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Sample Collection, Annotation, Archiving, Analysis and Distribution System (SCAAAD)

Background

Current data collection and archiving methods are time-consuming and error-prone. Field scientists and technicians must carry a wide variety of sampling devices that inherently lack the ability to communicate with each other - often relying on a pen-and-paper system of recording and annotation. Further, when they exit the field and return to the lab, it is often difficult to determine what data elements, from multiple devices (each having their own physical or digital storage standards), corresponds to what sample. Compounding this problem, archiving and sharing data is typically a laborious and inefficient process that is susceptible to human error and misinterpretation. Evidently, there is a clear need to improve on the way data is collected, stored, and shared in order to create a more streamlined, user-friendly system.

Description of the Invention

With this in mind, scientists at Western have developed a robust software system called SCAAAD (Sample Collection, Annotation, Archiving, Analysis, and Distribution System), designed to leverage modern communication and multimedia technologies to accurately and efficiently collect data which can be instantly shared over the cloud with the appropriate experts for analysis, data mining, and data visualization. This system consists of a custom app installed on a mobile device such as an iPad that communicates with a wide range of peripherals such as RFID encoders, cameras, GPS devices, or spectrometers. In the field, SCAAAD compiles the collected data, optionally prints a physical tag to be affixed to the sample, and allows the technician to add any observations, sketches, notes, and/or interpretations of the data prior to syncing it to the internet cloud. This information can be accessed by trusted individuals anywhere in the world, who can further analyse the data using built-in analytical and visualization tools. Because all data is stored in a centralized location (the cloud), new and historic data can be effortlessly retrieved and compared. Additionally, previously tagged samples in the field can be scanned to instantly view its data and metadata.

Potential Advantages

• Integrates a variety of data collection and analysis tools in one user-friendly, streamlined system
• Eliminates wasted time and human error associated with traditional data collection methods
• Cloud syncing allows for instant sharing of data

Potential Applications

• Can be applied to any industry that requires accurate, timely data collection
• Environmental assessments, oil and gas exploration, natural resource management, mining, agriculture, medical research, national defense, disaster response, disease control, marketing research.

Patent Information:

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