Connecting Scientists with Next-Generation Informatics

By October 28, 2021

As lab operations evolve in increasingly regulated environments, informatics software must develop in sync to meet the needs of scientists and lab managers. That’s why we have developed waters_connect, a groundbreaking informatics platform with the capabilities to fulfill the data management and enable the analysis needs of modern-day labs.

Read on to learn how the advanced data integrity and compliance features of waters_connect, alongside its enhanced analysis enabling, connectivity, and usability, can help you revolutionize your lab operations.

Meeting the data management and analysis needs of the modern lab

In recent years, instrumentation has become smaller and smarter, and computing less centralized and more mobile. Alongside this, devices are increasingly connected, with data frequently pulled from a cloud and held in the palm of your hand. All of this has created an opportunity to improve the way you analyze and manage the explosion of data that is generated.

For example, it is well established that contemporary biopharmaceutical labs spend a disproportionate amount of time not collecting their data, but rather processing, reviewing, managing, and communicating the data and results. With the added complexity of modern biopharmaceuticals, this dynamic is enhanced and greatly exaggerated by higher sample throughput tasks and in labs operating under compliance regulations. These challenges are not unique to biopharmaceutical labs. The informatics tools utilized to automate, streamline, and document these data workflows have become critical to the ultimate quality and efficiency of these laboratory organizations.

Waters has led the effort to provide the leading solutions for efficient and compliant analytical lab operations, from the earliest versions of Millennium and Empower CDS to the most recent platforms supporting both separations and mass spectrometry with MassLynx and UNIFI – and now, waters_connect.

What is waters_connect?

waters_connect is a groundbreaking informatics solution that draws on our strong legacy of excellence in software innovation. As well as providing compatibility with all existing UNIFI workflows, it brings a wealth of new features, quality improvements and access to new applications that can help users meet data integrity and compliance regulations while benefiting from ultimate flexibility and usability.

waters_connect is built on a platform architecture whose foundation is designed for data integrity, compliance, security, and data accessibility while enabling workflow apps to be created, updated, and deployed more easily.

In addition to providing a next-generation solution to address data integrity, security and compliance concerns, waters_connect is designed to work as part of an ecosystem to meet the needs of labs who require flexibility to meet specific analytical needs.

That’s why:

  • Our informatics platform allows you to personalize your workflows and add capabilities to a common platform.
  • The platform is designed to give you the freedom to utilize software you have already standardized to improve workflows, rather than forcing you to adopt new ones.
  • The waters_connect platform allows users to integrate with 3rd party software using an application programming interface (API).

All of this amounts to ultimate flexibility, which ensures less disruption when bringing in new software and faster deployment, as well as less staff training.

Scaling up on a common network

Expanding your lab by connecting additional instruments to the waters_connect deployment enables you to increase your productivity, as more users and instruments can work concurrently with existing methods that can be seamlessly transferred.

As the software uses a common network, training on new instruments running waters_connect can also be streamlined. In addition, the software’s user interface incorporates a single access point for the user – the waters_connect HUB, designed to provide a consistent user experience across all applications.

Reducing the training burden and enhancing scalability means that you can react quickly to new regulatory and analytical demands, rapidly expanding your lab’s service offerings in response.

By simplifying bottlenecks that can occur in multiple informatics product line models with automation, reduced workflow complexity, training and scale-up, waters_connect as a single, united engine can even help reduce the total cost of analysis.

To provide technical controls required for electronic record compliance, waters_connect network installations have all the data stored immediately on a single secure server rather than on individual standalone PCs. This enables regular routine backups to be done to preserve critical data. Network deployment also provides a single place for setting up configuration, user access, and user permissions, and a single source of time/date stamps, all of which are essential for GxP (Good x Practice) laboratories.

waters_connect in action: the BioAccord LC-MS System

waters_connect initially launched on the BioAccord LC-MS System, the first SmartMS-enabled biopharmaceutical solution. The introduction of waters_connect enables the BioAccord to be self-optimizing system with built-in health checks that ensures the system is always generating data of the required quality. Additionally, it allows workflow capabilities for oligonucleotide intact mass analysis and the introduction of the first full waters_connect workflow for peptide MAM. Workflows for biotherapeutics are in development and the waters_connect instrument compatibility has expanded to the Xevo G2-XS QTof and Vion IMS QTof systems.

The BioAccord was designed to be used across Development, Manufacturing, and Quality labs, so it also benefits from the built-in compliance features found in waters_connect. By combining the technological innovations integrated into the BioAccord System with the advanced capabilities of waters_connect, users can rest assured that data is accessible, tracible, and authentic.

Next-generation informatics for the modern lab

Today’s LC and MS systems are typically local to the lab. However, the skillset of these systems’ users is changing, and new technologies hold enormous potential to improve business results. We recognize the importance of pioneering innovations that can support this movement toward interacting remotely with systems in the lab, or even autonomous labs. These set ups would require increased flexibility to potentially enable users to control lab operations from afar.

Moving forward, we plan to leverage the waters_connect platform to iteratively build up capabilities that will allow system users, scientists and lab managers to remotely access information generated in an environment that behaves more autonomously and is less reliant on users to carry out routine tasks on-site.

Additionally, by making digital information accessible to all types of users while remotely controlling the connected systems in a scalable environment, time to outcomes in the lab can be accelerated and manual errors reduced. The end goal is to enable complete autonomous labs where processes are automated from start (with sample prep utilizing robots) to finish (end results), with labs that are optimized in real-time. This will all be achieved using the waters_connect platform that has a deep understanding of electronic review and electronic signatures to be compliant-ready, with data integrity controls for traceability and secure data management.

Embracing a new era of connectivity

Advances in software can revolutionize lab operations, and even pave the way for a future where lab processes are automated from start to finish. The waters_connect informatics platform was carefully designed with the needs of the modern lab in mind, uniting advanced data integrity and compliance features with new standards in flexibility to help you meet tomorrow’s analytical challenges.


Click here to find out more about waters_connect.




Categories: Innovation