Laboratories are under increasing pressure to be more productive, reduce operating costs, and improve ROI. Every lab has unique challenges, processes and equipment, but it is essential for all to maintain accurate data on equipment, assets and irreplaceable specimens. Pharma and Biotech companies are racing to jumpstart asset management programs for their R&D Labs. IoT Solutions can simplify the complexity of data collection and provide enterprise-wide views of inventory.

Visi-Trac, our lab asset management platform, has been shown to reduce occurrences of mishandled or lost specimens and reduce time to validate shipment, receipt and accessioning of specimens. In addition, our analytics enable you to monitor volumes, exceptions, timeframes and performance/utilization levels in order to gain insights into trends and operational efficiencies.

While various IoT technologies can be used in lab asset tracking solutions, RFID technology is an attractive option given its proven capabilities and various hardware alternatives.  Maybe most importantly, given the volume of specimens that can be tracked, RFID offers tags at very attractive price points. Since we support customers who track extremely high volumes of specimens measured in millions, the cost of tags is an important consideration.

Here are several reasons labs are turning to RFID technologies for better lab asset management:

Inventory Management

In many labs, there is a lack of visibility to in-use equipment, as well as surplus and unused assets, causing superfluous spending. Organizations are also looking to improve facility management to enhance capital efficiency to optimize their spending. RFID technology has been successfully implemented to provide automated tracking of assets, ranging from lab specimens to test and IT equipment.

Implementing an asset management project allows for:

  • Tracking the movement of specimens during transportation and testing processes
  • Counting the total number of an asset type or category within a lab
  • Providing visibility to the location of a critical piece of equipment or specimen
  • Monitoring hazardous chemicals and reagents
  • Searching for misplaced items

This allows the lab to gain detailed utilization insights, redeploy underused assets, identify high service assets, and calculate ROI on lab investments.

Specimen Tracking

Medical labs have an incredibly complex logistical system regarding the movement of specimens from collection sites to testing facilities. RFID technology is used to identify and track specimens en route through the transportation and receiving processes to ensure that irreplaceable specimens are not misplaced, sent to the wrong destination or lost. RFID labels are affixed externally to cartons and bags containing specimens within containers filled with liquids and biological substances. Tags are scanned upon arrival at a test facility and again in accessioning.

An increasing number of DNA samples are being collected as evidence and sent to central laboratories for processing. A national laboratory that serves the greater forensic community compares individual DNA samples against profiles registered in the national DNA Index System. RFID Global implemented Visi-Trac to track millions of DNA samples and related lab equipment to ensure unique and correct identification of each sample. RFID-tagged samples and containers, robotic systems and software analysis tools permit automated processing and review of DNA data sets with reduced levels of human intervention. Visi-Trac provides for quick search and inventory, and spots exceptions such as wrong and missing samples, helping to ensure the integrity of data in the DNA database.

RFID Global can share best practices for end-to-end asset management while introducing integrated facility management to enhance capital equipment utilization and lab space management. Let us help you identify where to start.