Sarah Schlagowski works as a technician in Alexander Hahn’s lab at Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH (DPZ). The Hahn lab studies Kaposi’s sarcoma herpesvirus-associated diseases. The Hahn lab focuses on cell receptor-virus interactions with the goal of creating modified viruses for vaccines and vaccine vectors. I caught up with Sarah to find out what she likes about working in a lab and how LabTwin is making her research more efficient.
What do you like about being a lab technician?
I like that I can manage my own work and be independent. I enjoy planning experiments and am happiest when my work requires creativity.
Why did you decide to start using LabTwin?
I’m not a really technical person but I’m open to new ideas and I like to test innovative things. I knew that my way of documenting was circuitous (too many media - paper, digital charts, digital and printed protocols, pictures, post-it's everywhere). I have always tried to be very precise with my documentation but it was very fragmented and difficult to collate together. My hope was to find a better way with LabTwin.
Was LabTwin easy to set up? Is the app easy to use?
LabTwin is easy to use and self-explanatory. The app and the website are clearly arranged and give me a good overview about my daily work. I like being able to work in the lab with my smartphone and in the office with my computer.
Has the quality of your lab documentation improved since you began using LabTwin’s voice-powered technology?
I have tested this by using LabTwin alongside my old way of documentation. When I compare both methods, I can see a lot of advantages in the new technique. LabTwin saves time and is easy to handle. I can use it in the lab during my work. I can make more precise voice notes than I can by hand. With LabTwin I can immediately record my own thoughts and experiences about an experiment. That's important because after a busy day I may forget to write down little but important things which could help to reproduce my results.
What are your thoughts on LabTwin's impact on research efficiency and reproducibility?
I think LabTwin will help me to reproduce and improve experiments even after a long time because I have more detailed descriptions. Also LabTwin helps me to manage my daily work and reminds me to order consumables and reagents. It combines everything (e.g.meetings, results, to-do lists) and makes my working life easier. LabTwin also lets me share all my data with colleagues. Moreover, I can save a lot of time by searching for keywords in the digital files.
In your opinion, how will a voice-powered product like LabTwin change the industry in the long run?
The trend away from the print media to the electronic/digital media is happening everywhere. In my opinion, the industry will now focus more on better accessories for products like LabTwin, such as more comfortable headsets, “digital” glasses, software etc.
My personal hope is that the industry can produce intelligent “LabTwins” in the near future. For example, I’d like a “twin” that can show me results/expectations/ pictures/protocols etc. as I work to help me to improve my experiment.