Scientists at SDU are developing a robot freezer, which will secure that patients’ genes and blood-, tissue-, or cell samples do not go missing at the bottom of a chest freezer or end up in the wrong hands.
Blood tests that go missing or must be retaken because it was stored below the right temperature; problems with finding the test in the freezer; a freezer that constantly ices up – the problems at hospital labs are many, but a new robot system will now solve those problems.
“The need for an intelligent system that can keep track of the growing number of samples is definitely necessary. Custom-made medicine for the individual patient is becoming more and more widely used. That means that there is an increasing need to know the individual patient’s genes and be able to find them when needed”, senior lecturer in Software Engineering at SDU, Ulrik Pagh Schultz, says.
Ulrik is working on the project The Freezer Unit of the Future with his colleague, senior lecturer Marco Kuhrmann, for which they have received 16 million kr. from Innovation Fund Denmark.
Personal medicine that is based on the unique gene profile of every patient will be the standard in the future. This means that everyone, in the long term, will have biological material lying at hospital, which can be analyzed by doctors in case of sickness. The new system heightens patient safety because a chip is inserted into the sample, where data such as which employees the sample can the handed over to. At the same time, the freezer’s computer system logs all data regarding the samples in a consistent manner and the freezer is operated by using a display, which tells the freezer which sample to retrieve.