December 20, 2023
1 min

Breaking the Silence: ASCENSCIA in Liberating Labs from Pen & Paper

Isn’t it interesting, the era we live in now? From the disruptive GenAI models to the rise of quantum computing and somersaulting robots. Technology is booming exponentially in every direction, touching every aspect of our lives. Catching up with it is almost becoming a full-time job!

Amidst the endless surge of technology, there are some industries that are still lagging. While the popular image of scientific labs might resemble scenes from a futuristic Hollywood blockbuster, the reality is different. Of course, there are many advanced technologies in labs that enable us to detect the finest changes on cellular or molecular levels. But when it comes to how scientific labs document and manage their data, we are stuck in the antiquated era of "pen & paper".

In labs buzzing with brilliant minds, scientists are conducting experiments that could change the world. One thing is holding them back: mountains of paperwork and manual documentation. If you're a scientist, you know the story—endless notes, intricate protocols, and the never-ending compilations of data entry. Luckily, ASCENSCIA is here to end the era of “pen & paper”.

You probably heard about voice assistants before, but mostly in a different context than the one we are discussing here. Alexa, for example, has become a common part of our day-to-day lives. We ask it about time or give it a command to play our favorite song. Imagine if Alexa studied hard enough to obtain a PhD, what would you use it for?

Well, science seems like the most logical answer. A science-oriented voice assistant already exists, and it’s called ASCENSCIA. The birth of ASCENSCIA came as an unconventional solution for the daily unspoken issues that lab scientists might not know they suffer from.

In this blog post, we are introducing the story of ASCENSCIA in solving the hidden issues of managing and documenting scientific research data, and how laboratory voice assistants can enhance the adoption of digital solutions like Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELNs) to accelerate the process of lab digitization.

Challenges of Lab Documentation

Three years ago, we were able to discover the underlying barriers of ELN adoption in scientific labs based on our interactions with more than 250 experts from academia and industry. Obviously, ELNs offer the benefit of storing scientific data in digital formats so that they are easy to search, structure, and share. However, when it comes to the practical usage of ELNs by scientists, they face issues with accessibility and data documentation at the bench, forcing them to rely on paper in the lab in addition to ELNs.

Running multiple experiments at once and multitasking between different tasks is a classic everyday story for scientists in the lab. On top of that, scientists need to stay sharp and capture every single detail of their workflow and that’s almost impossible!

Remember those moments in the midst of your experiments, when you start incubating your samples, only to realize 5 minutes later that you forgot to set a timer? You tell yourself: “I will note it later in my ELN when I get out of the lab”, which mostly doesn’t happen.

How about the moment when drastic changes occur during your experiment, demanding urgent documentation before the details slip away like fleeting memories. If luck is on your side and a computer graces your lab space, you find yourself engaged in a chaotic dance – back and forth, noting changes, each step a distraction from your carefully crafted workflow. If you are one of the unluckier scientists working in cell culture labs, then you are forced to return to your good old friend “pen and paper”. The gloves come off, notes are hastily scribbled on a paper, or the fume hood glass, or even your own gloves that end up mistakenly tossed into the bin later. And best of luck saving the rest of your experiment! This is the cruel reality of note-taking in science labs. It is not just stressful and distracting; it is also a series of tragic moments of errors, causing the loss of vital experimental data.

Let’s not forget about the glorious days of updating your ELN! The moment when you start digging into a pile of papers and note scribbles from weeks or months ago, attempting to remember what you did exactly, or deciphering your own handwriting. You end up spending full days on manually recollecting the fragmented pieces of your experimental puzzle into your ELN.

Time-consuming manual documentation, data loss, and overwhelming workload are the hidden challenges that ELNs are not solving. Let us not forget, scientific research entails more than just conducting experiments in the lab; scientists must keep up with writing papers, reading literature, meeting deadlines, preparing for weekly meetings, and attending events. As scientists, we love to do science but not administration work. Yet, administrative tasks have a significant impact on the quality of our scientific research. This is the moment we grasp the reality – ELNs, alone, fall short in handling the full spectrum of lab digitization challenges.

Transforming Scientific Data Capture

That is why we are here! We strive to empower scientists to create a healthier world. Lab voice assistants can be powerful tools in eliminating tragic moments of data loss, and fostering scientific research efficiency and data accuracy.

Laboratory voice assistants can provide a seamless hands-free interface to bridge the gap between ELNs and scientists at the bench, allowing scientists to record observations instantly, set timers, and navigate through their digital experiments effortlessly. These tools bring a new dimension to laboratory work, addressing practical needs with more intuitive and interactive experiences, ultimately enhancing productivity, and transforming the way researchers interact with their ELNs.

ASCENSCIA is your personal lab voice assistant, built with highly specialized AI models that understand complex scientific terminology with 97% accuracy. The seamless integration of ASCENSCIA (as a phone application) with your ELN account enhances your accessibility at every moment. You can simply ask ASCENSCIA to take care of side tasks like taking notes, setting timers, performing calculations, or locating samples, while you are fully focused on your workflows without interruptions. Working closely with scientists around the globe enabled us to identify and quantify specific metrics. ASCENSCIA saved up to 30% of time spent on manual documentation, increased 20% in scientists’ productivity, and reduced errors by 35%.

We know your concerns very well, and you might be asking already, what about my data?! Well, we got your back on that one. As an add-on tool we don’t store any of your data, we are just a middle tool that facilitates the interactions between scientists and ELNs. And guess what? If you want even more security, ASCENSCIA is also available on-premise ;).

Say goodbye to your stressful lab moments of multitasking and oblivious note-scribbles scattered all over the place. No more days spent on tedious manual documentation trying to recall your old experiments in despair. All of this can be solved with one simple voice command.

The Lab of the Future Is Now

We know that labs are complex and diverse and “one size doesn’t fit all” in the lab world. We have built a strong ecosystem of service providers that will suit your needs. Whether you want to move from paper to ELN, or you are already using an ELN and ready to advance your game in lab digitization, we are happy to support you through your journey.

It is time to let scientific labs catch up with the 21st century. The lab of the future has a voice, and it is called ASCENSCIA. This is not an easy journey, and we are calling for all the science advocates to support us in our journey.

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