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Become a Digital Experiment Manager

ANN-CLAIRE FOETSCH Lab Academy

  • Lab Life
  • Lab Routine
  • Efficiency
  • Digital Lab Solutions
  • Essay

Digitalization has entered our lives, and over the past two years, we have experienced a tremendous push forward. Video conferences are the “new normal”, and communication via Microsoft® Teams or Slack® are part of everyday life. In the laboratory, too, we are increasingly becoming accustomed to electronic lab notebooks; we manage samples, chemicals, and consumables digitally, and we use networked instruments. The laboratory 4.0 is advancing – and with it the promise of more efficiency, decreased use of resources, and improved sustainability. But is it really that simple?

This article appeared first in BioNews, Eppendorf’s customer magazine since 1993.
Physical calendars for the reservation of an instrument or workspace, centralized locations for data on a server, or even the maintenance of instrument inventories using Microsoft Excel® are still the methods of choice in many laboratories. However, multiple different approaches are available which will help optimize workflows and improve the utilization of existing resources through digital applications. Tasks such as instrument monitoring, the keeping of maintenance schedules, or documentation of instruments and experiments can be accomplished much more efficiently using software applications with visualization.

Complete traceability of the protocols carried out and seamless documentation of laboratory processes are paramount when it comes to ensuring an efficient and productive laboratory environment.

Who in the laboratory is not regularly faced with time-consuming documentation of laboratory processes? Handwritten, loose-leaf protocols that are kept in a lab notebook impede reproducibility.

Even today, more and more scientists are saving their experimental data in an electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) or a laboratory information management system (LIMS) instead of using traditional paper lab notebooks. Switching to digital formats has brought many advantages as well as saved time.

In the case of a failed experiment, tracing the experiment and identifying potential sources of error have become much easier. Data from within as well as from outside the laboratory may be used and shared by multiple parties. The digital tools assist you in the tracing of your samples, and (in combination with a lab inventory management system) will support you in the management of your consumables, chemicals, and solvents.


“Unstoppable”: digitalization in the laboratory


Since more and more laboratory instruments are now suitable for networking, the use of efficient laboratory and inventory management systems will become ever more commonplace – particularly these days as laboratories all over the world are confronted with novel demands and challenges. These include new standards of social distancing and work-from-home regulations (which, in turn, translate to a more flexible workforce), limited access to laboratory workspaces, and virtual compliance audits.
Woman checks off the centrifugation step in her protocol
We at Eppendorf have recognized the increased need for digital software services and the digital networked laboratory. For us, the laboratory of the future is digital – with different levels of automation and intelligent solutions which will allow you to concentrate on what really matters: your research.

With the introduction of the VisioNize® Lab Suite in the spring of 2021, we laid the foundation for the networked laboratory in order to enhance productivity across all routine tasks. As a solution for effective lab management, this platform offers services in the areas of remote monitoring, alarm, instrument and task management.

The VisioNize Lab Suite is continually updated, and it therefore represents a lasting and sustainable investment in the laboratory of the future.


New service “Experiment Management”


With the introduction of the new service “Experiment Management”, we go one step beyond the familiar tools, which include ELNs. We offer you the opportunity to digitalize your experiments – beginning with protocol design, all the way to automated documentation of your experiments. “Experiment Management” was launched in early 2022, ensuring improved efficiency in your laboratory by enhancing the productivity and reproducibility of experiments – from design to optimization.
The new Experiment Management service supports data digitalization
Experiment Management offers you:
  • Easy creation and management of protocols and workflows with drag-and-drop protocol steps for high reproducibility and adaptability of protocols
  • Assurance of proper protocol execution through guided and specified sequences of steps and networking of instruments used within the experiment in order to remain in contact with the experiment
  • Complete traceability of staff conducting the experiment, samples, reagents, and instruments used, as well as errors and protocol deviations
Experience a new dimension of digital experiment management now!

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