Mobile technology has made our lives easier in many ways. In addition to keeping us connected on a personal level, mobile applications have improved our professional lives by simplifying and streamlining tasks. This is evident in the analytical laboratory.
An increase in adoption of mobile technology in the laboratory can be attributed to:
- Green initiatives, elimination of paper processes along with the paper storage costs (regulatory requirements dictate that environmental laboratories store the paper forms for 10 years)
- Cost savings associated with improved resource utilization
- The need for real-time access to field testing results without waiting for the technician to return to the laboratory
- Improvement in technology, security, reliable connectivity, and advances in available hardware
- Increased need for faster turnaround time and delivering results beyond the laboratory
ATL has seen the growth in mobile technology affect many of our LIMS users. To harness this power, we developed iMobile–a Web application that captures and uploads data in real time back to the LIMS via cellular (4G,5G, Hotspot) and WiFi. iMobile can cache data in case a device is disconnected or in a location with poor or no connectivity options. It eliminates manual re-entry of field measurements, along with paper and transcription errors. Data that can be synchronized to the LIMS includes: electronic chain of custody/collector/date and time stamps, location information/GIS coordinates, and field testing results/comments. A geofencing feature ensures that the sample location matches pre-defined GPS sampling station coordinates for pre-defined sampling sites.
As a practical example–one of our iMobile users in the water industry eliminated transcription errors, captured GPS coordinates and time/date stamps, automated Chain of Custody reporting, and increased data availability. They also experienced a few unexpected benefits: access to SOPs in the field, use of GPS to navigate to sites, access to videoconferencing, cameras and email to send photos/video to the laboratory, and useful applications on the mobile device (calculator, unit conversions, internal applications).
iMobile improves data availability while offering the field collector access to a number of useful applications on their mobile device. Save time and money, increase accuracy, and verify sample locations with an easy to use application.
Can your lab benefit from mobile technology?
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