How Lab Automation is Improving Laboratory Workflows

Lab automation is reshaping the healthcare industry, bringing significant changes in a field that has evolved a lot during the past few years thanks to software development

Since the pandemic, we have seen a spectacular evolution in all areas of the healthcare industry as a whole. This includes clinical laboratories, where we have witnessed an increasing demand for higher efficiency and precision. In response to the industry’s needs, lab automation is paving the way for the future of research and diagnostics.

The impact of automation is visible in many aspects, ranging from more efficient workflows to new opportunities for scientific discoveries. In fact, according to McKinsey, pharmaceutical companies could bring medicines to market more than 500 days faster and reduce development costs by 25% with the help of automation.

In this article, we’ll explore the various benefits and applications of lab automation and the importance of collaborating with an experienced technology partner throughout this process.

The Benefits of Lab Automation

Lab automation benefits create a better experience for all parties involved in laboratory processes—laboratory managers, staff, and clients. In over 12 years of working with clinical laboratories, here are some of the most significant benefits we have noticed:

  • Speed: When we think about automation, we think about speed. Automation accelerates many laboratory workflows, such as sample preparation, liquid handling, and reporting. 
  • Increased throughput: A critical advantage of automated systems is the large volume of samples they can simultaneously handle compared to manual methods. For labs, this means more tests in less time. That increases productivity, as organizations can accommodate more clients and projects.
  • Improved accuracy and precision: Lab automation minimizes the risk of human error, a crucial element for an industry that leaves no room for mistakes. Plus, automation ensures that all workflows can be repeated with the same high level of accuracy.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Automation reduces labour costs, minimizes waste caused by errors, and improves resource utilization.

Examples of Lab Processes Transformed by Automation

Lab automation can significantly impact many laboratory processes, giving organizations that integrate technology into their daily workflows a solid competitive advantage. Let’s take a look at some of the most common use cases of automation:

  • Sample preparation: In the past, sample preparation used to be time-consuming and labour-intensive. This is no longer the case with automation tools like liquid handling systems, robotic arms, and plate readers that speed up the process and reduce errors. Not to mention that these systems handle large volumes of samples, ensuring faster turnaround times.
  • Automated instrumentation: Lab flows are faster and more precise with the help of automated instrumentation. For example, complex systems like mass spectrometers provide detailed molecular information, significantly contributing to drug discovery, while more simple systems like automated pipetting ensure accurate liquid handling for applications such as DNA sequencing and PCR. 
  • Inventory management: Companies that want to reduce errors and waste should implement an automated inventory management system. These systems use barcode scanners or RFID technology to ensure real-time monitoring of stock levels, expiration dates, and usage patterns, allowing staff members to quickly locate and track items.

These are only some use cases of lab automation, but its impact can be much more complex and can streamline many other workflows. 

Choosing the Right Lab Automation Partner

When organizations integrate new technologies into their workflows, choosing the right technology partner is essential. By leveraging the skills and knowledge of an experienced technology partner, healthcare organizations can reach their full potential.

At AROBS Group, we have over 12 years of experience in lab automation and biomedical engineering. Our colleagues from Berg Software use the latest technologies to provide clinical laboratories with custom software solutions that meet their specific needs.

Get in touch if you’d like to learn more about our expertise or discuss your next lab automation project.

// Let us be the partner that helps your business adapt to change.
Leave us a message for a digital upgrade!