CageTalkers Implementation

Learn more about introducing CageTalkers ® to
your facility

Process Model

CageTalkers® is a comprehensive system for creating electronic cage cards, notifying users on alerts, locating cages, and creating billing records. CageTalkers® close the cybernetic cycle between the the animal room and the animal management system.We tried to cover some of your questions in the Q&A section of this site. Please feel to contact us by email (contact@galileisoftware.com) or telefon (0049 (0)8024470470))

Option A- Develop and test your design

Develop and test your design and interface without hardware: Design of the electronic cage card and conversion of the animal management data. No infrastructure hardware is required. Everything runs over the web.

Design

ClientApp:

Galilei Web Service:

Connect to ClientApp

Use ClientApp

Design

Connect to ClientApp

Use ClientApp

Our service: We take over your design and integrate your Animal Management System. The visualization of the CageTalkers is done as a simulation over the Internet using the “Galilei” ClientApp. You do not need any hardware.


Effort: Approx. 1-2 man day(s) per page

Click over the arrows to get the detail of the steps

Option B- Test your infrastructure

The evaluation of the infrastructure: like A) only with additional delivery of the pilot infrastructure and a G4 router with SIM card to transfer the data from our server:

Internet

G4 Router

Base Station E3

Transceiver

Animal Room

Internet

G4 Router

Base Station E3

Transceiver

Animal Room

Our service: In addition to A) the hardware infrastructure consisting of base station and transceiver plus a preconfigured G4 router for data transmission with SIM card is delivered. Thus, no adjustments of the firewall rules are necessary. As a customer you can start immediately with the pilot. If it is only about the infrastructure you can skip step 4: Load implemented design as XML data.


Effort: 1 man-day(s) plus hardware infrastructure.

Click over the arrow to get the detail of the step

Option C- Run a full pilot

Run a full pilot. The integration of the CageTalkers® into the intranet security structure of your company: Like B) but without G4 router and SIM card, but with integration of the CageTalkers® into the intranet of your company

Animal Room

Infrastructure

On Premis or on Cloud

Our service: Like B) but the customer himself adapts the firewall rules and integrates the infrastructure into the company intranet. The integration into the animal rooms is evaluated. This is the last step before the productive use of CageTalkers®..


Effort: 0.5 man-days per page plus infrastructure hardware from “Galilei”.

Click over the arrow to get the detail of the step

Option D- Get productive

Get Productive: Productive use of CageTalkers® on the customer’s intranet or hosted in the cloud: Like C) but with the required amount of CageTalkers® and infrastructure for the planned rooms in productive operation.

Our service: Like C) additionally the infrastructure consisting of labels, holders, possible buttons, basestations and transceivers for productive operation is now delivered. We help with the installation if the house electrician does not get along. Please note the options for productive operation.


Effort:The service for the interface has already been largely provided in the pilot. The quantity structure must be determined, and a decision must be made for the suitable option of productive operation. On this basis we will prepare an offer for you.

Click over the arrow to get the detail of the step

Improve Your processes.
Your options for productive operation are

  • Cloud hosting package consisting of hosting, software updates and upgrades and hotline on a monthly fee basis. The basis of the billing is the number of cages.
  • On-Premise Hosting Package consisting of hosting, software updates and upgrades and hotline on a monthly fee basis. Basis of the billing are the number of cages
  • Purchase of all licenses to operate on-premise no monthly license fees, plus monthly software maintenance fees. Basis of the billing are number of cages

Some Questions & Their Answers

There are many suppliers of electronic shelf labels on the market. When we had to make our decision, we chose Pricer because it is the only supplier that works with infrared data transmission.  We did not dare to support a product for which there are no validated studies on human and animal exposure to active electromagnetic radiation. With infrared light we can

a) eliminate this risk and

b) be sure that only cages of the room in which the transceiver is attached are detected.

a)  In laboratory animal management, special requirements play a decisive role. Since important decisions are made and documented on site in the animal room on the basis of cage cards, we had to ensure that it is always traceable which cage card display was at which time at which cage or is now at which cage. It is also more comfortable for the animal welfare officer to view the cage cards in a sorted order than to have to put complex queries on the database. Audit reports and billing records had to be generated in an animal facility specific manner. Last but not least we had to provide a tool, which makes it easy for Animal Management Software provides to integrate the CageTalkers® system.

b) In contrast to price tags on shelves in shops, cage cards on cages in experimental animal facilities are handled much more dynamically.  Any change in cage contents must result in an update of the cage card. Be it in breeding, in experiments or in stock. The cage contents and the status of the animals and cages must be constantly documented and reported. If animal husbandry is to be managed sustainably and made comprehensible from a 3R perspective, additional services such as the forwarding of “alerts” are also required. All these requirements could only be met with a special application.

c)  In fact, we do not know which Electronic Shelf Label (ESL) solutions will become widely accepted for which markets. There are many different aspects to consider.  Do we need cage tracking indoors or outdoors? What role does the localization of cages play. How are the animal rooms equipped with communication technology? How can solutions be easily maintained. How is the troubleshooting. How can standard connections to existing solutions be realized? How flexibly can changes to the labels be implemented? What happens with the historization?  We have therefore developed our own middleware for the CageTalkers® services, so that theoretically we could also integrate other label systems that support SOAP or REST.  However, for animal husbandry we are 100% convinced of the infrared technology. Since we work with our own medium, we can exclude external disturbances, which makes maintenance much easier

We believe that documentation should be as simultaneous as possible to the physical animal transactions. In fact, we have not only given a lot of thought to this but have also developed solutions. For example, to achieve this simultaneous documentation we have developed a mobile, battery-operated worktable with monitor holders and integrated RFID readers for reading RFID-marked cage card holders and an integrated printer. In the end we had the problem that the printers and paper cutters in a clean room could not be operated reliably enough and the service in clean rooms showed to be complicated. Out of the necessity to solve this, the electronic cage card, which combines display, identification, signaling and a central control e.g. from the IT department, was born as the first step. In the continuation of this development, the web services and an application were created to combine colored buttons with a mobile app or the AMS and to communicate these “alerts” to the outside world. Now the notified user entering the animal room later, can see all cages, on which cages work must be done by seeing the LED flashes and the buttons.

Basically CageTalkers® work with all AMS that integrate our standard Web Service. These messages can be structured very deeply down to the animal level with their services and medical records or only on cage level. We have tried to make the integration as easy as possible and left the AMS supplier the greatest possible freedom in the interface. This are SOAP messages that send the cage card data in an XML string. We render this string and convert the data into images. We also support our AMS partners and customers with sample XML files and layouts to be loaded and tested with the ClientApp.

No, we do not change anything. We take the data from the web service into our database and generate the CageTalkers® images based on the templates agreed upon with our customers.

What we receive from the AMS is not touched. Only if the AlertButtons are used together with the AlertButtonApp. Buttons can basically be used with and without the AlertButtonApp or with the mere web services. If the AMS uses the AlertButton web services absolutely nothing is added. If you want to send the alerts automatically, first scan the CageTalker and then enter the buttons by confirming the button in the Alert selection or by scanning the NFC ID of the button.

This question only applies if the label server is hosted in the cloud. Our customer must then provide us with an IP address to which we can for example send the data via port 950. The data, in this case images, are then forwarded to the fixed IP of the base station via so-called forwarding rules on the firewall for certain ports and defined IP addresses. As there are no possibilities to branch off from this port which directly leads into the base station, this is a secure solution. If a customer still has a problem with this, we can alternatively attach the base station to a G4_Router with a SIM card and send the data independently of the customer’s network. The prerequisite is a reasonable mobile connection.

Cages with CageTalkers are tracked automatically by so called audit jobs. The intervals for this audit job can be configured by the user in our web service administration. The audit data (Job plus found cages with time and location) are stored in the Warehouse/Cards-Database.

 

Apart from this the Pricer Server sends so called broadcasts to all labels in the facility on certain intervals. The CageTalkers answer to the nearest transceiver, normally one in an animal room. This is how the locations/rooms of the cages are found automatically. Also, the intervals for these broadcast parameters can be defined.

This the customer decides. Normally we only do the pilots as a hosted service, because of saving installation cost. In this case only the infrastructure (Basestation, Transceivers, Labels) are on premise at the customer and all Software is running in the cloud in our data center. We only send the images on port 950 to firewall of the customer and the firewall forwards it to the fixed IP address of the base station at the customers. 

However, for productive operation the infrastructure and the software are all hosted on premise at the customer and the communication happens in the Intranet of the customer only.

In general, independently where the software is hosted,  our web services receive data from the AMS, triggered by the AMS, when the AMS creates a cage card based on a changed cage content or when flashes are requested. The AMS can get feedback from our web service by the return messages for all transactions it triggered. Additionally there are web service methods like, get  status of the label, get  roaming status, get locations, get  inventory and get billing records. It depends of the AMS provider, how deeply these standard methods are integrated.

 

In some cases, it would really make sense that our web service actively posts data to a web service offered by the AMS offers not triggered by the AMS.

 

We currently know 2 situations where it would make sense for the AMS to actively offer web services:

a) To update the topical location automatically. E.g. The user moves a cage from one room to another but does not update the AMS with the new location actively. As I told the Pricer Server sends broadcasts to get status and location from a cage label on certain intervals. The location could be automatically updated in the AMS if the AMS offers such a web service.

 

b) To save alerts, which we record on the base of our buttons in the Warehouse/Cards-database. We are offering colored buttons which signal certain cage states in the animal room manually. With the App a user can message e.g. “Animal found dead “, “Animal sick”, etc. to a receiver (e.g. Animal Welfare officer or Scientist) outside the animal room.  When the user, e.g. Animal Welfare officer later enters the animal room, to take care about the cage and animals he was notified, all cages where some work must be done can be flashed. This App uses web services of the Warehouse/Cards-Database but not automatically forwards these alerts to the AMS. To get those alerts also the AMS must offer a web service.

From the Warehouse/Cards database we currently offer standard audit reports (inventory and location) and billing records reports. The reporting possibilities are continuously growing based on customer requests. Of course, the Warehouse database can be additionally queried with any SQL or any reporting tool on the base of a much simpler structure of the Warehouse/Cards-Database compared to the AMS database, as AMS databases are also optimzed for processes and not only storing the data.

 

An other reaso, why we call the CageTalker also a common denominator is that by e.g. moving a cage through different rooms e.g. Animal holding roomsProcedure roomsStorerooms for samples and scanning each time scanning the CageTalker LabeID in another system the data can be collected in one warehouse database and still update the same label. With the first update of the label a systemID is created which keeps the data linked, when the label is reused. This gives completely new possibilities for quality assurance and for reporting. 

 

Of course, it is technically also possible to query the AMS database.

 

Also consider that the CageTalkers database contains data from really produced Cage Cards with a date and a timestamp and a history for each cage. The AMS might only stores the data without the information when the cage card was created and how it physically looked like at the very moment when it was produced.

Then the cage goes to “Roaming” until it is found again. Also, the roaming state can be reported.  There are several states of roaming: “Short roaming”, the cage is searched several times in the whole facility every 15 minutes and then goes to longer intervals of roaming until the system says label not in reach. All those parameters can be configured in the  cage card server.

The basic principal is on each change of the cage content a new cage card must be printed.

In an idela case using CageTalkers the user would scan the cage label to quickly find the cage in the AMS, then sacrifices the animal in the AMS, and the label is automatically updated at the cage. Everything working in between like the web services is not visible to the user.

Our service updates in a few seconds. In what time the AMS syncs the new cage data by sending us the new data is a question for the AMS provider.

Additionally, we have a ClientApp which allows to have a look at the Cage Labels from wherever you are, independently of the AMS.

The data can be sent on an individual animal base with all data like animal base data like strain, age, gender,etc, services and medical records, litters, pups, genotypes, etc. per animal.  In this case we internaly do the aggregation for the cage card if needed, but have the data on an individual animal base in the database for e.g. reporting. Some systems only want to send us aggregated data.

The  question here as well is that some AMS systems are configured in a way, that they only administrate batches of animals but not cages. Of course, a CageTalker identifies cages and can show the batch on its display, but it not marks the batch individually. It marks a cage. You should clarify this question with your AMS provider from the very beginning. I you want to use a batch-oriented system speak with us and we can show you how to distribute the batches to cages.

 

We prefer to get individual animal data compared to only getting cage data because there are better possibilities for:

a) Better reporting possibilities on the base of individual animals

b) We can add quality assurance criteria like e.g. only animals with the same strains in one cage, animals only animals with the same protocol in one cage, etc. We evaluate the data with the integrated expert system and can inform the user e.g. about logically wrong data in one cage on the card or by a message.  In such a case the data in the AMS can be corrected.

We only get data from the AMS. All changes of the layout of the Cage Card itself are done with our tools by the client or with the support of ourselves.

Currently we support SOAP because it is very formalized and nicely readable for a 3rd person. We are planning to support REST any way.   But have not yet started with the development yet. If this gets a high priority, we will speed up this process. However, all our connected AMSs support SOAP. I would estimate a development time of about 4-5 weeks to support REST.

Our first customer was in the USA, which currently runs 14.000 labels in as far as I know over 50 animal and procedure rooms. The integration was done by another developer for his proprietary system, we sold the CageTalkers.

A Pharma company had 1.600 CageTalkers in the last 3 years and now ordered another 5.400 for about 40 rooms. And there are others.

Yes. The  Pharma company  is using  3 pages for the breeding and 3 pages for clinical. They also use the dynamic QR-Code to redirect to other web pages. How you would distribute the data to 3 pages is up to the Client and his philosophy.

I personally would put data for the daily operation on the first page to facilitate simultaneous data capture and historical data which I do not need so often on the next pages.

Step- 1

Choose the CageTalker® model that fits your cage. How much information do you want to show? Note the water bottle and the view of the cage contents. Need only locations of the cages. Do you need billing rates from opening and closing the cage dates? How do you signalize special features of the cage? Do you use colors? How do you communicate them to the outside world of the animal room? Do you need waterproof labels e.g. for pig boxes? Do you operate fish tanks? Check the images here. Let us know, we are happy to consult you.

CageTalkers® models and holders:

Box Model: HD110 red

Canvas size in pixel: 400x300
Resolution in pixel: 96
Accessories
Waterproof Box: Yes
Purpose/Remark:
Important service are signaled with color. The rest stays black and white. Comes with a base plate which can be mounted with screws. Also used for all kind of doors. On Changing Stations to show timetables.

Example 1

Comes with a base plate which can be mounted with screws. Also used for all kind of doors. On Changing Stations to show timetables.

Cage Model 1 Example 1: HDT B/W/R

Canvas size in pixel: 264x176
Resolution in pixel: 96
Accessories
Holder Lid Down long *) : Yes
Lid Long: Yes
Waterproof Box: No
Clicker: Yes
Adapter: No
Buttons: Yes
Purpose/Remark:
HDT Label is only available in Black/White/Red. In this example no red color is used. The long lid is down, not to hinder the water bottle. Lid carries buttons to signal discrepancies. Buttons can stay on any flat surface without adhesive.
Note: *) Holder Lid down long works also with label HDL and Lid short and Clickers

Cage Model 1 Ex 2: HDL B/W or B/W/R

Canvas size in pixel: 296x128
Resolution in pixel: 96
Accessories
Holder Lid up *): Yes
Lid Long: Yes
Waterproof Box: No
Clicker: Yes
Adapter: No
Buttons: No
Purpose/Remark:
HDT Label is available in B/W or Black/White/Red. Here no red color is used. This holder is our standard holder. The water bottle can easily pass the lid. This label the best view to cage.

View: HDL Bl W or B/W/R

Canvas size in pixel: 296x128
Resolution in pixel: 96
Accessories
Waterproof Box: No
Clicker: Yes
Adapter: No
Buttons: Yes
Purpose/Remark:
HDT HDT Label is only available in Black/White/Red. In this example no red color is used. The long lid is down, not to hinder the water bottle. Lid carries buttons to signal discrepancies. Buttons can stay on any flat surface without adhesive.
Note: *) Holder Lid down short works also with Lid short and Clickers.

Cage Model 2 Ex 1: HDL B/W or B/W/R

Canvas size in pixel: 296x128
Resolution in pixel: 96
Accessories
Holder Lid up *): Yes
Lid Long: No
Waterproof Box: No
Clicker: Yes
Adapter: Allentown
Buttons: No
Purpose/Remark:
HDT Label is available in B/W or Black/White/Red. Here no red color is used. The water bottle can easily pass the lid. Works with an adapter. Has the best view to the cage,
Note: *) Holder Lid down short works also with Lid short and Clickers.

Cage Model 3 Ex 1: HDL B/W or B/W/R

Canvas size in pixel: 296x128
Resolution in pixel: 96
Accessories
Holder Lid up *): Yes
Lid Short: No
Waterproof Box: Yes
Clicker: No
Adapter: Innovive
Buttons: Only on label or cage
Purpose/Remark:
Disposable cage, Long lid ?
Note: *) Holder Lid up works also with label HDT with special adaptors

Cage Model 4 Ex 1: HDL B/W or B/W/R

Canvas size in pixel: 296x128
Resolution in pixel: 96
Accessories
Holder up *): No
Lid Long: No
Waterproof Box: No
Clicker: Yes
Adapter: Ehret
Buttons: Yes
Purpose/Remark:
Conventional Cage
Note: *) Holder Lid up works also with label HDT and Lid long and Clickers

Cage Model 5 Ex 1: HDL B/W or B/W/R

Canvas size in pixel: 296x128
Resolution in pixel: 96
Accessories
Holder up: Yes
Lid Long: Yes
Waterproof Box: No
Clicker: No
Adapter: Animal Care Systems
Buttons: No
Purpose/Remark:
Used for mice. Buttons to signal discrepancies
Note: *) Holder Lid up works also with label HDT and Lid short and Clickers

Cage Model 6 Ex 1: HDM B/W or B/W/R

Canvas size in pixel: 208 x 112
Resolution in pixel: 96
Accessories
Holder: No
Lid Long: No
Waterproof Box: Is available
Clicker: No
Adapter: No
Buttons: Directly on the tank
Purpose/Remark:
Used for fish tanks. The microsuction foil is only is adhesive on a dry surface. When it is one applied it can be splashed with water.
Note: *) Holder Lid up works also with label HDT and Lid long and Clickers

Cage Model 7 Ex 1: HDL Bl W or B/W/R

Canvas size in pixel: 264x176
Resolution in pixel: 96
Accessories
Holder Lid Down long: Yes
Lid Long: Yes
Waterproof Box: No
Clicker: No
Adapter: Yes
Buttons: Yes
Purpose/Remark:
HDT Label is only available in Black/White/Red. In this example we show how to use a signal with the red color. Do not forget, that you must feed your AMS with data to get this signal on the CageTalker. Therefore, the Smart-App with the buttons is still useful.
Note: *) Holder Lid down long works also with label HDL and Lid short and Clickers

Accessories:

Try the buttons

Colored buttons are used in the animal room to signal events to colleagues. Surely you are already using an appropriate means for this. The buttons adhere without residue to all smooth surfaces. These can be CageTalker lids or even the cages or fish tanks themselves. Even drinking cups are marked in times of corona so that there is no confusion. The special thing about our buttons is that they adhere without leaving any residue and that there is a suitable app with the corresponding web services for your animal management system with which you can communicate the events from the animal room. Learn more about the Buttons app here.

If a user finds a discrepancy in a cage, the responsible participants must be informed. This is very easy with a colored marking in the animal room, but to inform e.g. the animal welfare officer or the scientist outside, a phone has to be picked up or an e-mail has to be written. This can now be done with the colored smart buttons in combination with the Smart App. Either the corresponding message button in the app must be pressed or the NFC tag of the button must be read. Automatically, the person who is charge of the job will be informed. When this person is later entering the animal room, one click is enough to flsh all cages where work has to be done..

Waterproof boxes and base plates:

CageTalkers® are water-repellent but not waterproof. Wipe disinfection is no problem. But if you want to clean with hard water jets e.g. pig boxes, we recommend our waterproof protective boxes.

Waterproof Box for HD110 label

No Clickers available

Waterproof Box for HDT, HDL, HDM

No Clickers available

Baseplates for waterproof boxes with drilling for screws

Also available with magnet and microsuction

Clickers

If you go to the side of racks quickly it can happen that you miss an alert. To prevent this from happening or to give you other hints, we have clickers in many colors and symbols that you can attach to the sides of the CageTalkers®.

Step- 2

Select infrastructure hardware

Infrastructure

Usually one transceiver per room is sufficient. With the appropriate height, the transceiver covers an area of 140 square meters with its infrared signals. It is a so-called diffuse infrared light, which is reflected by all smooth surfaces. This technique is robust against interferences, like metal objects and radio interference. In addition, there is no radio pollution for humans or animals. It is an extremely stable infrastructure with a battery life of the labels of over 7 years. If you would like to know more about the battery life and battery replacement, please click here: Operating time of batteries.

Base Station E32

Connection possibility for 32 transceivers. Up to 100m cable length with TSL encryption. Communication via Port 950. Power supply required for Base Station E32

Base Station E3

Connection possibility for 3 transceivers. Up to 30m cable length between E3 and transceiver are guranteed. No TSL encryption. Communication via Port 950

Infrarot Transceiver

Infrared light has no congestion, neither for humans nor animals. The light does not pass through walls, so the cages can be clearly located in the rooms

For a pilot we recommend the E3 Base Station. Are your animal rooms equipped with Ethernet plugs? Can you install WLAN access points or repeaters in the animal rooms if Ethernet connections are not available in the animal rooms? If necessary, the base stations can also operate with our G4 routers. The infrastructure can be installed by your in-house electrician.

Step- 3

Create your design, load it with the Client App and try it out.

Do you want to discuss CageTalkers® designs with your colleagues and see how your design looks on a CageTalkers display? Then design (paint) your cage card with pattern data with Paint or just download one of the examples. You can upload and review these designs using the ClientApp. Please send us this design once you have tested the layout with the ClientApp. Then we can create a file with the corresponding data.

Designs to download

Breeding with litter for HDT B/W
264x176 model currently not available

Clinical Cage P1 for HDL B/W
296x128px

Clinical Cage P2 for HDL B/W
296x128px

Clinical Cage P3 for HDL B/W
296x128px

Stock Cage 1 for HDL B/W
296x128px

Breeding page 1for HDL B/W
296x128px

Breeding page 2 for HDL B/W
296x128px

Breeding page 1 for HDT B/W/R  264x176px

Study page 1 for HD110 B/W/R 400x 300px

Are you satisfied with your design draft? Then send it to us and we will convert it into data structures and inform you when your XML files are available. This XML file will also serve as a template for your Animal Management supplier to implement the interface.

Step- 4

Load your XML file with the Client App and check the result

You have received a message from us that your XML file is available for the design you created. Now you can load this file and the data will be automatically converted into images. You can change this data at any time and check the result.

If everything has worked out well, it is time for you to contact your animal management software provider and they will create a SOAP message for our web service based on these XML files. Your supplier will know what to do. Please download the Web Service documentation. Go to the Web Service Documentation

Step- 5

Implementation of the AMS interface by your provider.


Your AMS provider has received the XML file and the documentation. We support him during the implementation. You are now only one step away from the following important results:

  • A paperless animal rooms
  • The automated cage inventories
  • Up-to-date billing records to create invoices based on actual cage data
  • Find cages, even if they were not recorded correctly
  • Mark cages with “cool” buttons, so everyone knows what to do
    In the animal room, find cages where something needs to be done quickly with the help of LED flashes
  • communicate your manually set button signals to your teammates outside the animal room.

Step- 6

Integration of the infrastructure into the intranet and access security

This topic concerns your IT department. In hosting mode, our servers must send the cage card images to a fixed IP address through port 950 of their firewall. This data is then forwarded to the fixed IP address of your base station. This sends to the CageTalker labels and their cage cards are created. By answering the labels of so-called broadcasts, you will be informed which cages are in which room. With the E32 the data traffic in the intranet is also fully encrypted.

When you have completed this step, you are ready for productive operation

Production

Let us know your quantity structure and we will try to calculate your amortisation time with you

Contact Person:

We advise you gladly…

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