The Digital Lab

Limits of today's laboratory IT landscape

Mar 27, 2020 12:00:00 AM / by Paul Planje

The limits of the IT laboratory landscape in times of Corona
The fact that Germany, but also the rest of Europe, still has a lot of catching up to do in terms of the extended IT landscape is particularly evident in the current situation. The Corona virus is paralyzing the world - and we can't do much more than watch. In many laboratories, too, life is currently at a standstill. The virus clearly shows where the limits of our current IT landscape lie in the laboratory.

We still work far too much offline
In laboratories, work is mainly still done offline, i.e. without comprehensive digital networking. In normal times, this is not a major problem, since access to (analog) data in folders or notebooks is secured by the presence of the employees. Planning and organizational processes also function smoothly. But now, in the crisis, everything is postponed. Important bases for decisions are simply not available when decision-makers are ill or even in the home office. What is missing here is a digital link - or access to paper, which is left in the lab. Even if digitalization has already found its way into the lab, this does not necessarily mean that work processes can be carried out without problems. Widespread "dockets" or blatant media disruptions make communication difficult or even impossible or throw sticks between the legs of digitization in the laboratory.

The digital communication problem
In laboratories, digital platforms often work side by side. The systems are efficient and functional in themselves. But only as long as the human interface takes over the communication of the individual systems within the microcosm laboratory. Without present employees, there is no communication between the platforms. And thus no functioning processes. The use of so-called data silos is also widespread. If each employee keeps his own Excel spreadsheets, creates databases or saves notes on paper, this is quite practical in normal times. But the Corona crisis shows that self-contained "data ecosystems" are more or less useless. After all, what good is the most well-maintained Excel list if there is a problem accessing the data? And even then, if your laboratory has already set up remote access to the data in a makeshift and crisis mode: Would you guarantee compliance and data integrity?

The gaps are obvious. It's the right time to get started!
Did you recognize your workplace in these lines? It's time to take the final steps in digitizing your laboratory! The most important thing here is a timely and efficient implementation. Take advantage now of our many years of experience in the implementation of digitization projects in the laboratory sector. With our iLES Lab Automation Platform we guarantee you an efficient, sustainable and customized implementation of individual digitization strategies in your company. Are you ready for the next step?
Paul Planje

Written by Paul Planje

Ich arbeite seit 1992 an Themen wie Effizienz und Produktivitätssteigerung. Zunächst in den Bereichen Labor und Forschung. Hier machte ich meine Erfahrungen mit analytischen Instrumenten und Automatisierung. Mit dem Wechsel in den Vertrieb kamen Unternehmenslösungen wie Scientific Data Management Systems (SDMS), Laborinformationssysteme (LIMS), Laboratory Execution Systems (LES), Elektronische Laborzeitschriften (ELN) und Dokumentenmanagementsysteme (DMS) hinzu. In den letzten Jahren habe ich mich mit der Digitalisierung von Prozessen und deren Messungen beschäftigt. Seit 2019 leite ich die iVention DACH-Region und unterstütze unsere Kunden beim Einstieg in die digitale Laborwelt.