If you wish to increase productivity, and ensure consistent and reproducible results in a lab, consider using automated scheduling software. Robotic process automation software helps improve safety and allows your lab team to focus all their energies on more sophisticated tasks.
Yes, indeed, many laboratories worldwide are now using lab scheduling software to automate their workflow. However, there are still many smaller labs that have yet to make the transition. If you are one of them, you might want to read further.
What Can Benefit From Such Automations
With the help of the right lab scheduling software and connected instruments, you can easily automate a lab’s processes and tests. Here are a few applications that can benefit from such automation within a lab.
Liquids: It is without a doubt that liquid handling is an essential part of any lab. Many liquid handling robots are available to help with these applications. They help increase productivity and relieve your staff when doing repetitive work.
Colony Picking: If you are familiar with lab work, you may know that when colony picking is done manually for bacteria and fungi, it can prove to be a rather time-consuming process and can often result in an error. With the help of an automated Colony picking robot that uses a camera and advanced image analysis to detect and select any bacteria or fungus colony that is desired based on the programmed criteria, it increases the accuracy of the process entirely.
Immunoassays: Are also known as ELISAs, these tests require several incubation and washing steps. These are labor-intensive and complicated to run. When a microplate handler and washer are used with the help of lab scheduling software, it ensures that every step is timed and dispensed according to the criteria set for it by the technician. It also ensures that there is accuracy and consistency throughout the entire process.
PCR and qPCR: For these, multiple steps can easily be automated with the help of lab scheduling software. Take the example of nucleic acid extraction, which can be handled with the help of an automated magnetic bead nest or a positive pressure filter plate. Similarly, for PCR, there are automated thermocyclers that can simplify the entire process
What Makes a Lab Scheduling Software Worth It
All lab automation systems rely on lab scheduling software to oversee, control, monitor, and automate the processes. If you are currently shopping for one, you must consider a few features.
Scheduling: You must schedule different workflows for various instruments within your lab using a scheduling feature. It depends on your system, but if it is relatively new, you might just be able to deploy individual robots differently.
User Interface: The interface of your automation software must be intuitive and easy to use.
Customizing Workflows: You can use this feature to incorporate new protocols that aren’t already built into your systems.
Data Handling: The software you use for your operations’ automation must be integrated with your LIMS database to ensure optimal efficiency.
Error Handling: Software should allow for error recovery when instrumentation or processes fail.
Want to learn more about lab scheduling software? Give our lab automation experts at Retisoft a call now to discuss more.