Laboratory Trends: Industrialization of the Bio-Pharmacy World
The advancing field of robots has revolutionized the concept of clinical laboratory and R&D work, with some lab spaces enlisting the services of machines to perform time-consuming, repetitive and complex tasks with faster turnaround times and reduced human errors.
Is this the lab of our future?
Something that could take humans months to master, can be learned in seconds and performed 24/7, 365 days of the year. This trend towards using automation has dramatically increased throughput speeds at significantly lower costs than those labs working only with manual workers.
Across the bio-pharmaceutical industry, lab automation has become an essential component to every day assembly-line operations, the usage of automated lab instruments, devices and software algorithms is less science-fiction and more a certain and growing reality.
So the future is looking bright for robots?
Bio-pharmacy since the outset has been dependent on a highly skilled workforce to receive and interpret. As the need for faster results increases, automated labs are now a necessity because they can:
- Handle a higher volume of work
- Process data and samples at a much quicker rate with no further need to expand the workforce
- Scale down operational costs
- Undertake precise and complex procedures in less time
- Deliver more consistency and less errors
- Decrease risk of human contamination and exposure to hazardous materials
Will scientists therefore be universally hanging up their lab coats?
Well no, not exactly. By delegating these more “menial tasks” to robots, researchers and laboratory professionals have more time to focus on high-level analysis.
Human proficiency and sight are extremely sophisticated so it is not so much a question of robots replacing human scientists, but rather looking at how scientists design their lab space in order to manage and work alongside robots. Not every lab needs a fully-automated system, but most will benefit from automation on some level.