Continuing the Discussion: Q&A on Building a "Lab of The Future" with Riffyn VP of Scientific Solutions Dr. Loren Perelman
How can we use scientific blueprints to build the lab of the future? If you caught Astrix Technology Group’s February 18 webcast on “The Digital Laboratory: What the Future Holds” with VP of Riffyn’s Scientific Solutions Dr. Loren Perelman, you may already know the answer — and that Riffyn Nexus™ can help you make your own digital transformation.
After his presentation, Dr. Perelman took some time to answer live questions from the audience. Due to time constraints, he couldn’t address every question that came in. So, we decided to sit down with Dr. Perelman to hear his answers — and we present them to you in this blog post.
The burning questions
Question: How does Riffyn co-exist with existing ELN in my lab? Does it replace it? Does it plug into ELN data?
Answer: Riffyn Nexus is designed to be hyperflexible; it’s intended to fit comfortably as part of a more modular ecosystem. So, the answer to your question is yes, it could do both of those things. It could potentially replace your ELN, and it really depends on what sorts of ELN functionality and to what depth of maturity you’re looking for that functionality to determine if we can replace it entirely.
We certainly can co-exist with an ELN. We have a full RESTful API that provides programmatic access, which means that you can integrate any externally-presenting ELN (e.g., with SQL or API interfaces) directly with Riffyn Nexus. Your ELN could act as a system of engagement for a part or all of your process. It really just depends on your specific needs, and that’s one of those questions that we would deep dive on initially with a new customer to understand the architectural design of your overall digital systems and develop the best solution that suits you.
Note: If you are interested in having a deep dive to see how Riffyn Nexus may work with your ELN and processes, you can request a demo here.
Question: How do you envision integration with reporting sources that hold analysis and conclusions, often in Word documents?
Answer: I actually think this is one of the more clever features of Riffyn Nexus. You can attach any file type to an experiment in Riffyn Nexus, which means that you’re able to have a process definition, the raw data, the analysis, and the report all containerized in a single unit of activity (an experiment). What that means is that anyone you’ve shared that experimental process with can log in at any time and evaluate results from any number of experiments and understand not only the conclusions you drew, but how you drew them. And, they can reevaluate the raw data if they want.
Question: At what level do you see instrument integration? Are you working with Allotrope?
Answer: Riffyn Nexus provides multiple levels of integration capability. At the most basic level, you can export flat files from your instrumentation in the form of CSV or Excel, and that information can be manually uploaded to experiments in Riffyn Nexus. You can also automate the upload of files through the API and you can integrate instruments directly through our API as well. That can be done through in-house IT programming or through third-party integration vendors, such as TetraScience and BioBright.
We do have a relationship with Allotrope and we have in the past evaluated mechanisms for capturing their model. That’s something we’re certainly happy to discuss if it’s of interest to you.
Question: How do you see integration with and providing context to large image files — linking the images to lab data?
Answer: Riffyn Nexus does not provide inline image support, so you wouldn’t place your images directly into Riffyn Nexus experiments. However, we do have a number of solutions for tackling this. The most popular one is to provide hyperlinks to an external shared drive or a SharePoint site for users … and capture the qualitative and quantitative image analysis information in the experiment adjacent to the process and metadata that were used to generate those images.
Check out these case studies Dr. Perelman mentioned in his talk and see how R&D leaders from different industries get their product developments to market 2X faster by connecting their data and scaling analytics. Also check out our Gallery of Analytics to see more ways we’ve helped our customers make the most of their data.
To schedule a call with our Scientific Solutions team to see how Riffy Nexus can help connect and scale your data, request a demo today.
If you want to be notified about future events Riffyn is participating in, subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter. We invite you to keep the conversation going on social media using the hashtag #RiffynEvents.
Embriette is an academic-turned science writer with a passion for spreading responsible science. She holds a PhD in microbiome research from Baylor College of Medicine. After a 4-year post-doc, during which she managed the world's largest citizen science research project (the American Gut Project), Embriette became a full-time science writer and research consultant. You can find her work at riffyn.com, synbiobeta.com, and her personal webpage: drhydenotjekyll.com