Today we inhabit an increasingly connected world populated by smart homes, self-driving cars and numerous other devices and systems that enhance productivity and quality of life.
According to the McKinsey consulting firm, we will be surrounded by 30 billion connected devices by the year 2020.
Yet in laboratories, already filled with highly sophisticated digital equipment, the trend toward interconnectedness has lagged behind the curve. Despite the benefits of connectivity, lab equipment and operations have failed to acquire “smart” status as quickly as many other commercial sectors.
“Everything is still predominantly manual,” says Puneet Suri, vice president of Smart Lab and Digital Science at Massachusetts-based biotechnology company Thermo Fisher Scientific. “We still see handwritten lab notes, plates and consumables tagged with markers and inefficient sample tracking, all of which can lead to experimental error.”