Data Loggers are electronic devices used to measure and record specific variables in the lab. Some common examples include temperature, relative humidity, and gas levels like CO, CO2, NO, or O2.
Typically, Data Loggers are standalone devices, meaning they measure and record the data on one small unit. Although, some models use a separate device for data storage that connects to a sensor for the specific measurement. Data from these devices can be downloaded manually, or with higher end units the data can be remotely transmitted.
Data loggers sound like a huge help in modernizing laboratories, right?
Well…they used to be.
Why Data Loggers Need to Go
So, what’s the issue?
The issue is that Data Loggers are a temporary solution for a more serious problem. A problem emerging in biotechnology, life sciences, healthcare, and the like. Our information technologies have exploded in capacity and capability, but somehow our lab processes have remained mostly manual. Especially, when it comes to the information and data processed in the lab.
As mentioned earlier, Data Loggers come in all shapes, sizes, and formats. Despite their variation, they all suffer from the same drawbacks. They require consistent manual effort, their information is siloed to one device’s measurement, and none of this data can be intelligently acted upon or automated.
Introducing Data Gateways
Data Gateways offer a better solution to not only gather lab data, but to centralize it. A Data Gateway is a network based solution that combines hardware and software. The main Gateway is able to wirelessly collect data transmitted by various peripherals throughout the lab. Then it can record this information in a centralized LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System)
The ability to have a continuous stream of quality data into a single source is a huge advantage by itself. This frees up a tremendous amount of manual work required from lab professionals every day. It also simplifies how individuals can observe, process, and share their lab’s data. However, the centralization of a lab’s information is just the start of a Data Gateway’s true power.
Why Data Gateways are Different
Data Gateways allow labs to not just consolidate their data, but to then let their lab intelligently act on this data. In other words, Data Gateways don’t just take information in, they can send information back out.
The ability to communicate with all devices in a lab at once, allows teams to create automations and alerts that make their lives much easier. One of the most crucial implementations of this is failure alerts. Where clunky old Data Loggers may have had an LED-screen to display alerts, Date Gateways can immediately send a text, email, or computer notification to the right person to save the day. This feature alone could help save thousands of dollars in spoiled samples or products.
The intelligent Data Gateways can give teams proactive warnings and reminders when their equipment needs maintenance, better calibration, or is likely to fail. They also allow remote access to real-time data and device input. This allows users to open and close doors or turn on and off power to devices as needed. This list goes on…
A Bridge to the Future of Lab Spaces
The gap between our information technologies and our lab’s capacities continues to grow. Data Gateways offer a bridge to a more connected, more intelligent lab. They allow labs to utilize their existing equipment to act and understand their data better. Since Gateways centralize data, they also enable teams to leverage their information in new ways.
Despite the overwhelming benefits of Data Gateways over Data Loggers, Gateways are actually more economical. They offer a single-sourced solution at a fair price. While Data Loggers require teams to piece together cumbersome solutions to accomplish the same goal. The overall result is a coherent and cost-effective solution. Data Gateways open more possibilities for a lab’s future then just Data Loggers ever could
The Good News and Bad News
How about the bad news first?
The bad news is virtually no one is creating Data Gateways, especially
focused on laboratories’ needs. Which is incredibly disappointing given all the benefits listed above.
So what’s the good news?
The good news is there is one team working on just this. Hardin Scientific. Our Hardin Scientific Data Gateway is the only complete solution for laboratory information. Paired with our powerfully built LIMS software, our Data Gateway offers a centralized source to record, analyze, and automate your lab.
For labs who have not adopted an LIMS yet, our complete software can be your standalone solution. However, our software also enables APIs into any existing LIMS programs on the market. So either way, you're covered!
At Hardin Scientific our motto is Your Lab, Smarter. We are passionately driven to help labs all over the globe work smarter. That’s why we build all our software and hardware to not only work great now, but to prepare labs for the future of science.
As a sign of our genuine commitment to helping make labs smarter, we are offering Free Data Gateways. If you sign up to use Hardin Scientific’s lab software the hardware is on us! Please join our mission and learn more at https://www.hardinscientific.com/pages/gateway