Realize the Benefits of a Fully Automated Research System

By August 22, 2017 March 24th, 2019 Blog, Healthcare IT, Medical Research

Realize the Benefits of a Fully Automated Research System


Although the increasing concept of machine usage seems not quite appreciated by some individuals, it has been embraced in the world of clinical research as it streamlines the clinical trial process and reduces costs. Recently achieved innovations in automation have led to more efficient, reliable and productive platforms that perform a variety of functions such as managing images, tracking drug supply, assisting with translation and endpoint adjudication, etc. What was once done manually is now produced in a very short span of seconds using automated technologies. Automation is growing more and more acceptance by the hour, fuelled by the increasing interest of major healthcare companies in the field.

The advantages of using automation in this area are far and wide. Here are some of the most important reasons:

Increased time efficiency

The term automation refers to any process automatically performed without the use of manual work, without the help of technical experts and without taking much time. It is effective and more reliable and thus, improves the efficiency of patient care. With manual testing requiring a couple of days to deliver results, it is possible to get the results the same day with the help of automation. This is helpful to mankind in many situations.

For example, automated systems tremendously help in saving labor and time. Manually storing and retrieving 100 samples can take on average two and half hours, while an automated system like the Hamilton BIOS system would require less than a day to retrieve over 10,000 individual samples. This allows scientists with a lot more time to focus on actual research than the retrieval of samples.

Improved reliability

Automated testing provides more accurate and reliable results in a much shorter span of time. Over the years, advancement in technology has led to computerized systems which can interpret, store as well as manipulate data with much greater precision and accuracy. System interfaces enable direct transmission of information from instruments to laboratory information systems minimizing the human errors which originate during the initial collection of data and results. This has enabled the production of more secure and reliable outputs leading to secure and protective treatments of patients.

Financial and other advantages

Although the financial benefits of automation in clinical research may be quite low key and secondary, it’s important to highlight that automation reduces and saves query resolution cost estimated as long ago as 2001 at $60 to $100 per query. Also, the need to repeat procedures due to human errors is all but eliminated. Together with providing the high output expected from laboratories and clinics today, automation provides an efficient solution to the massive workload. These automated systems, interfaces and equipment are not only efficient but also have lower learning curves to use them making room for innovation and enhancing productivity which translates to more income per unit capacity.

An automated sample-storage system (biobank) can greatly reduce maintenance and energy costs. For example, during the “International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories” conference in 2010, it was projected by the National Cancer Institute that the Cancer Human Biobank switching to an automated system could save an estimated 83% on space and energy costs over the next 10 years.

An automated system can even further its financial and time-saving benefits by automatically labeling and interfacing samples to existing data about patients, making it accessible for researchers. These are the innovation that will bring forth great medical discoveries, and something the Data+ Research is very passionate about.

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