While many industries are already reaping the benefits of connected technology, lab environments have been slow to adopt these solutions. This hesitation is largely due to concerns of security, infrastructure readiness or inoperability. Fortunately, now that smart technologies are becoming, well, even smarter, lab professionals can confidently put these anxieties to rest.
Because that’s what the lab is all about! Innovation and discovery take time and there are multiple steps involved in reaching a result. We rely on our ability to connect workflow processes so that we can move through each step – consumable, interface and device – quickly and seamlessly. Connectivity also ensures our processes are streamlined and effective, eliminating the need to repeat steps, reenter data or reinterpret a file type.
Efficiency is Key
The ability to create a well-oiled lab environment comes down to data. Data is the battlefield on which all companies play. Those that capitalize on connectivity will realize the greatest benefits.
Drug discovery is one area where this is becoming particularly critical. This industry is seeing rapid growth spurred largely by the precision medicine movement, and the cost to bring drugs to market has skyrocketed. Rising costs are compounded by the fact that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to develop new drugs as the low-hanging fruit has long been picked, further prolonging the time it takes to bring a drug to market.
Connectivity not only eliminates many of the redundancies associated with lab work but it also enables us to break down the physical barriers that hold innovation back. Now, information can be easily shared across a company’s labs in various countries and with collaborators. For example, a U.S. lab team can benefit from research data found in Germany or China, enabling them to avoid past mistakes, build on each other’s work and advance collectively as a global community.
Furthermore, the ability to store, organize and easily find data across an immense inventory through automated applications will be vital as labs scale and begin to face increased scrutiny by regulatory bodies.
Overcoming Challenges & Concerns
When lab professionals hear the terms “connected lab” or “IoT,” many are instantly concerned about the larger implications of data safety, wondering if their infrastructure can handle the change or if they are going to install technologies that will soon be obsolete.
Recognizing this, major cloud providers, like Amazon Web Services (AWS), have made data protection a top priority. In fact, AWS has been called the “gold standard for inexpensive, reliable cloud storage.” It’s for this reason that many organizations in the enterprise world are choosing cloud platforms over on-premise solutions to store and manage information.
A secure and dependable web service is only one half of the equation, however. The other is having a strong partner in the industry that understands your needs and concerns. Helping you work more easily and effectively in the lab is what Thermo Fisher is all about – and our new line of connected solutions is no exception.
We understand the growing demands being placed on scientists, the strains facing IT technology and how important it is that all the solutions in your lab work together flawlessly. With connected technology poised to play a key role in the future of life sciences, we’re committed to helping you through a smooth integration.
That said, the task can be daunting for those starting out, so we recommend starting small.
Approaching integration from a bird’s eye view of your workflow can be overwhelming, so we work with customers to break it into sections. We usually start with the most labor- and data-intensive portions, which are often the most obvious pain points in the lab. Doing so creates a simple entry point and enables lab professionals to begin reaping the benefits of smart technology almost immediately.
For example, our My Pipette Creator Pipetting App, a new web-based app available in Thermo Fisher Cloud backed by AWS, is bringing together several of the best features of smart solutions, including the ability to optimize and simplify a tedious process – in this case, pipetting. What’s more, centralized programming allows for easy sharing of protocols between pipettes and colleagues, and the app comes with pre-programmed protocols for many of the most commonly-used regent kits.
Connecting your Thermo Scientific E1-ClipTip pipettes to the My Pipette Creator app is a small step, but it can have resounding benefits for your overall workflow and the quality of your results – and the sky is the limit for there!
Our team is continuing to evolve and expand our smart solutions to ensure you are always working with the latest and best products. To stay up-to-date on our latest news, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, or visit www.thermofisher.com/mypipette if you’d like to talk with a Thermo Fisher Connect representative about how to start integrating smart solutions into your lab space.