As research advances, resources need to keep up. In a recent webinar hosted by TruLab, panelists discussed challenges they’ve experienced while highlighting the growth of the problem over the recent years.  Dr. Keith Siegal, Principal Investigator for Mount Sanai at Icahn School of Medicine (?), witnessed the challenge of specimen processing logistics in the biorepository stage of his studies. “Many times we know the destination for everything, but many issues occur with the processing that happens in the middle,” said Dr. Siegal, who argues there has been an explosion in the number of biomarkers being used to assess a disease with the advancement of research in recent years. While this is good news, the countless specimens being processed in different locations means real-time sample tracking is more important now than ever. 

“Many times we know the destination for everything, but many issues occur with the processing that happens in the middle,” -Dr. Siegal

Similarly, Ray Reilly, VP of Clinical Operations at Aceragen, reflected on a past rare disease study where samples needed to be processed quickly and on time. Rather than being shipped immediately as expected, they were left on a loading dock over the weekend. After three days of not knowing what happened to these samples, Ray argues that with a better way to track the samples, such as through TruLab, the problem would have been caught in real time and these samples would have been processed appropriately. This highlights how errors are almost inevitable when managing countless samples going to different places. More importantly, these errors aren’t recognized until it’s too late. Rather than noticing a problem days, weeks, or months later, they should be fixed in real time when it matters most. Understanding this explosion in research in recent years is also crucial when considering the future impact.

Dr. Kelly Padilla, Senior Clinical Research Scientist at AstraZeneca, referenced the challenge of Covid-19 related studies where everything was done as quickly as possible. When asked about the idea of collecting for the future, Dr. Padilla explained how the added pressure from Covid-19 meant studies were not only testing for the safety and efficacy of a drug but also for understanding the disease itself. This is especially important when considering how suddenly the world can go into crisis-mode. “What are you going to do if there’s a major hurricane or a Russian-Ukraine type crisis?” said Dr. Padilla. “We’re really using this as a learning opportunity and how we can change the way of doing things to be more efficient and work smarter, so that we’re not being bogged down with the next big crisis”. This is yet another example highlighting how supporting resources must keep up with the changing times. As research continues to develop, so does the complexity of studies. Knowing this allows room for the implementation of better methods to ensure these studies are equipped to be successful.