2 min read
SciNote CEO, Klemen Zupancic, was recently guest-starred on IoT Evolution World podcast, discussing IoT and science in depth with the host Ken Briodagh. In this article we will answer the basic questions on IoT: is the technology already here and what exactly does it mean for labs?
IoT technology is already here – and you are using it on a daily basis
By a very simple definition, IoT is a concept of connecting devices to interact and exchange data. Even though it is still perceived to be somewhat futuristic, it is actually present in your everyday life and perhaps you don’t even know it. The best examples include tracking your package delivery status, paying for a restaurant bill with your phone, setting and monitoring the house temperature with your smartphone, route suggestions by Google Maps to avoid traffic jams; and even wearables – Apple watch, for example, allows you to communicate and track the health-related information such as the number of steps you made, while sharing information with other Apple devices you own.
The meaning of IoT for life science labs – Should you pay attention to this new technology?
So, let’s answer the burning question now. What does Internet of Things (IoT) mean for science and how does it fit into all this?
We know that the progress in science takes place through collaboration and reproducibility of data. However, the latest studies showcasing data irreproducibility in research are not speaking in favor of this. A study showed that out of 238 published scientific articles, less than half could be reproduced. News also reported of the replication efforts, which were successful for only 2 out of 5 cancer papers. Additionally, more than 70% of researchers have failed to reproduce a colleague’s experiment and more than 50% have failed to reproduce their own. This affects the financial side of science as well, as it is estimated that in the US alone, a whopping 28.2 billion dollars are spent annually on irreproducible preclinical research.
In science and research, the IoT signifies digitization of labs. This means that smart lab devices are interconnected with cloud-managed data and analytics programs that can record data. The data is then presented in a user-friendly and transparent manner/workflow.
To address one of the main aspects of irreproducibility in science – more than a third of irreproducibility in research stems from manual errors in the performance of experiments – SciNote LLC and Gilson Inc. put a theory of IoT to practice. Gilson’s strong scientific and liquid handling background was combined with the SciNote’s software development expertise to connect the data flow while doing experiments in the lab, in a traceable manner. Gilson’s new Bluetooth-enabled electronic pipette, PIPETMAN® M Connected, records and tracks pipette performance in real-time and transmits data via Bluetooth to TRACKMAN® Connected, an all-in-one kit that includes a tablet with the PipettePilot™ tracker application. From there, detailed pipetting reports are saved in SciNote. This data flow enables researchers to check their pipetting data to detect errors and help improve traceability and experiment reproducibility.
When the IoT is correctly implemented in a lab, it creates an ecosystem, which can accelerate research throughput by saving both time and money. To achieve that, the collaborative effort to automate and standardize common scientific processes, and to ensure a seamless transition from paper to digital is essential – among scientists, manufacturers and software providers.
By Karin Smrekar