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The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic mainly renovated laboratory techniques where sustainability was an option. Yet, modern libraries have created digital solutions to limit the usage of non-renewable resources, enabling sustainability.
FREMONT, CA: On account of the COVID-19 pandemic, material demand for laboratories and their employees is increasing. This has engendered significance over efficient working patterns. Hence, digitalization and sustainability, key themes of the sector, have been notable in recent times.
Five Trends that are Shaping Laboratory Operations
1. Laboratory Sustainability- Making careful use of finite resources is an existing economic factor. Thus, sustainability is an acquainted idea that has spread over laboratory management too. Companies from their relevant sectors are attempting to keep their ecological footprints on track. However, the articles in the laboratory on a major scale are of single-use criteria. Plastics, despite their harmful nature, cannot be banned from usage due to legal requirements in the laboratory. Thus, by propelling the three R’s—Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, sustainability in the laboratory can be achieved. Poly Lactic Acid (PLA), which is made of corn and recyclable plastics production and use have proven to be assured in recent times, which covers from product designing to recycling.
2. Digitalizing Laboratory Projects- With the future of laboratories depending upon key trends such as sustainability and digitalization, Laboratory 4.0 aims at achieving acute sustainability. It confers digitised and intelligently networked laboratory results along with self-organising advanced, cutting-edge information and processes linking people, devices, systems, sensors, and products to a larger extent. This groundbreaking technique enables a thorough understanding of the complexities of laboratory processes and workflow optimization with minimal resource cost over successful sustainability.
3. Laboratory Information Management Systems-Data volumes are rising alongside digitization. This has instigated the need for powerful software where laboratory technicians can overview and evaluate processes. In modern laboratories, work processes and data tracking are enabled through Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS), while interfaces help exchange data between systems. Each LIMS is unique like its laboratory and its operational field. Its functions include order logging and sample registration, specifying the scope of the investigation, assisting with sample distribution and processing, acquiring results data through manual and online means, releasing investigation results, along with generating and evaluating reports.
4. Optimising inventories- The efficiency and competitiveness of a laboratory are affected by COVID-19, international trade conflicts and structural changes. To avoid tailing back during a period of crisis, enhanced inventory management is required. Thus, they are considered the central factor in a successful business.
5. Agility- The new modes of working do not stop with digitization and networked communication, as suspicions regarding workplace efficiency and innovations may rise in the future. Milestone inventions such as penicillin were not solely based on experiments and chemical compounds, as they do contain serendipity.
Sustainable usage of resources enables sustainable development. Due to the increased health concerns, laboratory techniques are being renovated. Hence, digitization and network communication are developing at a fast pace for the effective operation of laboratories.