marathon Distributors is a pharmaceutical and healthcare
logistics services provider in Cyprus and is involved in the distribution of
pharmaceutical products throughout the island. The main cold chain management
issue it faced was around compliance with local and EU regulations, specifically
the country’s Law on Human Pharmaceuticals 70(I) 2001 and the EU guidelines on
Good Distribution & Manufacturing Practices. These mandated the company to
ensure that the pharmaceuticals it delivered were not exposed to a temperature
above 8°C for more than 8 hours during transportation.
Cambridgeshire Community Service NHS Trust is a UK
healthcare provider in south-east England. Part of its work is the delivery of
school-age immunisations to schools in its area. This includes for instance flu
nasal immunisations for primary schools and HPV vaccinations and Meningitis
ACWY and TdIPV for secondary schools.
For the delivery of vaccines, electric Labcold Portable
Vaccine Carriers and pharmaceutical-grade vaccine carriers are used. In order
to maintain the efficacy of the various transported vaccines, two different temperature
ranges need to be managed: 2°C to 8°C and -25°C to 25°C.
In order to ensure the delivery of viable, unspoiled
vaccines, the Trust thus had a requirement for a dual, low-cost solution for
use by its delivery teams.
To achieve this, two Timestrip products have been used in
each vaccine carrier:
● a Timestrip® PLUS (TP 065) to indicate if the temperature
went above 8°C
● a Timestrip® PLUS (TP 217) to indicate if the temperature
exceeded 25°C, and if so, for how long
The feedback from the delivery teams has been extremely
positive, specifically around:
✔ Easy to read
✔ Ease of use
Reliable test kit time data
Clinical Innovations is a US maker of obstetrics devices that wanted to develop a non-invasive test kit for the diagnosis of any rupture of membranes (ROM). Although treatable, spontaneous ROM is a serious medical condition and a major cause of preterm births. Thus, an accurate diagnosis of ROM can be a key factor in determining timely and appropriate medical intervention. Similarly, a false diagnosis of ROM can lead to unnecessary hospitalisation, medication and even induced premature delivery.
Timestrip was able to provide Clinical Innovations with Time
Indicators for its ROM Plus® self-contained test kit. These give clinicians the
essential and immediate data they need to reduce the dangers of any premature
ROM for expectant mothers and their babies.
The test kit uses Timestrip technology with an in-built
20-minute time monitoring indicator that generates the required data within
5-20 minutes, with 5,10 and 20 minutes clearly indicated on the Timestrip. Its
key benefits are:
✔ Clear visual data
✔ Ease of use
✔ Improved health
Hygienic healthcare environment
Beyond pharmaceuticals and blood products, healthcare also
involves various types of disposable items that need replacing regularly.
Especially for the sick, hygiene in the clinical environment is an essential
aspect of patients being able to make a full recovery.
Assuming the absence of any complications, catheters for
instance need to be replaced every 30 days for Foley catheters and every 60-90
days for silicone catheters. Catheter bags however need to be replaced every
5-7 days. If these items are not replaced at appropriate intervals,
opportunities are created for harmful pathogens to develop.
Unsurprisingly, this has also been shown to be the case for
hospital privacy curtains. Dr Kevin Shek was the lead study author into the
rate of contamination of hospital privacy curtains in a burns/plastic ward. In
a report about the study findings in Nursing Times, he said:
“We know that privacy curtains pose a high risk for
cross-contamination because they are frequently touched but infrequently changed.
The high rate of contamination that we saw by the fourteenth day may represent
an opportune time to intervene, either by cleaning or replacing the
Especially in busy hospital departments such as Accident
& Emergency and ICU, hospital privacy curtains can quickly become
contaminated with bacteria such as methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and
Clostridium difficile (C. diff). Thanks to Timestrip® Time Monitoring Indicator
panels that change color after a set period of time, clinical staff are alerted
when a privacy curtain needs to be changed. They help a hospital achieve:
✔ Best use of
resources with a low-cost solution
✔ Compliance with
guidelines around frequency of change
✔ Less time needed
to monitor when that change needs to occur
clean hospital environment for patients
Wine has always been a popular drink and
for many the fermented beverage of choice. In most cases whether you prefer Red
or White, or even a Rose, experts and connoisseurs believe that any wine is
best stored and served chilled.
So, you may well ask what is the difference
between a wine served warm, or chilled, and does it really matter if the wine
is warmer than expected, or even hot? Some wines are indeed served hot and are
even used in cooking, but why is it important if it gets hotter than
anticipated before it gets to the consumer?
Well, from an article in WinePair ™ a short time ago it was stated that; wines do change when they are subjected to a high temperature. Firstly, the tannins become 'more noticeable and wines take on a tangy, astringent character. Instead of a smooth and supple mouthfeel, wines feel rough and more one-note on the palate. Fruit flavors often become secondary to unpleasant acidity. In dry climates, corks shrink as they lose moisture, leading to leaky bottles and a sticky mess.'
This is all well and good, but at above
what temperature would there be any noticeable change to the wine we drink?
Any wine should normally be stored between 55 – 65F (13-18C) and wine should be stored in a cellar, or a wine refrigerator, that maintains this recommended temperature level. And, it is generally noted that the change to the body of the wine begins at 70F (21C), and wines can “cook” as exposure temperatures hit 80F (26C) degrees and beyond. However, an occasional spike won’t decimate a wine, but prolonged exposure — like a week-long heat wave, or full day in the car — can.
Timestrip offers a full range of stock
labels including two that have a temperature breach of 20C and 25C (tolerance
+/- 1C), and Timestrip can also produce a custom and branded label that can be
set to monitor more specific temperature breach limits.
So, in the future be on the look out for
some form of temperature indicator label on the bottle of wine that you buy to
ensure that it has been kept at the recommended temperature to insure you get
the most enjoyment from the wine that you buy and drink.
Emerging Technologies list features Timestrip: read >