Regulatory compliance drives LIMS

An increasing number of regulatory and productivity demands are being placed on analytical laboratories in all industries. The primary drivers of Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) growth will be NELAC, HIPPA, Sarbanes-Oxley, the Patriot Act, ELAP, CFR 21 Part 11, and internal chains of custody requirements. The market was $307.4 million in 2005 and is forecasted to be over $398.7 million in 2010, indicating a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.3%, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study.

Manufacturers are replacing paper-based and homegrown LIMS systems with commercially developed plans and workflows designed to help with regulatory compliance. The increasing amount of test samples that researchers and manufacturers are undertaking promise a solid future for LIMS, as the need for efficient, cost-effective, and regulatory-compliant data storage grows.

ARC expects LIMS to capture unstructured data, particularly in R&D laboratories, which will contribute to the 5.3% CAGR that ARC is projecting for LIMS revenues. A multi-purpose LIMS can also supply administrative tools such as backlog reports, billing information, workload statistics, sample scheduling, reagent inventory tracking, and training certification.

Driven by user demands, experts in the field project industry and application specific LIMS will provide interoperability with other enterprise business systems.  Currently, LIMS suppliers have adopted service-based, platform-neutral web services that apply open source codes and standards, while enabling compatibility with other enterprise business systems.

The global manufacturing industry experienced a rebound in 2005 that is expected to carry on into the future, particularly in the developing countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Latin America is also of growing interest to LIMS suppliers.  The pharmaceutical, food & beverage, and water industries will continue to be growth engines for the market as traceability requirements become more stringent.  The refining, chemical, and petrochemical sectors are expected to invest heavily in Quality Control/Quality Assurance programs as feedstock prices continue to soar.

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