The field of laboratory informatics is a relatively new, rapidly developing field that has seen significant growth as demand for fast and efficient electronic data exchange has boomed. A rapid series of technological developments have made laboratory equipment less static and more interactive, allowing large networks of integrated lab devices, computers, and telecommunications equipment to log, analyze, and distribute data. This has progressively enabled scientific research projects to move from a localized model to a more global model, one that allows "involved researchers to spend less time collecting data or waiting for information to arrive from another location, which in turn allows them to focus more on the work at hand and makes their research both faster and more efficient." This has led to laboratories requiring more robust and scalable data management systems to stay competitive. The rapid rate of change in the technological and environmental needs of researchers — coupled with growing competition — has led to the creation of conferences like the IQPC Forum on Laboratory Informatics to help directors, managers, and researchers better keep up with the industry.
Sub-topics in Laboratory Informatics
Laboratory informatics is often modeled as a central component or hub for other branching elements of the field. However, looking at the architecture in this fashion oversimplifies the field of laboratory informatics and risks giving the false appearance that branched elements of the field have greater importance than others. Instead, a multi-layered, non-hierarchical model of these elements that places an emphasis on an individual laboratory's identified business needs may be more appropriate. A tiny but important cottage industry of businesses and consultants has developed from this philosophy, helping laboratories map their informatics needs to their corporate strategy.
Important elements of laboratory informatics include but are not limited to:
- Chromatography data management system (CDMS)
- Electronic laboratory notebook (ELN)
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
- Laboratory information management system (LIMS)
- Manufacturing enterprise system (MES)
- Process analytical technology (PAT)
- Scientific data management system (SDMS)
- ↑ "Laboratory Informatics" virtualinformatics.com. 09 April 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
- ↑ "IQPC 8th Forum on Laboratory Informatics". International Quality and Productivity Center. http://www.labinformaticsforum.com/Event.aspx?id=428334. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
- ↑ Wood, Simon (2007). "Comprehensive Laboratory Informatics: A Multilayer Approach", pp. 2–3.
- ↑ "Laboratory Informatics Strategy" labvantage.com. Retrieved 22 April 2011.