Digital transformation promises to lower R&D costs, improve productivity and accelerate product development. Mobile technologies have helped digitalize a number of industries and are now being adopted in R&D labs within the life science and materials science sectors.
ELN at the bench
However, we only need to look at the failure of tablet-based electronic lab notebook (ELN) trials to see that it is not always easy to implement a mobile strategy in a pharmaceutical lab. Two of the top 10 pharma companies gave their scientists tablets so they could access their ELN at the bench. However, 70% of the scientists gave up using the tablet within the first few months of the trial because they found it was too hard, and took too long, to enter data into a touchscreen.
User centered design
For mobile strategies to be successful, they need to include user-friendly interfaces. They also need to work for scientists in all conditions, including complete darkness and sterile environments like biosafety cabinets. Smart digital lab assistants leverage voice technology and machine learning to provide scientists with a hands-free, mobile interface that works anywhere in the lab. Digital assistants connect scientists with their lab informatics, support calculations, collect data and help keep track of experiments.
We recently hosted a roundtable discussion on ‘How Mobile Technology is Driving the Lab of the Future’ and used the advice from our invited experts to compile a white paper on ‘How to Build a Successful Mobile Strategy for Your Lab’. The white paper outlines 7 key steps to implementing a successful mobile strategy in an R&D lab.
Industry experts recommended taking the time to thoroughly plan how to implement a new mobile strategy. This planning should involve different stakeholders, including managers, end-users and collaborators. It should be goal-based, with objective, measurable success criteria, such as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). It should also take into account user requirements and the IT requirements of the whole organization. Lastly, any mobile strategy should be integrated into a larger Lab of the Future vision to make sure it simplifies, rather than complicates, workflows.
Download our white paper to learn more about ‘How to Build a Successful Mobile Strategy for Your Lab’ .