How Will IoT Make Labs Smarter?

How Will IoT Make Labs Smarter?

By Pharma Tech Outlook | Thursday, January 16, 2020

IoT is a technological innovation that paves the way for cheaper experiments and faster results while presenting exciting opportunities in the area of discovery.

FREMONT, CA: Many laboratory staffs continue to embrace old practices because they are accustomed to it. Following such practices is stagnating progress as it does not make most of the technological advances of the current century, nor does it maximize time, equipment, or researcher potential. Scientists should take advantage of the opportunities available to facilitate faster and accurate research. Excluding the risks and fears around the Internet of Things (IoT) regarding security and privacy, many benefits exist in the field of innovation in discovery. IoT into laboratories will bring about a remarkable technological disruption. Its application will replace an outdated and inefficient system with one that maximizes instruments and researcher's time to a great extent. Thus, stimulating a new wave of scientific efficiency and innovation.

Laboratories comprising IoT constitute smart labs that are tailored to meet the specific requirements of researchers. A smart lab can monitor environment suitable to perform tests like varying temperatures in incubators or freezers, monitor lab item inventories, and can boost communication amongst colleagues. Smart labs provide endless opportunities where sensors installed in the labs track the progress of chemical reactions, and this collected information can be directly streamed into the software. Electronic Lab Notebook is software that enables scientists to document their research data in an online digital format. It offers scientists the benefit of both managing the research data while monitoring the output of connected internet-enabled devices.

For all the benefits, there are some drawbacks, and it is the same with the laboratories. Researchers may hesitate to build smart labs using connected systems as they fear that the technology will cost a lot. However, updating only half of the equipment may be problematic as it does not achieve any of the critical aims of smart labs, which is to unify the laboratory. There are ways to prevent spending lots of money on updating machines. Implementing the internet connectivity onto existing machines or fitting a device that receives data from the machine, known as Laboratory Execution System, is an inexpensive alternative. Investing in such a system would allow for the gradual implementation of IoT into the laboratory while meeting the specific requirements of researchers.

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