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More and more cloud-based systems are becoming available in the lab aiming to offer custom solutions for various users and industries. Laboratories are no exception to this, but making the switch to a cloud-based solution can seem daunting. So, why make the switch? How can cloud-based systems make a real difference to the everyday lives of lab users?
Lab work often generates data in various formats from instruments such as microscopes and plate readers. As a result, many researchers spend a lot of time collecting, merging, transferring, or reformatting data before the analysis can even begin. Improving connectivity makes it easier to have all data in the right format in one place. For example, for any cell-based experiments, data analysis may require spreadsheets for sample documentation, microscopy images, viability results from a plate reader, and PCR data. By organizing information directly in the cloud, researchers can monitor, organize, retrieve, and analyze their experiments faster and more easily.
Another way lab users benefit from cloud-based solutions is having data accessible from anywhere, which improves their lab processes. Not only does this avoid many inconvenient and often unnecessary trips to the lab, but it also enables users to respond more quickly to unexpected situations. For example, by receiving alarm notifications for freezers, researchers can quickly address these types of situations and ensure the safety of their samples. Remote access to data and smart services means more effective lab management from anywhere.
Collaboration between different researchers and labs is the basis of modern lab work, both in academia and industry. By bringing in different areas of expertise, it can help to advance research faster. When using a cloud-based system, it becomes easier to collaborate closely and effectively, as data from connected labs is available from any location. Experimental results, protocols, and images can be easily shared between collaborators instantly, which saves time and improves the quality of experiments.
But what about data security?
One key aspect that’s always at the top of people’s minds when considering cloud-based data storage is security—and for good reasons. Keeping data safe becomes a growing challenge as the accessibility of the data increases. Nevertheless, it is not impossible to have both accessibility and security. Indeed, confidential data is already routinely transmitted over the internet via email and file-sharing applications. The key to ensuring security at every step is to verify the cloud application itself, the devices connected, and users of the platform.
Accessible. Connected. Innovative.
The cloud is continuing to bring substantial changes to the way we collect, use, and share information. In many ways, the lab situation is unique in the way it encompasses a wide range of equipment and data sources. However, the complexity of lab data means that there is a huge potential for a cloud-based approach to make a significant impact—not just by saving time and improving efficiency, but also by making it easier to access, share, and innovate in a connected lab—wherever you are.
By connecting devices to a platform such as VisioNize® Lab Suite, you can receive alarm notifications, keep track of your equipment maintenance schedules, access detailed audit logs, and view your device data from anywhere. Your processes are more streamlined by limiting instrument downtime, and you gain peace of mind knowing your samples are safe.