- Health & Science
Living an ‘Optics Nightmare’ in Life Sciences? Identify the obstacles to find a better way forward.
Aspects of navigating inter-disciplinary product development. The development of a digital imaging device is a complex process. It requires interdisciplinary collaboration and a joint effort between departments and external partners. The mapping of design requirements and specifications requires a high level of expertise. For life science companies venturing into the world of optics, building a digital imaging device can turn into an optics nightmare., Marlen Stockmann
The development of a digital imaging device is a complex process. It requires interdisciplinary collaboration and a joint effort between departments and external partners. The mapping of design requirements and specifications requires a high level of expertise. For life science companies venturing into the world of optics, building a digital imaging device can turn into an optics nightmare.
When you are faced with the high level of complexity combined with the broad array of expertise required to develop a top-of-the line digital imaging device, getting everyone in your company on the same page can be both challenging and tedious. Any imaging application calls for an optical system matched perfectly to your requirements. When designing a biomedical or bio-photonic imaging application, parameters such as exposure time, resolution, scan rate, and sensitivity are of utmost importance to accomplish your goal. What is more, the single components that you select individually need to act in unison, combined into smoothly functioning hardware and software that address the application well beyond the optics. Do you have the expertise at hand to solve these challenges?
Optical components are more than the sum of their parts
Defining your specification requirements is imperative to success in bioimaging. When you start to map the different steps that your digital imaging device needs to carry out in order to get your work done, you will soon realize that biochemistry and molecular biology are just two aspects of many. Hardware and optics, and the processes to determine these parameters are highly specialized. Finding the optics and optical system components that meet your specifications and translating them into a world class digital imaging application require the same level of expertise and long-standing experience you apply to biochemistry and cell biology.
The same applies to software and data processing. While the software and user interface of a digital imaging device appear to be small parts of the entire machinery, added for convenience, it is exactly this perceived convenience and ease of use that make a good device a great device. Accessibility and ease of use are key for widespread use of a digital imaging device. Enabling untrained users and novices to obtain expert-level results requires seamlessly integrated software and an intuitive user interface. To build software that is simple and intuitive on the front-end and reliable and state-of-the-art at the back end requires expert programmers and decades of experience.
The secret to outstanding digital imaging quality and usability lies in the data. Digital imaging applications generate vast amounts of data points to perform analytics and identify molecular targets. Data processing is a science in itself and fast, accurate, and most importantly reliable data processing is based on high quality data processing software. Only experienced data scientists and programmers offer the required competence to master this task and build software that fulfills the requirements.
Focus on your strengths
As a life science company, your teams may be specialized in biochemistry, molecular biology or genomics. Your scientists are leading the way in uncovering molecular mechanisms and engineering host systems to create trailblazing products. Your engineers are masters in crafting the best possible signals. You are experts in cell biology and know the optimal molecular targets for digital imaging devices better than anyone else.
When you are considering design requirements and laying out the specifications to build your own optical engine, you will realize how building a device that solves complex analytical tasks in an effortless way is a multi-disciplinary endeavor. What is more, you need to miniaturize the system to make it practical and usable. When you’re working with teams inexperienced in certain aspects of this project, scope creep and missed targets are unavoidable.
Instead of living an optical nightmare, appreciate the complexity of digital imaging. Any enterprise that thinks they are good at optics, chemistry, molecular biology, software and systems is often misleading itself. Taking on facets of product development for which you don’t have the experts at hand is risky. The result of doing it all on your own will be a suboptimal system with imprecise fields of use, too intricate for junior users, delivering low-quality data and imaging – are you really that kind of company?
The right design, agile project management, access to expert engineers, a well-established network of leading specialists, and robust supply management can transform your optical nightmare into a cutting-edge optical engine to revolutionize digital imaging.
Read on to find out how to turn your optical nightmare into an optical imaging success story.
About Marlen Stockmann
As Project Manager, Marlen Stockmann is responsible for the planning and managing of various technology-driven Jenoptik projects in the Light & Optics division – from concept to market launch. Her main focus is on the management and realization of novel key technologies in the Healthcare & Life Science sector with a focus on intelligent imaging solutions relevant for example for life sciences research, as well as clinical diagnosis and drug discovery. Thanks to her degree in general management, she knows the functional management areas allowing to efficiently achieving the project objectives.