There are a number of advantages to be gained from the digitalization of many professional processes or structures. Advantages gained from digitalization are certainly not limited to Human Biosample Management (HBSM) or any other applied aspects of the Life Sciences. Considering HBSM in particular, the advantages are numerous, but some of them are more prominent than others in the present and the immediate future. This article discusses some of the potentially most impactful advantages which may be upcoming for your organization today, if it’s considering the digitalization of its HBSM structure.
- Quicker Sample Status Tracking
Integrating your HBSM process into a digitalized, software-powered system means that you can track the status of any sample rather quickly. Anything that happened to the sample is only a few button clicks away. Is the sample being transported? Has it been scanned and verified? Has it been deployed to a project? Is it now stored in a biobank? The quickest way is usually to run the data on your sample’s digital label through your system. But even if you don’t have that data on hand, you can still track the sample down very quickly with a few clicks more. Depending on how you sort your samples, you can find out a sample’s status in narrowed lists of samples. Relevant software packages may offer you options to track down a sample by project, origin, date of collection (or use), to name just a few options. You might even be able to apply multiple filters for added convenience.
- Convenient Automated Alerts
From the perspective of time efficiency (which can lead to cost-saving) automated alerts can be useful. If you’re running low on sample testing kits, you can order more before you’re completely out. If a sample source has been verified you can make it available for research associates (RAs) to start testing right away. But automated alerts’ value goes beyond time saving. Automated alerts can prevent potential major disruptions and control the damage for present ones. Temperature alerts for sample freezers can save your human biosamples from being compromised if a freezer malfunctions. If you find out a sample was contaminated at the source, you can alert all relevant personnel within a matter of seconds before confirming they all received the alert in person.
- Easier Data Matching
It is essential to verify the information relevant to each individual human biosample involved in any type of scientific investigation. One of the practices which serve the verification process is data matching. Ensuring the data on the physical label of a sample matches the data entered into the sample’s relevant database(s). Data matching by scanning labels is much easier than running manual comparisons, and much more time saving. This gives your professionally trained team a greater bandwidth to address other tasks during their working hours.
- Timely eConsent
Whether you’re managing the biosamples of people in a clinical trial or managing the biosamples taken from people for potential and as-yet-unspecified projects, consent forms are part and parcel of the consent process in Human Biosample Management. Electronic consent (eConsent) can be very helpful in organizing and reviewing these forms quickly and efficiently. Particularly if your eConsent solution is well-integrated with the digitalization of your HBSM structure. If a legally authorized entity ever requires access to your consent forms, it becomes much easier and quicker to access these forms. This eliminates any potential time-wasting pending document review.
- Safe Data Storage
Relevant data pertaining to HBSM may require prolonged storage on your end. Physically storing data can be time consuming and unproductive. Particularly if the data in question is also being photocopied. In that scenario, it may also be more costly. While your jurisdiction may require certain types of data to also be available in physical form from the very beginning, digitalizing all or most of your data storage process provides you with additional assurances for your files against water leakages or other types of accidents. Particularly, if backups for the digital information are made in a timely manner and distributed generously.
These are some of the greatest advantages which can attend the digitalization of a HBSM system. If digitalizing an organization’s Human Biosample Management structure brings it even a good portion of the above-mentioned advantages, it may very well be a worthwhile endeavor. Of course, not all solutions bring enough of these advantages with them, which is why the selection process for the software and services involved in digitalizing an organization’s HBSM structure is of the utmost importance.