Industries are gradually incorporating digitalization into their everyday operations. Unfortunately, laboratories are often left behind because they deal in data, making them more complex to digitalize. If your lab is considering digitization but you need to learn how to go about it, this guide explores what lab digitization is, its benefits, and the steps to take to digitize your laboratory.
What Is Digital Transformation for Laboratories?
Digitalization is now a common concept in a world where every sector is technologically advancing. Laboratories are also adopting these changes in their daily processes to enhance accuracy and make tasks easier. For successful digitalization, a laboratory must link as many systems as possible, including inventory management. Based on this connected framework, the lab’s productivity improves as the workflow is automated.
Digitalization for laboratories means incorporating computerized systems, artificial intelligence, and other technologies. It ensures the elimination of inaccurate, repetitive human functions in exchange for more efficient and error-free results.
What Are the Key Benefits of Lab Digitalization?
Below are some main advantages of integrating technology into various lab processes.
What is a lab notebook? If you’ve worked in a lab before, you probably know the answer to this question. Digitalization has transformed sectors from paper data recording or analog systems to digital accounts.
While the paper is susceptible to damage, adopting tools like electronic lab notebooks (ELN) makes recording safer and more efficient. ELNs and other software save a lot of time, ensure tasks are more accurate, and improve productivity.
Minimizing Human Error
Digitalization reduces human error by making experimenting, researching, and data recording and analysis faster and error-free. Additionally, automation facilitates multi-tasking, allowing scientists to focus on other tasks, reducing fatigue, and guaranteeing better results.
Another impressive aspect of adopting such systems is that data is easier to access, promoting better research and results. Scientists and other professionals appreciate that a more extensive database is available and that they can analyze the information in several ways through artificial intelligence.
More Advanced Technology
The laboratory radically shifts from analog to digital, using more upgraded systems. Digital data is more convenient, safer, and easier to capture and analyze. Besides other advantages, you can track who has accessed the information and use encryption to prevent unauthorized entry.
Ways To Digitize Your Laboratory
You can take the following five main steps to ensure that your laboratory is digitalized.
1. Create an Accurate Strategy
Your lab must have an organizational structure that helps bring every member on board in case of significant changes. Digitalization can be thorough and complex for first-timers, given the introduction to new technology.
First, it is crucial to gather all the relevant information and goals of the process, alongside establishing a competent team to develop a workable strategy. This way, it will be easier to get everyone on the same page and help them understand how the tech works.
2. Decide What Needs to Be Digitized
Before implementing this transformation, you need an idea of what needs digitalization. It guides you when setting SMART goals and helps break them down for the team. Starting the shift can be overwhelming unless you have clear goals.
You can outline what digitalization requires, how long the process will take, how complex the task is, or how many steps are necessary before completion.
3. Switch to Digital & Meet Technology
Once you have established what aspects of the lab tasks need digitalization, the next step is for everyone to switch from analog to digital systems.
It doesn’t only mean infrastructural development but also a mental change. Communication lines should be open for all members to ascertain that everyone knows how to use the system.
4. Implement Key
One of the upsides of such a transformation is that it opens the lab to a new culture. Everything changes from the data recording and analysis to other aspects of daily operations.
Laboratory managers will use Metrics & Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure performance, plan, and report. It ensures that the lab converts into a critical and valuable department for the entire company.
5. Stay Competitive
Now that labs are gradually embracing technology and improving their systems, it is paramount to use digitalization as a competition tool. Firms must improve their performance and results to stay ahead of the competition, meaning constant advancements in tech, AI, and other software.
Laboratory digitalization will happen sooner than expected as more sectors automate most of their processes. The goal is to promote accuracy, efficiency, and high productivity. This move has numerous benefits for your firm, provided that you follow all the steps.