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Introduction to Laboratory Automation Informatics Systems

Held in conjunction with European Lab Automation

29 May 2012, at 09:30 - 17:00 in Hamburg, Germany


The use of lab automation systems has moved from an option in lab management to a requirement in most organizations.  While there is an increasing abundance of informatics products, understanding their application with automation structures is in its early stages.  This course will present a perspective on:

what lab automation is, 

its importance, 

the classes of automation systems, 

the skills that are needed by both management and staff, 

the options for improving lab productivity and

the issues that should to be considered in choosing informatics products.

Course Overview

Module Description

1 Why should we be concerned with lab automation, and what exactly constitutes the field?

Lab automation provides labs with the ability to significantly improve their laboratories operations and reduce costs. This module take a look at how those improvements can be achieved and also what laboratory automation is all about. Often lab managers have a narrow view of what the field covers and may miss some key opportunities because of this. We'll take a look at the key elements of the field, the definition the ILA uses to guide its work, and the skills required by both managers and staff to effectively use the technologies available to them.

2 Options for improving productivity in the lab - Improving productivity has always been offered as one of the benefits for lab automation, this section will look at the options available to you and how they can be used either separately or together to realize that possibility.

3 Selecting Products for Lab Informatics – An easily overlooked factor in choosing laboratory informatics products is the need for them to interact and communicate with other laboratory systems.  This puts a number of demands on defining the requirements specifications.  This module will concentrate on the criteria that need to be taken into consideration when selecting new informatics products in order to meet user and business requirements.

4 Managements role in lab automation planning - As in anything else effective planning is essential to being successful in the use of laboratory technologies. With laboratory automation the need for planning is accentuated not only by the requirements of the technology but by the teamwork necessary to define and implement successful programs. This section will look at the planning and has to be done, what the elements are, and what we can do to prepare for the work that's needed. The work is covered here will give you a basis for additional courses that address this issue in much more depth.

5 Issues in Lab Automation

This final module will wrap up the introduction to laboratory automation course by covering the considerations that need to be taken into account when planning systems requirements:

the desire for integration, 

paperless labs, 

the status of standards development for laboratory programs, and 

the work that has to be done to advance the practice, and state-of-the-art, of laboratory automation.

Joe Liscouski

Joe Liscouski, Executive Director, Institute for Laboratory Automation Inc

John Trigg

John Trigg, Director, PhaseFour Informatics