As many people and companies have noted, we are in unprecedented times. The impact of social distancing and government reopening regulations on laboratory work is quite great, and the unique set of circumstances that dictate how and when lab personnel can enter their facilities makes for quite the challenge.
Fortunately, a number of lab-based companies and the vendors that support them have laid out a blueprint to improve safety and efficiency while limiting the time in the lab.
Here are just a few of the ways that our customers have leveraged LabVoice to work during the COVID-19 era:
1) Turning a 2-person process into a 1-person workflow
There are many tasks throughout the day-to-day process of running a lab that require two or more people to complete said tasks efficiently. It’s just not feasible to think of sorting 100s of samples or checking the inventory levels across multiple rooms as a one-person job.
With LabVoice, users can often replace one person involved in this process with a voice assistant, tailored specifically to that workflow. Through a mobile device and headset, users can roam freely, taking notes as needed, and updating the corresponding software (inventory or asset management tools, for example). Not to mention, there’s added efficiency by freeing up a headcount on this task.
2) Allowing researchers to work hands-free
Oftentimes, researchers will need access to a laptop or pen & paper to record observations or data in real-time. And, it’s not too uncommon to hear “I just take notes on my glove/masking tape/instrument that’s next to me”. The problem here is that often times these items are communal items: a shared laptop in the lab, a walk-up instrument, a floating roll of tape.
With LabVoice, users can record notes and data points through their voice, either with a localized hub (think of an Echo dot), or through their mobile device, so there’s no need to needlessly touch pens/pencils, keyboards, or other scribing objects. Further, because LabVoice can integrate with ELNs, LIMS, and other informatics software, these notes and data can be captured and recorded contemporaneously.
3) Check on instrument availability or experimental progress remotely
Labs often share workspaces: benches, fume hoods, etc. Although social distance measures will help address unnecessary close encounters, many of our customers have indicated they’d like to take it a step further, like being notified when an experiment wraps up or an instrument becomes available, without needing to physically look at that piece of equipment.
Through its ability to send notifications and integrate with instruments and software, voice assistants can provide a means to let users know their experiment has completed or allow them to check on an instrument’s status. Scientists can work at their desks until notified, ensuring that they can remain as socially distant as possible.
LabVoice can help significantly reduce the number of contact germs in a lab. Ask us how at firstname.lastname@example.org.