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CONTENTS | LABORATORY INFORMATICS GUIDE 2016


WELCOME HOW TO IMPROVE DATA INTEGRITY


Peter Boogaard worries about the integrity of data in the laboratory


INFORMATICS: NO LONGER SIMPLY SAMPLE-TRACKING


10


Obscured by the hype of the cloud, laboratory informatics is changing quietly and profoundly. This review of the vendor profiles published over the course of this year highlights the drive to add value and to find new areas of application


BANKING ON INFORMATION 20


Sophia Ktori investigates how organisations can access all the data, documentation, and knowledge they are producing, while keeping commercial secrets secure


ONLY CONNECT: GETTING DATA INTO THE COMPUTER


24


Robert Roe explores some of the ways it may be possible to connect up all the instruments in a laboratory to the informatics system DATA PROTECTION: WHAT EVERY LAB


MANAGER NEEDS TO KNOW


A new European law will have far-reaching consequences for laboratory information. Erik Vollebregt and Sofie van der Meulen discuss the potential impact of the proposed General Data Protection Regulation


PRODUCT ROUND-UP


Tom Wilkie presents a selection of currently available informatics products


SUPPLIERS 36 A comprehensive listing of suppliers, consultants, and integrators 32 28 4


Over the course of 2015, Scientific Computing World has been running a series of profiles of vendors of informatics systems, so one innovation in this year’s Laboratory Informatics Guide is that we have used these profiles to analyse trends and the state of play in laboratory informatics. Although the companies being profiled were selected on the grounds that they were offering interesting products or services, rather than from some grand over-arching view of the course of development of the industry, behind the detail of each company’s offering there are lessons and trends about the state of informatics more widely. The pace of change in this sector may be slower than in some other sectors of computing – as has been remarked in previous editions of the Guide – but as the Annual Review article on page 10 reveals, it is remarkable just how much change there has been and, with the advent of the cloud, how much more change there may be yet to come in the world of laboratory informatics. While last year’s theme for the Guide was integration, the


dominant topic this time around is data. Peter Boogaard writes on page 4 on the topic of data integrity, and reports disturbing amounts of regulatory concern about poor laboratory processes, inadequate controls, and deficiencies in data integrity. It is an issue for the whole community. It might be easier if all the data in the laboratory were captured seamlessly, with no room for manual intervention and the concomitant risk of error or even deliberate fraud. But as Robert Roe writes on page 24, it is still difficult to get data into an informatics system, although as he reports there are some new and ingenious routes becoming available that might circumvent this bottleneck. On page 28, Erik Vollebregt and Sofie van der Meulen, from Axon Lawyers in Amsterdam, widen the context by reminding us that often the data in an informatics system comes from human beings and therefore is subject to strict legal controls, so lab managers and staff need to understand the potential impact for the laboratory and laboratory informatics of the proposed new European Data Protection Regulations. Sophia Ktori concludes our treatment of this data-centric theme on page 20 by looking at the next step: from data into knowledge, and how knowledge can be managed in the laboratory and enterprise.


Tom Wilkie Editor-in-chief


EDITORIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM Editor-in-chief: Tom Wilkie (editor.scw@europascience.com) Feature Writers: Robert Roe, Peter Boogaard, Sophia Ktori Circulation/readership enquiries: subs@europascience.com


ADVERTISING TEAM Advertising Sales Manager: Darren Ebbs (darren.ebbs@europascience.com) Tel: +44 (0) 1223 221039 Fax +44 (0) 1223 213385 Advertising Production: David Houghton (david.houghton@europascience.com) Tel: +44 (0) 1223 221034 Fax: +44 (0) 1223 213385


CORPORATE TEAM Publishing Director: Warren Clark Chairman and Publisher: Dr Tom Wilkie Web: www.scientific-computing.com


SUBSCRIPTIONS: The Laboratory Informatics Guide 2016 is published by Europa Science Ltd, which also publishes Scientific Computing World. Free registration is available to qualifying individuals (register online at www.scientific- computing.com). Subscriptions £100 a year for six issues to readers outside registration requirements. Single issue £20. Orders to ESL, SCW Circulation, 4 Signet Court, Cambridge CB5 8LA, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1223 211170. Fax: +44 (0)1223 213385. ©2015 Europa Science Ltd. Whilst every care has been taken in the compilation of this magazine, errors or omissions are not the responsibility of the publishers or of the editorial staff. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the publishers or editorial staff. All rights reserved. Unless specifically stated, goods or services mentioned are not formally endorsed by Europa Science Ltd, which does not guarantee or endorse or accept any liability for any goods and/or services featured in this publication.


US COPIES: Scientific Computing World (ISSN 1356-7853/USPS No 018-753) is published bi-monthly for £100 per year by Europa Science Ltd, and distributed in the USA by DSW, 75 Aberdeen Rd, Emigsville PA 17318-0437. Periodicals postage paid at Emigsville PA. Postmaster: Send address corrections to Scientific Computing World PO Box 437, Emigsville, PA 17318-0437.


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