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December 2, 2019

Our industry is pursuing disruptive technical solutions to transform the way laboratory data is captured, stored and used to advance medicines.  We envision a new and open capture platform that would interface with various modules depending on the type and phase of work being performed.  This RFI, however, is limited to a module that would enable a platform to interface with wearable devices that could be worn by scientists inside laboratories to enhance and complement our ability to capture information from experiments.  A solution in this space would fill a significant unmet need within our industry to improve the efficiency and depth of the data captured from experiments.  A technology leap in this space will speed medicines to market and positively impact human health and quality of life.


Data/information is generated by an array of scientists (chemists, engineers, biologists, etc.) in the laboratory through experiments on varying scales (µg - kg) working with chemicals, cells, and equipment with various readouts (digital / interfaced or gauges) through multiple handling and manipulation steps.  The current methods to collect information are predominantly manual (written notebook or electronic notebook).  The disadvantages with this are loss of detail, documenting after the fact, and transcribing information (not necessarily raw data).  In addition, these methods lend  a perspective on experiments based on our flawed observation and translation as opposed to a near-real-time feed of reviewable information.


Scientists desire ease and convenience in capturing robust experimental results.  These results could be recorded in a number of ways (i.e. unstructured, text, voice, image, etc.).  The device the WG envisions would support all of the most common and efficient ways to capture these results.  The WG imagines a device that could be worn on the head or chest.  If worn on the head, the device should not obscure the scientists’ vision and must be inclusive of, or integrated with, laboratory safety equipment.  The WG envisions a device that allows “no touch” capture of information.  “No touch” capture could be achieved through voice commands or an augmented reality UI (user interface).  The device should allow scientists to dictate observations while receiving feedback on the accuracy of the electronic translation.  The device must also assist the wearer in aiming the camera to achieve an optimized image and video capture experience.  The device should have the ability to interface with ‘apps’ to enable flexibility in collating and summarizing information.  Finally, the device should have the ability to evolve and change and must strike a balance with users between functionality and an intuitive user interface.

Download the Request for Information and submit your response.





The RFI refers to the system allowing "users to capture images and videos through alternate reality-enabled user interfaces". Can the working group provide an example of such an interface?  Would the interface have an application programming interface (API) that we could write software code to connect?  If so, is this expected to be a structured or unstructured interface?

“AR-light” interfaces are available through wearable device vendors.  However, they may not be tailored to our industry.   The solution must include an API (or equivalent) in order to connect to related laboratory informatics solutions, devices or data stores.


Clearly, there is an interest on the part of the working group for "alternative reality/virtual reality" capabilities.  Is it expected that the virtual reality capabilities already exist within the system or that they will be developed in concert with the working group?

The working group anticipates that some capabilities would need to be developed in order to be appropriate for regulated industry use.


Is there specific information that the working group would like to gather through telepresence, or is this requirement more of a general feature that the system will need to offer, when and if required?

The two use cases for telepresence already discussed by the working group include: 

a) The remote sharing of laboratory images and video with third party collaborators globally.

b) Allowing scientists to multi-task meetings, training, or research while also overseeing laboratory activities.


Is the Enabling Technologies Consortium open to accepting a phased approach with predefined deliverables and financial disbursements? 

Yes, the Enabling Technologies Consortium is open to a phased project approach.

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