Many life science companies are creating smartphone apps. Most of the those apps provide resources for scientists in the lab with the goal of keeping a brand top of mind or making it easy to find and order products. For an overview, check out the article I published on the ACP-LS blog describing 8 different ways apps are being used for life science marketing and sales.
Lenny Teytelman has taken a different approach. Starting with his background as a scientist and his own frustration optimizing a protocol, he saw an opportunity to solve a problem. He and his partners have developed an app that lets scientists at the bench not only track the steps of a protocol, but to change it, annotate it and recall it months later. And the protocol modifications can be shared with colleagues and scientists anywhere in the world.
The app tracks and reports usage, modifications and sharing. The benefit for vendors is visibility into how their life science products, reagents and kits are being used in real time. If there new applications they might be used for, a vendor might like to know that. Eventually, you might learn of other protocols used in conjunction with an existing one, and use that data to create and offer new products.
In this interview, Lenny and I discuss:
- The benefits of a crowd sourced, open access repository
- The challenge scientists face when adopting protocols for new experiments
- How variations on a protocol are tracked
- The value of metrics for both users and vendors
- Using apps for market research
- Users’ expectations of their experience with your app
About my guest:
Lenny Teytelman started out as a database developer. He turned down a programming position at a hedge fund to do bioinformatics at Cold Spring Harbor because he loved science so much. From there, he went to U.C. Berkeley for his graduate work in molecular biology. He did a postdoc at MIT before founding what is now protocols.io.