Enabling Technologies for Accelerating Lab & Vivarium Research
Digital lab assistants like LabVoice support all types of labs, vivaria, and scientific facilities, from those still relying heavily on pen-and-paper to state-of-the art facilities with connected equipment and robust colony management software.
In a recent post, we detailed how digital lab assistants can help streamline data management practices no matter the digitalization level of that lab.
This blog will continue that theme, using an example reliant upon Excel and Word documents as the primary form of data capture, and illustrating how LabVoice can increase the efficiency of those labs & vivaria without major structural overhaul.
Use Case: Data Collection + Automated Report Generation
Lab technicians usually have two options when performing procedures that require documentation: having a colleague transcribe measurements and observations or to go it alone, capturing required information in between steps or animals.
Neither option is ideal. The former doubles the number of people required each time that particular activity is done; the latter is inefficient and prone to contamination. Both leave open the possibility of human error.
With digital lab assistants like LabVoice, these issues are mitigated. Let's look at a common procedure we see quite a bit: necropsies.
In the video, a user initiates the necropsy LabFlow (a digitally-assisted process) by providing an invocation phrase ("Collect necropsy notes"). LabVoice pulls the relevant information (e.g. animal metadata) from an Excel workbook and then guides the technician through each step determined by that group's protocols.
LabVoice is able to model any process thanks to the LabFlow Designer, an intuitive, low-code visual workflow design tool. It can be used for shorter tasks, like animal lookup or updating cage information, and longer protocols, like a necropsy. In either scenario, Designers can quickly implement structural changes and suggestions from end-users, incorporate interactive elements such as barcode scanning, audit trails, picture/video display, and voice signatures, thus helping to ensure process integrity and minimal deviations.
Once the process is finished, LabVoice generates a customized report of the completed necropsy. In the video, the report is emailed to the end user, and the option exists to have the report simultaneously emailed to a team lead or placed in a file drive.
All of this is done with minimal "back-end" infrastructure: there's no need for an ELN or study/colony management software. If those options exist, the information could be sent and attached to that animal's file, and if those tools are introduced at a later date, LabFlows are easily adjusted to incorporate that technology and support interoperability.
Interested in learning more about our platform? Request to speak with LabVoice or for a copy of our case studies here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And for labs & vivaria further along in their digitalization journeys, there are plenty of examples illustrating LabVoice integrations with popular in vivo platforms, such as RockStep Solutions, Benchling In Vivo, and IDBS.