Sapio Sciences Blog

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01/31/2023

Portrait of a Young Scientist in The Laboratory

A modern cloud-based Electronic Laboratory Notebook software is a game-changer for any laboratory looking to elevate its workflow and enhance data accessibility. Imagine having all your laboratory data, from samples and experiments to workflows and notes, in one seamless platform accessible to all scientists at the touch of a button. This is laboratory management’s future, starting with modern ELN software integrated with a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).

1. A Single, No-Code Platform

Gone are the days of clunky, separate systems for sample management, materials management workflow automation, experiment templates, instrument data results and interpretation. A modern lab notebook software should be integrated with LIMS, allowing for a seamless experience that connects all aspects of laboratory management in one platform. This eliminates the need for separate logins, training, and data transfer, saving time and money while boosting team collaboration.

2. Easy-to-Use User Interface

Modern ELN software should have an easy-to-use SaaS user interface, allowing laboratory staff to navigate and find the information they need quickly. This eliminates the need for extensive training, saving time and money while increasing productivity.

3. Experiment Templates

Reusable, editable experiment templates are a crucial electronic notebook feature. This allows laboratory staff to quickly set up experiments and ensure all necessary information is captured, saving time and reducing the risk of errors. It also makes it easier for scientists to replicate experiments and compare results.

4. Embedded Sheets and Documents

Embedded MS Office-compatible sheets and documents are a must-have feature of modern laboratory notebook software. This allows laboratory staff to easily create and edit documents, such as spreadsheets, within the ELN, without switching between different software programs. This saves time and improves productivity while ensuring all relevant data is captured and stored within the ELN software.

5. Notebook and Note Taking

A notebook and free-form note-taking are essential ELN features. This allows laboratory staff to take notes naturally, free-form, rather than constrained by predefined fields. This is especially useful for capturing observations and insights that may not fit into predefined fields while making it easier for scientists to share information and collaborate. Ideally, you can talk to the ELN, which will transcribe your notes.

6. Built-In Apps & Visualizations

Built-in science-aware functions, such as tools for designing molecules, reactions, plasmids, or finding CRISPR targets, are valuable to lab notebook software. ELN’s should have built-in analytics that are productivity accelerators, such as flow cytometry data analysis and scientific charts and stats like IC50, etc. These functions can save time and improve accuracy, making it easier for scientists to understand, search, analyze, and visualize data.

7. E-Signatures

Document e-signatures are an important ELN feature that can ensure that all experiments, data, and documents are properly reviewed and approved. This is especially important for laboratories that are regulated or that need to follow specific protocols, as well as for patent protection in an R&D environment.

8. Materials Management

Material registration, tracking, and management are critical electronic notebook features. This allows laboratory staff to easily track samples, compounds, proteins, reactants, and reagents, saving time and reducing the risk of errors.

9. Instrument Integration

Instrument results transformed into structured data is an important ELN feature. This allows laboratory staff to easily control instruments and then import and analyze data output from instruments, ensuring it has scientific context alongside other data in the system. This saves time and improves data accuracy.

10. Scientific Data Management System

Finally, a Scientific Data Management System (SDMS) with pre-built integrations to instruments and third-party systems is a must-have notebook feature. This allows laboratory staff to easily integrate scientific data, including documents, images, and instrument output. Tools should then be provided for easily navigating and finding data and then visualizing or analyzing it quickly.

So there you have it, the top 10 electronic laboratory notebook features. With so many features available, it can be challenging to cover them all in this one article, but we hope you found them helpful.

01/25/2023
Scientists Working in The Laboratory

Looking for the best LIMS software and want to know which features to look for? Here is a quick guide to the best features to get you on your way.

Today’s Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) is a cloud SaaS (software-as-a-Service) platform designed to manage the data and processes associated with laboratory sciences work. Its primary purpose is to automate laboratory workflows, maintain data integrity, and enhance laboratory and science staff collaboration. This platform must be configurable, easy to use, use a modern web user interface, integrate with a wide variety of scientific instruments, and allow scientists to easily access and interpret the data.

The best LIMS software platforms are made up of several key features, like these:

  • Automated workflow
  • Request management
  • Sample management
  • Sample processing
  • Science data analytics
  • Work queue management
  • Instrument integration

One of the critical features of best-in-class LIMS software is automated workflow. This feature allows laboratory staff to design workflows, ideally with drag-and-drop, and manage custom workflows that reflect their laboratory’s specific processes and procedures. These workflows can guide staff through the various steps of a test or experiment, ensuring that all necessary steps are completed in the correct order.

Another essential feature of LIMS is request management. This feature allows laboratory staff to manage and track requests for laboratory services, such as testing or analysis. This ensures that all requests are handled promptly and efficiently and that the results are delivered to the appropriate parties as soon as they are available.

Sample management is another key feature that ranks high in the best LIMS software. This feature allows laboratory staff to track and manage the samples that are being tested or analyzed. This includes tracking the location of samples, managing sample storage, and keeping track of sample information, such as the sample type and the date it was received.

Sample processing tracking allows laboratory staff to track the progress of samples through the laboratory, while 3D plating enables laboratory staff to create and manage multilayer plate layouts.

The LIMS software must enable scientists to access, analyze and interpret the data produced by the workflows – a must-have feature. Platforms must offer powerful, cross workflow and system data search, science knowledge graphs to provide structure and context to navigate data, graphical data querying tools, and onboard data visualization and analytics tools, such as machine learning and best-fit curve tools.

Work queues, sample processing tracking, and 3D plating are other essential capabilities of a LIMS. Work queues allow laboratory staff to manage and prioritize their work, ensuring that the most critical tasks are completed first.

Without instrument integration features, there can be no LIMS.  This capability allows laboratory staff to integrate their lab instruments with the LIMS software, allowing them to transfer data between the instruments and the system quickly. This helps to ensure that all data is accurate and up-to-date and that there is no duplication of effort.

In conclusion, best-in-class LIMS software is a powerful tool that can help laboratories improve their efficiency and productivity while ensuring that all data is accurate and up-to-date. By automating laboratory workflows, managing requests, tracking samples, and integrating laboratory instruments, a LIMS can help to ensure that all laboratory staff are working together effectively and efficiently. This can ultimately lead to faster turnaround times, improved data integrity, and more accurate results, benefiting the laboratory and the business as a whole.

07/09/2022

LIMS Vendors

Choosing a LIMS can be a long process, but if you choose the right product, you’ll see a major return on investment. If your lab is taking steps in the right direction, it can help your organization become more efficient and more competitive.

There are many LIMS vendors on the market, so it can be difficult to decide which one to choose. In this post, we’ll highlight the top five LIMS vendors and provide a list of key features to look for when considering LIMS vendors for your lab.

So, if you’re struggling to choose a LIMS solution, keep reading to learn more.

What Is a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS)?

First of all, what is a LIMS? A laboratory information management system is a software application that supports all your laboratory management needs. A LIMS allows you to manage samples, and collect, share, and store data. It also improves lab efficiency and speeds up your results, which improves your lab’s overall efficiency.

Key LIMS Features

  • Sample management
    • Keep an accurate inventory of your samples, as well as records about its processing, storage location, etc.
  • Materials management
    • Track inventoried reagents, and keep track of lot numbers, expiration dates, reorder levels, etc.
  • Reporting
    • Search through data and graphs
  • Workflow management
    • Define step by step procedural laboratory workflows

Click here to learn more about LIMS features

What to Look For When Searching for Top LIMS Vendors

While all research labs are similar, no two lab processes are exactly the same. So, when it comes to finding the optimal LIMS system vendors, the best software option is the one that most aligns with your management process, your IT parameters, and your stakeholders’ needs. 

Read How to Select the Best LIMS Software for Your Lab for more help finding the right LIMS solution.

You might also want to take a look at the following features:

Security & Compliance

Make sure the LIMS vendor meets all your IT security requirements. Can your lab support cloud-based LIMS software or do you require on-premise software installation? When looking for a LIMS product, it helps to understand what compliance measures are required by your funders and any regulatory bodies.

Adaptability

Depending on the type of study your lab manages, you’ll definitely want to keep an eye out for a LIMS that can support your niche. For example, Sapio Sciences offers LIMS solutions for clinical studies, research, stability studies, histopathology, NGS, and more.

Support

Find a LIMS software vendor that can provide you with the technical and customer support needed…in your time zone. Many companies only provide online or telephone support during office hours, but if you’re in another part of the country or outside North America, your support may be limited.

Cost

Of course, cost is a huge factor when deciding which LIMS vendor to choose from. But it’s not just about the price; it’s also about finding a solution that meets your needs and matches your budget without overwhelming you with additional features you won’t ever use. 

Don’t get left in the dark. Access our resource library for more blogs, whitepapers, data sheets, and more.

Top LIMS Vendors List

#1: Sapio LIMS

Sapio Sciences offers a robust informatics platform to meet all your laboratory management needs. Designed by researchers for researchers, Sapio LIMS offers the only ELN on the market that allows for real-time collaboration. This cloud-based LIMS is available in four editions and academic students can try the Bronze Edition for free. Users of the Sapio Informatics Platform can expect an intuitive interface with electronic lab notebook features and pre-built solutions for your specific area of research.

Product Highlights

  • Request Management including request portal
  • Pre-built workflows for bioanalysis, NGS, PCR, histopathology, bioprocessing and many more
  • Instrument tracking
  • Sample registration
  • Easy workflow reusable template creation
  • Interactive work queue dashboard
  • No-code rules engine
  • Advanced search capabilities
  • Optional private cloud/on-premise storage
  • Materials management
  • Embedded ms office compatible sapio sheets and docs
  • 3D plate designer
  • Storage management
  • Instrument inventory and maintenance management
  • Instrument integrations

Sapio Sciences supports digital transformation, which is why it is being selected for global deployments at large pharma, biotech, CRO and clinical companies. 

#2: Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thermo Fisher LIMS software is a popular LIMS software in pharma but also offers a wealth of solutions serving laboratory operations in food and beverage, oil and gas, environmental, manufacturing, and more. Thermo Fisher Scientific also offers three deployment options: on-premise, client-managed cloud services, and Thermo-managed cloud services.

Product Highlights

  • Sample management and tracking
  • Inventory management
  • Instrument management
  • ERP integration capabilities
  • Reporting and data analyticsSapio Sciences listing the top 5 best LIMS Vendors

#3: LabWare LIMS

LabWare LIMS has been a popular product on the market for over three decades. It serves a variety of large and niche industries, from healthcare and pharmaceutical to forensics studies and CBD/THC research. It touts optimized automation solutions to meet each industry’s high regulatory requirements and offers four in-house and on-site deployment options.

Product Highlights

  • Lot and inventory management
  • Batch manager
  • Workflows and dashboards
  • Stability management

#4: Labguru LIMS

Labguru LIMS is an informatics platform with LIMS and ELN capabilities. It offers top-tier technical and client support, especially when it comes to transitioning from paper lab notebooks to its all-in-one solution. Labguru serves various industries, such as biotech, molecular farming, and contract research organizations.

Product Highlights

  • Big data management
  • Certification analysis
  • Workflow automation
  • Sample tracking
  • Equipment management

#5: CrelioHealth LIMS

CrelioHealth sells three products for medical laboratories and diagnostics organizations: inventory management, CRM, and LIMS. Its LIMS solution offers step-by-step automation from order booking to lab report delivery and promises to reduce lab turnaround time. CrelioHealth offers three separate pricing tiers plus an additional Enterprise option with a separate pricing model.

Product Highlights (Based on Standard Tier)

  • Patient Registration, Patient Directory & Relationship Management
  • API Integrations
  • Radiology Reporting
  • Order & Payment Management
  • Omni-Channel Patient Communication

Want to know more about LIMS Vendors?

The LIMS market is full of products with solutions that can meet your industry and laboratory management requirements. Sapio Sciences is here to help with ELN and LIMS implementation. Check out our blog for more helpful advice. 

Are you ready for a complete digital transformation? Now you can try the Sapio Informatics Platform Bronze Edition absolutely free!

 

02/16/2022

Scientists and laboratory professionals periodically perform searches to determine “what is the best LIMS software.” With so many changes in technology, the results can be overwhelming when you’re comparing one vendor’s LIMS software to another’s.

Scientist at bench

Even though every lab professional’s LIMS needs are different, the main lab software requirements will be the same. You need a LIMS that can:

  • Manage Internal and external requests
  • Guide laboratory scientists through lab processes
  • Increase the quality of results
  • Ensure reproducible results
  • Maintain compliance when in clinical settings
  • Track data related to samples & processes

So, how do you choose which LIMS software is the right fit for your lab? Here are some helpful suggestions, courtesy of Sapio Sciences:

Moving Beyond the LIMS of Yesterday

A LIMS (laboratory information management system) has traditionally been thought of as the building block of laboratory technology strategy. The nascent version began as nothing more than spreadsheets or internally built applications to keep track of inventory management for samples, instruments, and test results. 

Top LIMS vendors were historically known to charge hefty amounts for their applications and take years to deploy. This is because LIMS software was more software development services than a software product. 

The result? The old LIMS was a continuous requirement-gathering exercise that was riddled with custom feature development that often didn’t even meet the needs of research laboratories.

Luckily, companies like Sapio Sciences have turned the basic software into an extensible and fully customizable product.

Current LIMS Products: What to Watch Out For

Most modern LIMS products come with built-in features for sample and inventory management, and we recommend looking for configurable elements that can better suit your lab needs. 

The majority of LIMS products are web-based, which makes it easy for your lab technicians and managers to get started with the software’s out-of-the-box features, even with minimal experience. 

But if you’re looking to integrate instruments, an ELN (electronic laboratory notebook), or an analytics system, keep in mind that not all LIMS are created equal and some products may not offer these types of integrations. 

The problem with many modern LIMS software products is that the complexity of your lab workflows might require configurations that aren’t widely available on the market today. If this sounds like what you’re currently using, you’re being forced to adapt to your software rather than having a software that’s adapted to your business needs.  

You may be right in thinking that the features you need will be delivered in a future version release, but this again slows down the full deployment of the software and increases both real and opportunity costs.

Investing in the Future with LIMS Products

The demands for clinical LIMS software and research LIMS software at pharma and biotech’s are higher than ever before in our current competitive market, and especially since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Outside of the typical patient, sample, and inventory management capabilities, the LIMS of tomorrow has to meet many requirements.

When searching for a LIMS solution, be sure to look for a product that offers these key features or characteristics:

  • Low activation energy and high data volume support
  • Ready for rapid deployment 
  • Highly adaptable
  • Easy integration of systems and instruments
  • Low-code or no-code configurations 
  • Flexible processes and workflows
  • Fully configurable data model
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Advanced integrated charting, searching, and analytics
  • Combined LIMS and Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELN)

Many lab professionals are looking for silos between applications—such as LIMS, ELN, Lab Execution System (LES), and scientific data management systems (SDMS)—to disappear.

Investing in a centralized laboratory information management system like Sapio LIMS products will prevent silos in your business.

Finding a LIMS with Built-In Integration

As we stated, there are just too many high-quality LIMS software solutions on the market today to stick with a product that isn’t serving your lab workflows or business processes. 

We think you can agree that the best LIMS software is more than just a LIMS. We recommend finding an informatics system that’s built as a platform—or an application-agnostic software that can become any application. 

For example, Sapio Sciences developed Sapio LIMS, Sapio Seamless ELN, and SDMS integrations from its singular platform.

Download Sapio Sciences’s product data sheet to learn more about our lab solution.

Platform Features to Look For

Any application that’s built on top of the platform will inherit its implicit capabilities, so it’s important to choose wisely. Look for platforms that offer:

  • A fully configurable data model
  • Powerful searching
  • Advanced data visualizations
  • Configurable no-code business rules
  • Controlled permissions on data as well as features and functions
  • Full auditability
  • An intuitive user interface
  • Configurable data views
  • Unlimited role support and individual permissions
  • Extensible API that supports multiple languages

LIMS & ELN Software on a Single Platform

Ideally, an ELN will be built on the same platform. Not only will these two solutions share the same data model, but also the same underlying capabilities for enterprise-level search, visualizations, and analytics. With Sapio Sciences’s solutions, you can extend the platform to include your SDMS R&D efforts at your organization.

Why Choose Sapio LIMS?

Sapio LIMS is built on a powerful, scalable informatics platform, and combined with Sapio Seamless ELN, it will break down barriers to collecting and interpreting your data and processes, and accelerate your discovery efforts.

What’s Included in Sapio’s Lab Software Products?

Users will benefit from all key features mentioned above as well as:

  • Integrated chat
  • Permission-based access to data and features
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Science-aware capabilities, such as large and small molecule design
  • Registration capabilities

Sapio LIMS is the only LIMS software or ELN that supports true collaboration with concurrent workflow and experiment support, so scientists can work together and see each other’s experiment updates in real-time.

02/15/2022

Buying the Right Electronic Lab Notebook is Hard

Today there are likely 50+ Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELN) on the market.  Given that, how is one to find the right one for their needs?  Well, it’s not easy is the truth.  Therefore it’s important to not be hasty in your selection or to simply buy the low cost option that “looks OK.”

ELN’s have Evolved from their Chemistry Roots

If you go back 20 years or so almost all Electronic Lab Notebooks were chemistry focused.  They would help you design molecules, the primary drug type at the time, and inventory them, search for them etc.  If you were a chemist, these were great tools to assist you in your day to day scientific work.  But they really were not intended or designed to be general lab notebooks, or able to deal with new treatment modalities with the introduction of large molecules in more recent times.

The ELN Evolution continues, but now with a heavy focus on Large Molecule

History has repeated itself now with ELN’s now being introduced that target large molecule work with tools like plasmid editors, but also some more general lab notebook capabilities like a registry and general note taking capabilities.   The chem ELN vendors are also trying, usually via acquisition or partnerships, to address their shortcomings in the large molecule space, and the large molecule ELN vendors are trying to incorporate small molecule support as well.

The problem with both ELN approaches is three-fold:

  • They still primarily focus on either small or large molecules and are not general ELN platforms that do equally well in either domain
  • They do not sufficiently address LIMS system needs as this is still viewed as a separate application domain
  • Buying a bunch of different solutions, even with prebuilt integrations, still creates a discontinuity of workflow, user and administrative experience

A Digital Transformation Perspective

Instead of looking to buy an ELN or a LIMS, you should look for an informatics platform that unites both LIMS and ELN features into a single, low-code, no-code solution.  The ideal electronic lab notebook should also be the ideal LIMS system, no matter what types of drugs you are creating or processes you are modeling.  It should also include science aware tools for designing molecules, reactions, plasmids, or CRISPR even.  But it should also include powerful searching, data visualizations, and informatics so you can search, visualize and analyse data across your enterprise that has been digitally transformed.  It should be quickly adaptable, the hallmark of a platform, even if it lacks something you need.

What to watch out for

Some vendors perform excellent packaged demos, and/or instead of selling their solution sell you on who else they have sold to.  Also watch out for vendors whose organization is largely comprised of sales people.  If you are getting calls from multiple sales people from the same company, run the other way!

It’s critical to perform your own, detailed evaluation!  Make the vendor do a deep dive into their product…get them outside their comfort zone by presenting challenges to them that go beyond their well crafted demo.  If they don’t step up to the plate and show they can do it then its likely their solution is not really a platform and will be hard to implement or even get to do what you need at all no matter the amount of money and time you throw at it.

We will close with a comment from Kevin, our CEO and Chief Scientist, “Increasingly biotech and pharma R&D organizations are looking for our unified low-code, no-code informatics platform on which all our applications are built and tightly integrated.  This enables our customers to digitally transform their organizations to streamline their operations, reduce costs and accelerate discovery which is our driving mission.  We aim to support design of molecules, both small and large…to make data collection and searching easy, and then to enable powerful data visualizations and assistive data interpretation using advanced analytics and machine learning to facilitate scientists R&D efforts.”

09/21/2021

Sapio Sciences is Rebranding it’s Exemplar LIMS and Exemplar ELN Solutions as Sapio LIMS and Sapio ELN.

Sapio Sciences is a leading provider of its Informatics platform addressing the Lab Management (LIMS), Electronic Lab Notebook (ELN) and Scientific Data Management Software (SDMS) markets.  Today we are announcing that we are rebranding our solutions through the discontinuation of the Exemplar name on our product line and will now utilize the well recognized Sapio brand name instead.

While we will often now refer to Sapio LIMS, Sapio ELN and Sapio SDMS solution names as appropriate, we generally prefer to think of our solution as the Sapio Informatics Platform.  If we didn’t want to minimize adjectives, we would ideally like to call it the Sapio low-code, no-code, science-aware, informatics platform, but that’s probably too much to digest.

We will close with a comment from Kevin, our CEO and Chief Scientist, “Increasingly biotech and pharma R&D organizations are coming to us for our unified low-code, no-code informatics platform on which all our applications are built and tightly integrated.  This enables our customers to digitally transform their organizations to streamline their operations, reduce costs and accelerate discovery.  Our success with our science-aware platform has clearly made the Sapio name our key brand and diminished the need for any additional branding as we had previously with Exemplar.”