Finding the right Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) for your lab can get tricky.
Rightly so because it depends on several factors: lab requirement, price, functionality, future growth and process impact.
A LIMS usually comes with stringent specs related to lab automation, reporting, billing and sample management. Several cost-saving benefits come with lab information management systems, ranging from efficient use of staff time to reduced need for server space and cooling costs. More than often, there are many factors to consider before selecting a LIMS Right from technical considerations, ownership costs, usability, and features offered are for security functions; a lot of work and thinking goes before finalizing the LIMS for the lab. The costs of ownership can be both explicit and implicit but should be aggregated before making a final decision.
Here are a few points where a right Lab Information Management System can help with severe cost-cutting for your lab:
Reduced risk: With a LIMS, the risk of errors is reduced vis-à-vis the manual entry of data, including errors related to transcribing data from bench sheets. Also, automated systems can trace and consolidate these measurements into a single system.
Redistributing work: Automation via a LIMS can change staffing models considerably. The LIMS can now handle work that used to be done manually, including taking in samples, billing management, auditing equipment and monitoring sample progress.
Releasing bottlenecks: A LIMS can also solve several other issues in lab operations. Consider some of the common areas of bottlenecking in a lab: calculations, regulatory review preparation, report generation, results location, results in review and release, sample location, updating sample and test status, work assignments and workload leveling. In each case, efficiency gains can be quantified.
But wouldn’t your LIMS require cost-cutting too?
Like all innovations, the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) comes with its limitations. There is always a way out, that enables the complete implementation of the innovation. Let us get into how LIMS can be used to the fullest to have your lab run at its optimum capability and potential.
The term Hosted SaaS (Software as a Service) is the present-day buzzword in the world of cloud computing and LIMS. In recent years, it has gained prominence as an affordable alternative to the ever-growing IT expenses and a valuable service for biobanks, hospitals, academia, CROs and pharmaceutical industries to manage vast volumes of data using the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).
SaaS: The economical way out
Purchasing a traditional on-premises LIMS license along with the IT infrastructure requires a large capital outlay. A hosted SaaS model offers a cost-effective solution by providing researchers the flexibility to pay for the license at regular time intervals, on a monthly or yearly subscription. Additionally, SaaS products provide feature updates on the go.
Continuous in-flow of multi-factorial and heterogeneous data makes conventional practices of manual data entry using spreadsheets and lab notebooks difficult and error-prone. The data retrieval turns out to be even more cumbersome. In such cases, lab automation with appropriate data storage and tracking solutions becomes imperative. Cloud-hosted automation tools streamline day-to-day lab operations. Switching to cloud-based SaaS LIMS also enhances the operational efficiency by eliminating the need for using paper and spreadsheets. This practice helps minimize downtime and provides faster, secure access to the lab’s data.
It looks like SaaS would be pouring over all sectors in due time. Although, how long will the clouds keep bridging gaps, is something only time will tell!
Why Practice Social Distancing?
Amidst this lockdown, many are still asking the question about “Social Distancing”. As per the scientists, finding the cure or medicine for COVID-19 it may take about 12-18 months to find it. Hence. To prevent the spreading of this virus social distancing is the most effective way to do it.
Let's start by explaining what is social distancing, it is a conscious and deliberate choice of maintaining the distance of six feet from the people around us, to prevent the spreading of COVID-19.
To understand better the impact of it, here is a small visual to explain how the virus will spread if social distancing is not paid attention.
Social distancing is so effective right now that as an individual we all are contributing in the prevention of spreading this deadly virus.
There is another major concern that is coming into the picture with the rapid increase in the coronavirus patients. Hospitals around the world do not have enough resources to tackle this pandemic, there are limited numbers of healthcare facility in all the countries around the world.
The coronavirus outbreak in Italy has shown, the faster rate of the population getting infected by it and to tackle with it, there are not enough medical resources like hospital beds, ventilators and doctors. This will be challenging for the healthcare to save lives leading to exponential rise in number of deaths.
Hence, social distancing is the most effective way to "flatten the curve" or reduce the spread of this coronavirus.
What does flattening the curve means?
The researchers have projected a graph to understand the impact of the spreading of coronavirus against the number of hospital beds. Though this is a theoretical graph, it does show how quickly the capacity of healthcare can come crashing down which can make COVID-19 an epidemic, hard to deal with.
This curve indicates, if the same number of people are getting at a slower rate over a longer period of time, then it reduces the pressure on the healthcare system and making it easier to treat everyone, hence, a lesser number of deaths.
Therefore, just by taking small measures individually, like maintaining social distance, washing hands frequently, avoid going out in crowded places, and spend maximum time inside the house. We all can contribute a collective to fight against this deadly coronavirus.