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Unlocking the Lab of the Future

Universal data platforms empower laboratory operations and bring the lab of the future into focus

by Elemental Machines
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Laboratory organizations that prioritize data reap short-term benefits and set the foundation for future success. The laboratory environment contains a potential wealth of data—including a variety of environmental parameters, as well as instrument and equipment metrics. While the evolution of the internet of things (IoT) has made it easier to collect this data, it must be transformed into actionable insights to benefit laboratory operations. The Elemental Machines ecosystem collects environmental, instrument, and equipment data, transform sit into usable data, and makes it accessible to laboratory managers. This powerful platform can improve productivity and reproducibility, optimize laboratory operations, and support the process of data sophistication—bringing the laboratory of the future into focus.


Each laboratory organization consists of a variety of different roles, and individuals in every role face a unique set of challenges. The laboratory manager often has a diverse range of responsibilities and must balance planning, budgeting, problem-solving, and quality control, among a myriad of other tasks. Often, laboratory managers act as firefighters—springing into action to address problems as they arise. This is an inefficient approach to laboratory operations.

A robust platform can transform a wealth of data into actionable insights, making it easier to shape strategy, reduce operational efficiencies, and maximize ROI. Solutions designed specifically to support laboratory mangers combine alerting and monitoring with asset management, asset utilization, and quality assurance/quality control functions to improve laboratory operations. 

Asset management functionality supports the entire team by maximizing uptime, and decreasing costly delays and lost productivity. Real-time monitoring and alert functions improve visibility and provide invaluable peace of mind. Further, from a quality assurance/quality control perspective, deploying and monitoring autonomous quality checkpoints at consequential steps in manufacturing or research processes reduces waste and regulatory burden. 

Joanna Schmidt, Lab Manager at Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares how the Elemental Machines platform benefitted her laboratory. Using the monitoring functionality to continuously monitor the temperature of her laboratory’s ULT freezers, she was able to identify a problem and intervene before valuable samples were lost. “Without the long-term data, we would not have noticed the freezer’s bottom freeze point had shifted by almost 10°C over several months”, she explains. With the platform’s asset utilization functionality, she was also able to identify overutilized assets, and is “in the process of moving users to underutilized freezers to help increase the lifespan of the units.”


By taking immediate action to break free of old infrastructure, longstanding practices that may no longer be effective, and addressing concerns from staff, laboratories will be better positioned to achieve data maturity. Working toward achieving the transformational stage of data maturity—as a new start up or established organization—will help to ensure a successful laboratory into the future. Discovery thrives in the transformational stage. At this point, data and artificial intelligence are central to new discoveries, many of which are fully automated. Robotics are used to automate manual tasks, and artificial intelligence is used to evaluate protocols and results automatically. It is also in this stage that utilization data can be used to inform better purchasing decisions. However, for artificial intelligence to enable these outcomes, it requires input from mass quantities of data pertaining to every asset, metric, and environmental parameter. IoT technology is essential for this purpose.


The Elemental Machines platform drives laboratory operations and supports data maturity by capturing large quantities of data and making it usable and accessible to the right personnel. The platform combines a variety of sensors, powerful software, a cloud-connected dashboard, and reliable support. All data is consolidated into a single dashboard that provides monitoring, alerting, and asset utilization insights. It also facilitates asset management, data management, calibration and maintenance management, quality assurance, and quality control.

A variety of turnkey IoT sensors and cloud solutions can be combined to create a complete monitoring solution for the laboratory. Temperature sensors enable monitoring inside ovens, incubators, freezers, liquid nitrogen tanks; ambient sensors can be deployed to monitor humidity, air pressure, and light in the laboratory or micro-environments like vivariums; and equipment sensors are available for nearly every asset and metric, from blood gas analyzers, to mass spectrometers and everything in between. All sensors are easily implemented without hardwiring or cables, connect nearly every asset regardless of manufacturer or era, and integrate with existing third-party electronic laboratory notebooks(ELNs), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and laboratory information management systems (LIMS).

The IoT is changing the laboratory environment, and requires a powerful platform to transform large amounts of data into valuable insights. Not only can the right platform yield immediate benefits for laboratory operations, it can also support the ever-expanding data pipeline to ensure long-term success. 

The Elemental Machines ecosystem is designed to monitor the moment and inform the future.