What’s trending in lab informatics? SmartLab Exchange 2024 highlights key themes

Scimcon explores important trends in lab informatics, as told by key opinion leaders at SmartLab Exchange 2024.

Scimcon is proud to have sponsored both the SmartLab Exchange Europe and US events again this year, which took place from 21-22 February 2024 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and 8-9 April 2024 in Florida, USA.

The annual invite-only events facilitate one-to-one meetings and foster collaboration between experts across the lab informatics industry, from R&D to Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) decision makers.

Our team led panel discussions and also chaired the European event. From our conversations with delegates and industry experts, we have identified key trends across the lab informatics industry this year, and are sharing what we learned about user priorities in this rapidly evolving sector.

About SmartLab Exchange

In attendance at this years’ events was our co-founder and lead consultant Geoff Parker, who moderated the opening panel discussion that asked the SmartLab community ‘what does digital transformation mean to you?’. At both the Europe and US events, users across the industry shared their insights on digital transformation and where they are in their journey, where they’re planning to be, and what tools / solutions are making these goals achievable.

We informally surveyed 112 delegates at this years’ events (65 from Europe, 47 from the US) to understand what decision makers are prioritising this year, and what areas of lab informatics will be most in-demand.

Investment priorities

Part of our discussions with delegates includes asking what informatics tools and capabilities they are prioritising investment in over the coming 12 months. The following themes emerged from these discussions:

LIMS remains a mainstay solution, with 17% of delegates confirming they plan to invest in a new LIMS or expand their current LIMS over the next 12 months. AI and automation are close second and third priorities, which is perhaps unsurprising. We expect more users to explore AI and automation as lab managers invest in these technologies to streamline operations, simplify and automate processes, and minimise the risk of human error. However, preparedness for implementing AI needs careful attention if labs are to capitalise on its promise.

There are no shortage of informatics tools on this list, such as ELN, QMS, and scheduling tools, so it’s understandable that connectivity remains a key priority for delegates too, as interconnected instrument networks are central to productivity and ease of data transfer.

Solution priorities

We also provided attendees with a list of lab informatics solutions and asked them to identify which of these were high and medium priority for their organisation.

Lab automation is once again high on the list of priorities for delegates, with 82 saying it was a high priority and 18 considering it a medium priority. Data quality/integrity also remains key for delegates, so solutions that ensure data quality is maintained and data are standardised are poised to remain popular. Data integration and connectivity also remain important, which again highlights that decision makers prioritise instruments that can communicate with each other and the lab informatics systems seamlessly, while maintaining data integrity and streamlining lab processes.

Looking ahead – what’s next for lab informatics?

The insights gleaned from both SmartLab Exchange events reflect what is happening across the wider industry.

Technology is constantly evolving. As solution providers and instrument vendors innovate with new systems that aim to alleviate the challenges faced by labs and improve processes, we expect more and more users to invest in technologies that automate repetitive and time-consuming processes. By also ensuring that data quality is standardised and stored securely, scientists will have more time to focus on the science that matters.

We’re proud to support labs with the next step of their digitalisation journey, and are excited to see what else the future has in store for our industry.

For more information about how we can support your next lab informatics project, contact us.

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For more information, please contact one of the Scimcon team today

+44 (1638) 661 631



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