Laboratory informatics (LI) is the use of information technology to support a laboratory’s testing mission. At its most basic, LI consists of a centralized system for the secure collection, storage, and distribution of laboratory data. Modern informatics solutions go far beyond data management to support all aspects of lab operations.
Trends shaping today’s laboratories
Organizations at any scale in every industry face waves of technology-driven change. Here are some of the trends reshaping laboratories today:
Ubiquitous computing and networking technologies are changing how labs work. Remote access and the hybrid workforce are accepted practices in many industries. Customers expect anywhere, anytime access to their information. And cloud-based software-as-a-service providers bring new levels of performance, accessibility, and resilience to business operations.
Digitalization and automation
Smaller, more powerful, and more efficient semiconductor technologies transform lab equipment. Handheld devices can collect data anywhere. Automated samplers empower high-throughput testing. Networks connect every instrument and Internet of Things (IoT) device in the lab.
Big data and analytics
Labs generate more data and more kinds of data. A flood of data from environmental sensors and other sources provides additional context to samples. Analyzing data at scale requires new techniques, including machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Increasingly networked laboratories become victims of cyberattacks targeting their uniquely valuable data, from personal medical records to proprietary scientific research. Cybercrime is so pervasive that the question is when, not if, a network’s defenses will fail.
Benefits of laboratory informatics
Implementing an informatics solution helps laboratories adapt to these changes and enables powerful benefits such as:
- Laboratory management
Laboratory information management systems (LIMS) are central repositories for any data generated in the lab, replacing paperwork and spreadsheets once scattered across computers and filing cabinets. Beyond collecting test data, these systems let labs manage samples, orders, inventory, and billing.
- Quality control and process improvement
A LIMS eliminates many sources of human error by simply digitizing data transfers, but the quality benefits are much more significant. With access to more granular data, laboratory managers make testing more accurate and consistent while eliminating inefficiencies in laboratory processes.
Integrating networked lab equipment through a LIMS lets laboratories automate workflows and improve communications. Now freed from routine activities, staff can spend more time on higher-value work. Letting personnel securely access workflows, reports, and other processes in the lab or remotely enhances collaboration.
- Data integrity, security, privacy, and resilience
Informatics solutions provide secure, cloud-based storage that protects data while controlling authorized access. Encryption and backup systems make labs more resilient. Other features preserve data integrity, such as data entry validation or chain-of-custody tracking.
- Industry and regulatory compliance
By digitalizing standard operating procedures, a LIMS creates an auditable record of laboratory practice. This resource streamlines audits, allowing labs to demonstrate a pattern of compliance with industry and regulatory frameworks such as ISO/IEC 17025.
- Customer service
In the same way, laboratory informatics provide a single source of truth for people and systems in the lab; these solutions become the source of information for customers and external stakeholders. API-based integrations link laboratories to larger enterprise systems. Mobile-optimized web portals let customers manage their orders and receive results from anywhere, anytime.
The LabLynx LIMS Solution
LabLynx provides LIMS solutions that are much more than a centralized system for secure data collection and distribution. With the ability to manage all aspects of lab operations, your LabLynx LIMS solution is essential for adapting to the trends shaping laboratories today, including digitalization and automation, ubiquitous computing, big data and analytics, and cybersecurity.
LabLynx’s Elab LIMS solutions are an Integrated Systems Approach that consists of a single, secure, access-controlled cloud-agnostic platform that hosts a specific, carefully selected set of applications designed to interact with each other. LabLynx’s Elab LIMS solutions are cloud-based, allowing for remote access by your lab and its customers, allowing for anywhere, anytime access to information.
Digitalization and automation
LabLynx’s LabVia, incorporates the latest technology, including artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) techniques, and cloud-based management to intelligently manage multiple data communications between devices, services, systems, or other sources. The LabVia Hub, an integrated hardware/software product, is a central nexus point for managing data from integrated nodes, such as instruments and software applications. The cloud portion of LabVia, hosted on sciCloud.net, ensures real-time management of integrations, with the flexibility to add new channels as needed.
Big data and analytics
LabLynx’s LabVista plays a crucial role in collecting, organizing, and managing disparate data along with retrieving, presenting, interpreting, and understanding data for fully informed decision-making in real-time and long-term planning strategies. LabVista integrates data analytics, dashboards, and business intelligence reporting into existing software applications, simplifying data presentation and analysis while ensuring user-friendliness.
At LabLynx, our security plan is currently based on NIST 800-53 v4 Security and privacy controls are maintained such that our clients are capable of complying with their many security, privacy, and laboratory standards, frameworks and regulations. The hosted applications such as ELab are designed to be configurable to comply with your specific security requirements. Clients are capable of making many such configurations such as, but not limited to: users and profiles, access controls such as password complexity and history, session length, login info banners, and auditing of user account changes.
LabLynx offers many more features than these
Check out What Makes the LabLynx ELAB LIMS Unique to learn more about our solution’s possibilities!
Gain the benefits of laboratory informatics for your lab
Modern informatics solutions, like the LabLynx LIMS solutions, go far beyond data management to support all aspects of lab operations. By implementing an informatics solution, laboratories can experience powerful benefits such as increased productivity, enhanced quality control and process improvement, data integrity, security, privacy, resilience, industry and regulatory compliance, and superior customer service.