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Rapid - Objective - Standardized Semen Analysis Solutions... Remember, it ALL Started with a Sperm!










RSS  Medical Electronic Systems Service and Support Updates


New SQA-Vision Upgrade | Version 44.3.193

Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Medical Electronic Systems is officially announcing the release of a new SQA-Vision Semen Analyzer software update.  The new version will be 44.3.193.  If you are currently on 44.3.167, you will see the following changes:

Flexible Report ‐ A new custom (flexible) report feature was added. This allow the user to design their own report.  MES has publish a guide on how to build out the Flexible report.  Note: Programming Skills required.

Post Vas Counting Mode ‐ A new counting mode was added to the Post Vas. test. The new mode enable the user to scan an entire slide and click to count the cells without entering the number of fields and cells counted.  The user will count all 50 fields available through the lab slide.

Multiple Users ‐ An option to add multiple users and password was added.

Range Icons – Pass vs. Fail indication was replaced with up and down arrows based on the cutoff.

LIS Interface ‐ There is now an option to re‐send a specific patient record as opposed to a whole date range.

Additionally, an option to change the time out delay was added.

Time Format ‐ The time format is now set to a 24hour clock.

Debris Scanning Options ‐ A Gross Debris option was added to the debris scanner.


If you are currently on version 44.3.180 or 44.3.182 you will see the following changes:

Back and Restore – The process has been updated for ease of use and reliability.

Upgrade Process – Streamlined and simplified for future versions.

Debris Scanner Workflow – If the Low Quality Counter is turned off and the Debris Scanner is turned on the Debris Scanner will activate on Low Quality samples.

Stability Improvements – The quality of data transfer and video interfacing is greatly improved for reliability.

To request this free upgrade please submit a request through the website HERE or send an e-mail to service@mes-llc.com.

DOWNLOAD A PDF DOCUMENT OF THE SOFTWARE CHANGES HERE



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QwikCheck™ Liquefaction Kit Product Update

Thursday, August 24, 2017
BACKGROUND

The QwikCheck™ Liquefaction kit manufactured by Medical Electronic Systems (MES) is used to accelerate the liquefaction of viscous or incompletely liquefied semen samples that remain viscous thirty minutes after collection.

The kit contains: 20 single dose, 5 mg vials of lyophilized α-Chymotrypsin and a product insert.

OVERVIEW

Recently the Chymotrypsin used in the kit has changed in the following ways:

1.  New supplier
2.  Chymotrypsin is now a thin powder (previously it was irregular crystalized particles).
3.  Although the 5mg powder weight is exactly the same as the irregular crystalize particles of the previous Chymotrypsin, it can be seen to occupy a    smaller volume in the individual single dose vials.

Notes:

• Clinical testing of the new Chymotrypsin vs. the old did not demonstrated any significant change or negatively impact semen parameters.
• The required amount of 5 mg of chymotrypsin per vial has not changed
• The product insert (instructions) has not changed.



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How to Utilize the Backup and Restore Feature of the SQA-Vision

Monday, August 14, 2017
BACKGROUND:

The SQA-Vision system has a backup and restore feature which can be utilized manually or on a set automatic schedule. For SQA-Vision version 44.3.193 the process has been improved for reliability and simplified for routine use. After upgrading to version 44.3.193 please follow these instructions.

BACKING UP YOUR DATA AUTOMATICALLY:

Step 1: Insert an external hard drive into an available USB port.
Note: If there are no available USB ports you may use a USB Hub to connect less critical items together such as the mouse, keyboard and printer.
Step 2: Open SQA-Vision Application.
Go into “SETTINGS” then select “SERVICE” from the top tab list. In the BACKUP FREQUENCY box indicate how often you would like the backup to run. If you do not want the system to backup automatically, leave the “BACKUP EVERY” box blank.
Note: The auto-backup will begin upon shut down of the Vision application.
Select “BROWSE” and locate the external hard drive by expanding “This PC.” Select the “BACKUP (E:)” hard drive and hit “OK.”

BACKING UP YOUR DATA MANUALLY:

Step 1: Go into “SERVICE” and select “BACKUP” in the SQA-VISION BACKUP STATUS box.
Note: The BACKUP PATH will still need to be set from the SETTINGS MENU.
Step 2: Backup will begin to copy all data to the external hard drive. Hit “OK” when complete.
Step 3: Verify the Backup has successfully saved your data by checking the external hard drive for the Vision backup file: Folder name: SQAVisionBck_DDMMYYYY_HHMMSS.

RESTORING YOUR DATA:
Note: In the event that your Vision PC is damaged you may restore your database to a new PC that has been loaded with the Vision Application.

Step 1: Ensure that the Vision Application is installed on an MES supplied PC.
Step 2: Ensure the MES backup external hard drive is inserted.
Step 3: Locating the backup folder.
- Open SQA-Vision application and select “SERVICE” then “RESTORE”.
- Select the desired backup file by clicking the drop-down arrow on the right.
- Select the file name and “Launch Restore”.
- Once the restore is complete launch the Vision App and all data should be available.
Note: Restoring your data from an older backup file will overwrite your current data. It is recommended that the restore feature only be used to re-build new PCs.

For detailed instructions, please download and read our tech bulletin: How to Utilize the Backup and Restore Feature of the SQA-Vision

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact elizabeth@mes-llc.com


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Chymotrypsin vs Hyaluronidase

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Here is a question that has came up:


What is the difference between Chymotrypsin and Hyaluronidase?


Answer:


In the article: Stefan Stephanus du Plessis, Sheila Gokul, Ashok Agarwal. Frontiers in Bioscience, Elite, 5, 224-231, January 1, 2013, the following information on semen hyperviscosity (SHV) treatment can be found:
“Semen hyperviscosity can be treated successfully in vitro by traditional methods as well as by recently developed methods. Hyperviscous semen is commonly diluted or drawn into a hypodermic needle and forced through in order to overcome the elevated viscosity, although these methods are unlikely to be completely effective because SHV is not completely a mechanical phenomenon. More direct treatments of patients presenting with SHV include over hydration, prostatic massage, and the use of parenteral hyaluronidase (injection – my note). These methods showed limited success and have proven not to be too effective.


Less dated methods used in sperm preparation for ART procedures have been shown to improve semen and sperm parameters of infertile males. Honea et al. found that the use of limited proteolysis by using α-chymotrypsin in the treatment of SHV was effective for an in vitro setting such as IVF or IUI. Zavos et al. more recently reported that limited proteolysis by α-chymotrypsin was effective in improving the use and handling of hyperviscous semen samples, and that treatment with α-chymotrypsin assisted in the recovery of high quality sperm in greater numbers than in hyperviscous samples not treated with α-chymotrypsin.”  

Conclusions:


Though hyaluronidase is present in semen and used in both IVF procedures and for treatment of patients (via injection), it is not recommended for semen hyperviscosity treatment in vitro because there is no evidence of effectiveness.
α-chymotrypsin was found to be an effective method for SHV in vitro treatment based on the methods listed above and years of clinical practice. 
The QwikCheck Liquefaction Kit (based on α-chymotrypsin) product insert is enclosed, demonstrating the effectiveness of the product in clinical studies.  


DOWNLOAD QWIKCHECK LIQUEFACTION KIT PRODUCT INSERT



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Ransomware Prevention and Protection on MES Systems

Thursday, June 01, 2017
Background:
 
Ransomware is a form of malware that prevents or limits the use of a computer system until a sum of money has been paid.  Variants, namely “WannaCry” (or similar) were observed infecting computers belonging to individuals and businesses, which included healthcare facilities and hospitals worldwide.

Recommendations: 

1. All SQA-V and SQA-VISION systems are designed to operate “Offline”, which means they do not connect to a network or the internet. 
 
2. It is not recommended to use the SQA-V or SQA-VISION to run any other software, other than what is pre-installed by Medical Electronic Systems.

3. USB hard drives and flash drives not supplied directly by Medical Electronic Systems must be scanned for viruses or malware before being used to transfer data to and from the system.

4. Operating system patches and service packs must be installed by trained IT staff members using offline methods to transfer data (flash drives, discs, etc.)

5. If your IT staff recommends an operating system upgrade on V-Sperm Computers, please verify with MES support that the new operating system version will be compatible with the instrument and MES software.  Note:  SQA-VISION instruments must remain on Windows 8.1 for proper operation.

6. Medical Electronic Systems does not provide licenses for Operating System upgrades.  In the case of an Operating System upgrade to V-Sperm computers, IT staff must purchase, install and license the operating system directly.  MES will assist in reloading all necessary software pertaining to the system.

7. New V-Sperm computers with supported Operating Systems are available for purchase directly through Medical Electronic Systems.


DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION OF THIS BULLETIN HERE


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Updated QwikCheck QC Beads Storage Recommendations

Friday, April 28, 2017
UPDATE:

In order to ensure consistent product performance Medical Electronic Systems is now recommending that opened QwikCheck Bead QC Kits be stored @ 2-8°C (36-46°F). The expiration date assumes that QwikCheck beads are stored in their original containers and tightly capped to prevent evaporation. QwikCheck beads are stable and show no loss of expected performance characteristics after transport/storage over a period of 72 hours at the temperature range of -20°C to +37°C (-4°F to +99°F).

CLICK HERE FOR AN UPDATED PRODUCT INSERT EXAMPLE


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Precision Vs Accuracy Example

Sunday, April 23, 2017

It is important to understand the relationship and difference between Precision and Accuracy.  Both are important, and both showcase different aspects of a Validation or Comparison study. The image below provides a very nice visual representation:




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No Lubricants During Collection

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
It is highly recommended that no lubricants are used during sample collection if the sample is to be run on the SQA platform.  As you can see in the image below, lubricants can leave an oil looking substance in the seminal plasma which may potentially interfere with the automated analysis performed by the SQA-V and SQA-Vision.  Keep it dry and Keep it Accurate!  Remember, it ALL Started with a Sperm!



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The Importance of Semen Sample Liquefaction and Viscosity for Semen Analysis

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Question:

 

In addition to the obvious issues with sample loading in the SQA testing capillary, would concentration readings be higher or lower in a sample which has not fully liquefied?


Answer:

1.  Running a non-liquefied (or viscous) semen sample will most probably result in inaccurate results for the following reasons:

2.  The sample is poorly represented. In a fully liquefied sample, sperm cells are evenly spread throughout the semen volume and this makes the sample taken for analysis more representative of the entire ejaculate.

3.  Concentration and other semen parameters may vary in both directions in the case of running a viscous sample.

4.  Motility may be lower in viscous samples.

According to the WHO 5th manual, each highly viscous or non-liquefied semen sample should be treated to bring it to normal viscosity prior to testing (WHO 5th ed. manual, p. 13-15;)


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Minimum Sample Volume Requirements for SQA Systems and Dilution Options

Saturday, May 28, 2016
BACKGROUND
Automated semen assessment using the SQA-V / Vision requires a pre-defined sample volume to be aspirated into the testing capillary in order to generate a full semen analysis report. The volume of the SQA testing capillary is 0.5 ml and this volume provides sufficient statistical representation of the entire ejaculate, resulting in a high level of precision using the automated SQA analyzer.

OVERVIEW

Based on the required semen sample testing volume of 0.5 mL, it is recommended to fill the entire testing capillary with a semen sample without any dilution if the ejaculate volume is >= 0.5 mL. Sometimes though the ejaculate volume may be less than 0.5 mL. The dilution mode of the SQA-V and Vision can be used in this case as follows: If the semen sample volume is >= 0.3 mL, dilute the sample using the QwikCheck Dilution media two times (1:2 or 1+1). For example, 0.3 mL of semen sample is mixed with 0.3 mL of diluent resulting in a volume of 0.6 mL. This will provide an adequate sample volume to aspirate into the SQA testing capillary and the SQA software automatically compensates for the dilution and will provide a full report, no calculations are required by the operator.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS
Based on the sample volume, M.E.S. recommends the following approach to testing the sample:
• Semen Volume >= 0.5 mL - No dilution is required
• Semen Volume >= 0.3 mL and < 0.5 mL - Dilution 1:2 (1+1) using the QwikCheck Dilution kit
• Semen Volume < 0.3 mL - Manual assessment [microscope or Vision Manual Mode or Vision Semi-automated Mode (10 µL automated testing + 10 µL manual motility assessment)]

 

REFERENCES
• WHO laboratory manual for the examination and processing of human semen - 5th ed., WHO 2010.
• SQA-V GOLD User Guide Version 2.60 I-Button
• SQA-Vision User Guide Version 104.13.2

 

DOWNLOAD THE FULL TECHNICAL BULLETIN HERE

 

SEE ALL MES TECHNICAL BULLETINS HERE



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