Many laboratories have samples collected from remote locations. Often various details have to be recorded about the samples and as well as the location details this often includes onsite tests. Rather than relying upon paper records, CSols Remote Sampler software runs on a ruggedized hand held computer and allows all data entry to be captured electronically at point of sampling making life easier for the sampler. All data captured can then be electronically transferred without further user interaction to LIMS hence reducing administration and errors in transcription in the laboratory. Remote Sampler includes optional Satellite Navigation software for guidance to sampling locations and GPS tracking to provide proof that samples were collected in the correct locations.
Generating a Collection Run on the Hub
The CSols Hub PC(s) is at the heart of the Remote Sampler system and is used by the Sampling Manager to manage collection runs and the transfer of sampling data to LIMS. Information from the handheld devices is sent either remotely via ftp / wireless broadband or via an asynchronous link when the PDA is ‘back at base’. Remote Sampler software has been designed to be easy to use for a Sampler. It can operate in either or both of the following ways: 1) Where LIMS is generating the Collection Runs in advance and 2) Where the Sampler logs the samples into LIMS directly from the PDA as data is collected on site (i.e. these Samples had not already been logged on LIMS). Remote Sampler is highly secure and all actions (including configuration changes) are audit trailed. Site sampling point photographs can also be incorporated with the data.
There are many different scenarios for collecting remote samples. This example is for a Water Utility which is sending samplers out on predetermined Collection Runs to collect many bottles at each location. The locations could include random sampling at domestic addresses or other sites such as reservoirs, treatment works and boreholes. First a Collection Run is generated for the Sampler. Runs are created using the Remote Sampler Hub software which is located at the Sampler’s base. Runs can be created manually or directly from LIMS. If the Sampler’s PDA is networked to the Hub, the Collection Run is transferred to the Device. If not, it is transferred automatically as soon as it is connected. Once the Collection Run is on the PDA, the Sampler can select a Sample and request that the GPS guide him/her to the location. Route navigation is fully integrated into Remote Sampler using the powerful professional Sygic Drive satellite navigation engine.
Integrated route navigation
Once at the location, the Sampler can step through the actions that are necessary to confirm the location, collect the sample bottles and perform the onsite tests requested by LIMS.
Entering onsite data into Remote Sampler
The user interface can be set in either Spreadsheet Mode (where the expectation is that input is primarily via virtual keyboard and stylus) or in Single Finger Mode where the user is taken through all the actions at each location, step by step, with large buttons and keys. Remote Sampler features a Wizard style interface with large, readable text and a user friendly layout.
When collecting samples, the user is given details of the bottles required and any pretreatment of the sample that is necessary. Preprinted, barcoded labels attached to the bottles are scanned into the Collection Run and the GPS position, date, time and sampler are recorded, thereby ensuring that the samples were taken in the correct location. In this example, the PDA has a phone based internet connection. This is used to transfer details back about each sample as it is collected. This gives the receiving laboratory some advance warning of what is coming in later. This can be important in some situations where speed is important e.g. Microbiology. Note also that if the LIMS supports the function, Ad Hoc samples can be taken and remotely logged to LIMS.
Specific Sampling Requirements
If you have a sampling application that you think will have requirements that are unlikely to be handled by Remote Sampler then please contact us directly. We could provide a custom solution but if your requirements are of more general interest then we would be willing to consider incorporating the new functionality configurably in our standard
Remote Sampler software.
If you are interested in purchasing Remote Sampler, discussing your requirements further or arranging a product demonstration, please contact CSols at the address below or email us at: remotesampler@
CSols Ltd, The Heath, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 4QX, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1928 513535 Fax +44 (0)7006 061106
Web: www.csols.com CSols Ltd is registered in England and Wales.
Company Registration Number 3918227. VAT Number 539 6933 95.
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CSols is a laboratory informatics company, formed in 1990, whose dedicated passion is to maximize your return on investment by improving the effectiveness, productivity and quality of laboratories of all types. In order to deliver those goals we’ve distilled our knowledge and expertise into a range of software products and solutions that go ‘Beyond the Technology’ that is commonly used in today’s sophisticated laboratories to help you. Our products help form a seamless link between sophisticated instruments or laboratory information systems (LIMS) and the laboratory scientist, analyst or technician. CSols solutions help remove the tedium and error rates associated with manual transcription and so maximize the investment in the instrument itself, the reagents used as well as all the laboratory personnel.