December 12, 2018 - Build vs. Buy LIMS

Post-genomic era led to a generation of large volumes of data, making it necessary for laboratories to modernize their approach for managing and tracking data. As a result, an increasing trend is observed in laboratories to switch their laboratory operations from paper records to a technologically powerful and secure Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).

December 12, 2018 - Why System Requirements are an Essential Part of Your Informatics Project

Laboratory informatics projects can be extremely complex and costly. LIMS projects, for example, require large investments of money, resources and time – costing anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, while requiring hundreds to thousands of resource hours, to implement. Given the financial, regulatory and operational risk to your organization that a laboratory informatics project represents, it is imperative that you get the project right the first time.

One of the keys to a successful laboratory informatics project is the development of a comprehensive set of functional and technical requirements for the system in question. Properly developed requirements are critical to guide and inform many different aspects of a successful informatics project. Too often, companies fail to do the necessary work in this area and end up deploying a system that fails to realize the potential business benefits that served as motivation for the project in the first place.

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December 12, 2018 - Factors to Consider When Choosing Between an On-Premise, Managed Hosting, or SaaS LIMS

Laboratory information management systems (LIMS) capabilities have expanded dramatically in recent years in order to better serve scientific laboratories. As LIMS technology has changed, so has the number of factors that need to be considered when choosing the best LIMS for your laboratory.

A variety of different architectures are now available for modern LIMS, and these different architectures determine the way LIMS are installed, managed and utilized. Key factors to consider when selecting a LIMS is the type of architecture that is best aligned with your business goals, as well as the standards your organization’s IT group has established for IT architecture.

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December 12, 2018 - User Requirements Workshops Bring Added Benefits

Defining user requirements is not only one of the most important aspects of purchasing a LIMS but frequently one of the most challenging. If it is not dealt with in sufficient detail, it can impact the quoted costs and lead to complications and delays at the later stages of the project. Recognizing the importance of this, we have undertaken a number of user requirement workshops in recent months with prospective customers.

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December 5, 2018 - Common Mistakes in Computer System Validation

Modern scientific laboratories increasingly rely on computerized informatics systems (e.g., LIMS, ELN, CDS, etc.) to process and manage data. To ensure product safety and effectiveness, it is important for these systems to be validated in a process known as computer system validation (CSV) to confirm the accuracy and integrity of processed data.

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December 5, 2018 - Top 4 Reasons to Implement a LIMS

Laboratory organizations have a myriad of reasons for choosing to implement a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).  The key reasons can vary dramatically depending upon the industry and type of science being conducted in the laboratory as well as the type of laboratory to be automated and managed with the LIMS.  That being said, we have compiled our top four reasons that drive organizations to implement a LIMS include.

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November 28, 2018 - What is a LIMS?

Introduction: So, what is a LIMS? A LIMS or Laboratory Information Management System is a software solution to address the data management, automation, and regulatory challenges of laboratories across the globe. As the name suggests, a LIMS is used to effectively manage laboratory samples and the associated data, thus standardizing operations by maintaining workflows, tests, and reporting procedures. With the growing needs of laboratories, the traditional LIMS too has evolved, with the system being able to do much more than just tracking samples.

November 28, 2018 - CloudLIMS Version 1.78.5 Released!

CloudLIMS, an advanced configurable cloud-based SaaS LIMS, accelerates biobanking, clinical research, and testing laboratory operations by efficiently managing laboratory data, following regulatory compliance, and automating laboratory workflows on a cloud platform.

November 28, 2018 - Importance of De-Identification and Anonymization of Patient Data in Clinical Research

Clinical trials and research play a pivotal role in highlighting the most suitable therapeutic strategies for the prevention and cure of a vast array of the novel or previously untreatable diseases. Clinical trials and research involve the collection of samples and associated patient data to test the safety and effectiveness of a novel drug or treatment to minimize detrimental effects, ensuring a more successful outcome.

November 28, 2018 - Highlights from the 2018 LabVantage Customer Training and Education Conference

Astrix Technology Group was pleased to be the Platinum sponsor for this year’s North American LabVantage Customer Training and Education Conference (CTEC) event on October 21st – 26th. This year’s conference was a great success, featuring a heavy concentration of customer presentations and customer-led panels, along with many different topics and hands-on training options.

We enjoyed meeting many of you over the course of the conference and appreciated the opportunity to share experiences and discuss strategies and challenges associated with optimizing the laboratory operating environment. Here are some of the highlights from this year’s conference.

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November 28, 2018 - LIMS + LES: A Winning Combination

Over the last several years a new trend has begun to take shape in the laboratory informatics market.  I’m talking about the emergence and rapid acceptance of Laboratory Executions Systems (LES) for use in quality control labs and other standardized testing environments like contract or environmental testing labs.  Interestingly, LES solutions are often integrated to a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) as opposed to being implemented as a standalone solution.  Why is this the case?  What makes the LIMS/LES solution so powerful?  But before going too far down the path of exploring the LIMS/LES solution, let’s take a step back and explore LES and LIMS solutions, individually.

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November 14, 2018 - Expediting Veterinary Laboratory Testing

Mention the phrase ‘contract testing laboratories’ and many people would think of testing in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. However there is a very large number of veterinary laboratories that carry out contract testing. While the testing regimes may be very different from other industries, the basic laboratory processes are very similar and the use of LIMS can help improve service levels and keep costs down. Veterinary contract laboratories must offer a high quality service with a fast turnaround and competitive prices. There is also an increasing requirement to check if testing has been completed and to be able to access those test results remotely as soon as they are available. 

November 7, 2018 - Highlights from the 2018 LabVantage Customer Training and Education Conference

Astrix Technology Group was pleased to be the Platinum sponsor for this year’s North American LabVantage Customer Training and Education Conference (CTEC) event on October 21st – 26th. This year’s conference was a great success, featuring a heavy concentration of customer presentations and customer-led panels, along with many different topics and hands-on training options. LabVantage is a leading LIMS solution and Astrix provides complete LabVantage consulting and training services.

We enjoyed meeting many of you over the course of the conference and appreciated the opportunity to share experiences and discuss strategies and challenges associated with optimizing the laboratory operating environment. Here are some of the highlights from this year’s conference.

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October 31, 2018 - How Business Process Analysis Can Benefit Your Lab Informatics Project

In a recent survey, over 50% of IT professionals revealed they had a project fail over the last year. Laboratory informatics projects can be especially challenging, considering the many different aspects of the enterprise that laboratory operations touch. Given this high failure rate, it is imperative that organizations adopt a proven methodology that guarantees success for their lab informatics projects.

Strategic planning is critical for any organization, but even more so for businesses involved in science and technology, as the dynamic nature of these industries requires companies to implement flexible, integrated solutions that can help meet both present and future business goals while remaining competitive in the face of rapidly-advancing innovations.

One of the major reasons laboratory informatics projects fail can be attributed to functional and strategic business needs not in alignment. Many organizations attempt to select and implement a system without first performing the due diligence required to align laboratory functional needs with the strategic needs of the business—an error that is magnified if more than one site is involved. There is also the phenomenon of large scientific enterprises embarking on a possibly multimillion-dollar initiative without capturing a baseline of laboratory productivity and efficiency.

Consequently, the first step in any laboratory informatics project should always be a thorough workflow and business analysis. In this blog, we will explore some best practice recommendations for Business Process Analysis (BPA) in the laboratory environment, along with some of the ways in which BPA can benefit your informatics project.

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October 31, 2018 - A LIMS is an Investment, not a Financial Drain

The Life Science field has reached a new era in terms of data management and data storage. Slowly but surely, laboratories will replace their old paper and pencil methods with IT solutions. Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) and Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELN) will play a key role in the context of this technical evolution.

Despite the consensus that the transition from old traditional methods to computerized solutions is inevitable, a large proportion of lab people still see this transition as an expense rather than an investment. We will try to understand the origin of this perception in this short blog post and ascertain whether the fear is founded or not.

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October 31, 2018 - Saving Costs with LIMS

If you have ever contemplated installing and implementing a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) you will have realized that these solutions can be pricey, both from a capital and resources point of view.  It is also likely that you have been requested to justify the investment in the proposed LIMS by developing a Return on Investment (ROI) analysis.  In order to accomplish this task, it will be imperative that you understand the full cost of your LIMS solution and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) over the return period.  Additionally, you will need to determine the cost savings to the lab and organization that the implementation of the LIMS will yield.  These quantitative measures are generally the most powerful sources of cost savings and will therefore represent the lionshare of your LIMS cost justification.

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October 24, 2018 - Integrating Instruments with Your STARLIMS System

Integrating laboratory instruments with a LIMS (laboratory information management system) such as STARLIMS is one of the best ways to improve data integrity and drive operational efficiency in the laboratory. Instrument integration helps to facilitate significantly increased sample throughput and a reduction of data transcription errors. Instrument integration also tends to increase scientist job satisfaction by reducing tedious tasks like writing down results and manual data entry. This allows scientists to spend more time doing the actual science that helps drive innovation for your organization.

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October 24, 2018 - Using Electronic Batch Records (EBR) to Optimize Manufacturing Efficiency

In an effort to ensure product quality and patient safety, the pharmaceutical and biotech industries are governed by strict regulations. As part of these regulations, the FDA requires that detailed production records be kept for each batch of a product produced by a pharmaceutical company. These records need to be accessible to regulators and can be used to confirm that raw material inventory is properly controlled, relevant procedures have been followed, necessary quality checks have been performed, and employee identities and training levels are verified.

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October 17, 2018 - STARLIMS™ Customizations – Am I Evil?

In the world of so many cool applications, features and functionalities, “Jailbreaking” has become a standard practice for opening up possibilities in our electronics. Popular techniques are available for adding apps to Apple IOS and Android devices as well as media through Kodi in our Amazon Fire devices. While this process can give us what we crave moment to moment, it can also have unintended, dare we say it, evil effects on our devices. We can lose functionality in other applications, limit upgrade options or disable certain apps permanently.

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October 10, 2018 - Tips for Extending the Functionality of Your STARLIMS System

STARLIMS is a leading laboratory information management system (LIMS) that supports laboratories across multiple industries and disciplines including clinical, pharmaceutical, forensic, food safety, manufacturing, petrochemical, public health, and life sciences. As fully web-based system, STARLIMS promotes collaboration, both within your own lab and between labs around the world. With more than 1000 implementations in over 40 countries, STARLIMS has a proven track record of providing industry-leading solutions to global enterprises.

With comprehensive reporting, monitoring, managing and analysis capabilities, STARLIMS has a wide range of configurable features that support laboratory operations. In order to maximize business value and drive innovation with your STARLIMS solution over its full lifecycle, developer capabilities must be in place to enable system reconfiguration and/or customization to adapt to changing business requirements. In this blog, we will provide tips that will help software designers extend the functionality of your STARLIMS system.

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