The Optimal Design for a NGS LIMS

As the cost of sequencing the human genome continues to drop, the field of Next Generation Sequencing is experiencing dramatic growth. Some estimates put the market at 2.7 billion by 2017. With the decrease in cost, the industry is seeing an increase in use by doctors and researchers. Core Informatics has created a Next-Generation Sequencing white paper, available here to help you better understand industry trends, workflow options and new innovations.

With Great Sequencing Power Comes Great Responsibility

The ability to sequence a genome quickly and cheaply means there is also an overwhelming intensification in both the workload and the information a lab needs to handle with care and efficiency. Laboratories are now faced with increased scrutiny from regulators, and scrutiny from within their own organizations, as they strive to become more efficient and profitable.

Workflows in NGS labs need to be optimized in order to keep labs on track by handling traceability, instrument integration and regulatory issues. Specialized data management systems (LIMS) are necessary to monitor all of this data. The Core LIMS‰™ from Core Informatics can handle all NGS lab data in a way that is CLIA and CAP compliant.

Configuration vs. Customization

With a configurable system, your lab will have the agility necessary to change as new technologies and assays are introduced to the marketplace. The ability for you to quickly modify your own workflows without having to go through your LIMS provider will save you time and money. You have the power to modernize lab workflows on demand and on your own timeline.

The total cost of ownership of a configured system is much less than of a customized system. The pre-configured Illumina and Ion Torrent workflows for the Core Informaticssystem can be easily incorporated into a lab. These workflows are designed to work ‰out of the box‰ but since all labs and workflows are different, they can be quickly tailored to fit your specific needs. As lab needs change, the workflows can be easily adjusted as well. The ability to tailor the system to quickly meet evolving workflow needs increases lab productivity and decreases frustrations and delays.

A customizable system is quite different, typicallyrequiring your LIMS provider to write new code every time you make a change to your workflow or upgrade to the latest version of their product. A LIMS provider for a customized system will take weeks or months to create the new workflow which will then need to be tested and revised before the lab can return to production. Just like the workers on the Golden Gate Bridge who work day-in and day-out painting the bridge withinternational orange, you are likely to get to the end of the job only to realize you need to start over again at the beginning due to the rapid advances in sequencing technology, associated workflows, or laboratory needs.

Lab Instrument Integration

As lab instruments or experiments evolve, so can the Core LIMS. Your instruments will not sit dormant for weeks as new software is developed. Integral to this platform are a Dynamic Workflow Engine (DWE) and Scientific Data Management System (SDMS) to quickly adjust workflow sequences and to streamline automated data capture and instrument integration. Core‰’s Software Development Kit (Core SDK) also allows seamless integration of lab data/results with third party applications and any ERP/financial system for customer business requirements.

Take a Closer Look

In order to meet the diversity of laboratory operations, a flexible LIMS must go the road of configuration. Configuration allows a lab to keep up to date with system releases, allows the system to be scalable, and it provides a better total cost of ownership for the lab.

To learn more about NGS workflows, take a moment to read ourNGS white paper available here.