Life science software is a crucial component of life science automation efforts. While it’s the hardware that is most often given attention, systems such as microplate handling systems and liquid handling robots will not be able to run without the appropriate software.
Choosing life science software can seem daunting, especially when faced with a long list of choices, but choosing the right software can make a big difference.
Determine the Purpose of the Life Science Software
Life science software comes with various capabilities, so it is important to know the exact features needed to complete and track workflows in the lab. Map out the entire workflow and determine points where the software needs to control instruments, be used in planning and scheduling of processes, or where it needs to collect data.
This will be the core data needed when speaking to vendors about the software required for the lab. When looking at the different software features, check back with the mapped requirements to ensure that the final choice will be the best fit.
Check for Lab Science Software Compatibility with Existing Equipment and Configurability
It won’t be pleasant if the lab needs to buy large amounts of new equipment because the life science software chosen doesn’t support the existing equipment. Therefore, it is crucial to check the software’s compatibility with existing equipment in the lab.
Besides that, easily-configurable software is also a must for the lab to properly reap the benefits of lab automation. This is because workflows, instruments, and processes within the lab can change, and it would be best if the software can be configured whenever the situation arises without much fuss.
Be Mindful of User-Friendliness and Security
Teaching lab staff how to use new software can be difficult if the software is complex and has too many steps to remember. The last thing anyone wants is increased lab errors or hiccups in the workflow because the staff has not managed to master the use of the life science software chosen. So, be sure to get a demo from the vendor to check if the software is easy to use, even for the more technologically-challenged staff members.
While user-friendliness is a key component to look out for when choosing life science software, that should not come at the expense of data security. The software needs to have stringent encryption measures, including the ability to provide levels of authorization to ensure only appropriate personnel can access user and administrative levels to protect data and log files.
The audit trail is an important management tool for tracing and resolving issues.
Ask the Vendor about After Sales Support for the Life Science Software
Since life science software is a necessary component of controlling instruments such as microplate handling systems, liquid handling robots, and other automated systems, it will give the lab’s staff and management peace of mind to know that they have professional support. Ask the vendor what type of after-sales support they provide and if they can help carry out maintenance on the software—should it be required.
After effectively choosing life science software for the lab, you can further improve the lab’s productivity and efficiency.
One option to consider is Hudson Robotics’ Softlinx Lab Automation Software. To learn more about this software, feel free to contact us anytime.