Digitalization is transforming many aspects of the modern laboratory. From data capture and connectivity to analytics and automation, digitalization is having an increasing impact on processes throughout research and development workflows. Driven by a demand for more streamlined and innovative systems, emerging technologies such as smart software and digital informatics for lab management have become increasingly popular. And as their use increases throughout laboratories, we usher in a departure from long-held, time-consuming manual practices.
There is a varied range of digital technologies that stand to make the laboratory more efficient. Examples of these include:
- Electronic lab notebooks (ELNs) – designed to replicate your paper lab book with protocols, observations, notes, and other data
- Lab monitoring software – remotely monitor temperature, humidity, and CO2 and O2 levels in your CO2 incubators
- Sample management systems - manage, track and retrieve samples
While the benefits of adopting such technologies into the laboratory space can be far-reaching, it can sometimes be challenging to quantify in real terms how much digitalization has impacted lab efficiency and productivity. In light of the reluctance of some to digitalize lab systems, it is important to attain an accurate measure of lab efficiency/productivity if you want to build a strong business case for digitalization. Although the initial prospect of measuring lab efficiency following digitalization can seem daunting, there are a few key metrics of performance and value that can provide a robust indication of efficiency and productivity. By keeping track of some key performance indicators, it can be made easier to grasp a true measure of the benefits of digitalization. In this blog, we will take a closer look at some at some of these metrics, and identify some key areas where lab efficiency is best measured.