Questions of scaling become increasingly important

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, questions of scaling have become increasingly important to bolstering the arsenal against coronavirus. Scaling allows for massive multiplication of lab results but is heavily dependent upon its formative factors, notably integration with other laboratories. Naturally, local lab inefficiencies and cooperative obstacles are further expounded by scaling efforts and must be addressed at the foundational level before large-scale integration is feasible. As such, it should be a primary focus in preparing labs for scaling into a unified system for a results-focused effort addressing coronavirus.

Scaling allows for massive multiplication of lab results but is heavily dependent upon its formative factors, notably integration with other laboratories.

Removing traditional barriers

So what is the purpose of scaling in the first place? When labs are given the opportunity to cooperate with traditional barriers removed, results that might have taken months to procure can be achieved in weeks. Effectively, the resources of multiple lab sites can be consolidated into a single working “unit” that may then utilize all available resources to pursue desired results. As aforementioned, in such systems, both efficiencies and inefficiencies are multiplied, and so measures against inefficiency are of utmost importance in the scaling process. The synergistic benefits are indisputable, and naturally, as collective research capabilities improve, so too does the potential of integration.

Effectively, the resources of multiple lab sites can be consolidated into a single working “unit” that may then utilize all available resources to pursue desired results.

Assessing current lab procedures

As for steps to the successful implementation of scaling measures, the most important will be an accurate assessment of current lab procedures and practicalities. Fundamentally, scaled lab infrastructure is only as strong as its “weakest link.” Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of current lab practices is key when considering how best to integrate into a scaled system. Additionally, the identification of resources for allocation will be an important step in providing maximal input to an integrated system. Sometimes the best party for determining these factors is an external one, of which there are many able to provide small and specialized teams for determining key areas for improvement.

Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of current lab practices is key when considering how best to integrate into a scaled system.

Providing rapid results

While the traditional decentralized model of research is sufficient for the undirected progress of human innovation, time-sensitive challenges such as the current COVID-19 pandemic demand a coherent and unified research response. As such, while these modalities may not entirely replace traditional modes of data generation, they are an important tool in providing rapid results when necessary. In this case, perhaps the only means available to see viable coronavirus solutions by the end of 2020. Academics have been rightfully concerned regarding the attribution of materials to relevant parties, but it is imperative that research communities are able to overcome these hurdles to provide critical data for epidemiological mitigation.

COVID-19 may be the first truly global pandemic, but it will not be the last, nor will it be the final call for global cooperation against a common threat.

Global challenges demand unified response

Scaling of lab infrastructure is not a solution to all problems. In fact, it is likely limited to those that are simply insurmountable with the limitations of traditional lab facilities. Most topics of research will likely continue to be pursued in the established fashion for years to come until dependable cloud resources are readily available. However, in the case of global challenges that demand a unified response, systems for the rapid scaling of lab resources will be crucial in the provision of timely resources for unique dilemmas. COVID-19 may be the first truly global pandemic, but it will not be the last, nor will it be the final call for global cooperation against a common threat. Innovative, efficient, and integrated global solutions will inevitably be crucial in solving the problems of the 21st century and beyond.