During this pandemic, around half of labs worldwide are shut down and only 14% of labs are fully functional at a time when 100% of labs need to be thriving. Support for labs impacted by the restrictions imposed by the crisis is critical.
Tools such as laboratory information management systems (LIMS) and electronic laboratory notebooks (ELNs), among other solutions, can help mitigate the impact on life in the lab. Not only can these systems streamline lab operations, they can also help labs fulfill emergency requests from research laboratories who need to ramp up their operations urgently.
To date, there is no turnkey or standard solution for any lab because there is no ‘standard’ lab. What is required is a solution that can manage the complexity and heterogeneity of a particular lab. The challenge is to map the complexities within the lab, and then provide a solution that shields these complexities from the user. A solution that manages and tracks all analysis requests and samples, helps execute workflows in a way that errors are inherently eliminated, and also manages the data in the lab—in an optimal way, in a central location.
Debate abounds regarding the use of a single vendor platform versus best-of-breed applications. There is no doubt that as labs move increasingly towards a standardized and regulated environment, a single platform such as SLIMS is an interesting and enticing option to consider.