The rapid advancement of technology in recent years has introduced many changes to the field of life science. More complex machines, instruments, and systems are continually being developed to improve existing processes and increase efficiency.
Besides instruments, life science software is also an essential part of every laboratory. This software is important in all stages of work, whether in the pre-analytical phase, in processing samples, or analyzing test results and data.
Life Science Software and Analytics Software
With the impressive processing power available in today’s computers, scientists can now perform more complicated analysis and gain new insights from data. Analytical life science software can, for example, determine the efficiency of a new experimental drug, perform quick calculations, and produce insights from a supply chain.
Analytics software can also be used to gather and analyze data from multiple sources and vendors to create a solution. With the internet, researchers can use analytics software to access a huge amount of real-world data from many sources and collaborate with other labs, making it easy for them to share and use these data.
Life Science Software: Automation Software
Software is also widely used to automate laboratory processes. Automation software can be programmed to control various laboratory instruments and machines to carry out protocols with minimal human involvement. Good examples are software that automates microplate handling systems and liquid handling robots. Labs can use this software to design workflows for the instruments above, customize parameters such as reagent volume, and program them to run on a schedule. These features save time and improve efficiency.
Another benefit of laboratory automation is being able to program a robot to carry out precise, repeatable processes, which is essential to maintain the integrity of tests. A good laboratory automation software should be intuitive to allow for easy operation and flexible enough to allow customization to work with different instruments.
Life Science Software: Simulation Software
Another way that software contributes greatly to life science research is by enabling simulations of various processes. Simulation software has the benefit of allowing us to see and envision situations in a safe, virtual environment.
Simulation software can, for example, simulate laboratory processes for planning purposes, model chemical reactions and biological systems, and eventually help labs optimize the parameters of their research to achieve results. Using these types of life science software is a great way to save cost and time and avoid some of the risks present in the study of life science.
Laboratory Information Management Software (LIMS)
Other than the life science software mentioned above, another common software essential to a lab is the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), which supports overall laboratory operations.
LIMS functions to record and manage all data in the lab. It can be used to track consumables, samples, instrument maintenance schedules, personnel activity, and even analyze research data. Often, LIMS can support instrument automation or integrate with other automation software.
It’s clear that the use of useful software is an integral part of life science research labs. It’s not only used to analyze and store data, but also to automate instruments, manage schedules, and more. To learn more about the software used in life science labs, contact Hudson Robotics today.