…nor is Thermo Sample Manager, Symyx ELN or any of the products I normally talk about. As you might or might not have noticed, I take an interest in market share, which products are popular, what categories of products exist and similar topics. Each geographic area is different and, here in Cleveland, people using these types of products appear to be almost non-existent.
Cleveland, of course, is a mecca for healthcare. They’re probably most invested into things like LIS (Laboratory Information System) and EHR (Electronic Health Record). You might have noticed that I like to attend networking events to find out what’s going on in an area, learn new things, get out of my office so I don’t turn into a mushroom, etc… Since moving my business here, two years ago, I’ve become extremely vague about what I do. The conversation gets too difficult, otherwise. Here’s my typical conversation at a networking event:
Clevelander: What do you do?
Gloria: I work with NON-MEDICAL laboratory software (I don’t shout it, just stress it and say it a bit slowly).
Clevelander: So, which hospital do you work with?
Clevelander: Sorry, you did say that – what does that mean?
I’m not trying to make Clevelanders sound dim – they’re just so surrounded by medical-related software that it’s beyond them that I’d be here in this area and not be doing that. And, in fact, it does feel strange to be surrounded by laboratory informatics people who are doing things so similar yet, at the same time, so different.
In the conversation above, one person listened closely to what I do and responded with, “But, why?” because he couldn’t understand why I’d be here doing anything else. Recently, I’ve started being more vague just to keep things even simpler, responding with “I work with product testing software” but even that can get tricky as people think about what that means. Once, someone responded to that with, “Products for hospitals.” It wasn’t really a question.
What I haven’t quite figured out is if all the software is basically written around here or if some of the brands I would know are heavily used, as well. I wonder if LVS’ Sapphire is used for biobanking around here. And I wonder if Sapphire or the StarLIMS have EHR modules and if they’re popular products around here. So far, I’ve not found anyone using any of these products.
Thus, to satisfy my curiosity, I’ve posted a question to one of the Cleveland IT discussion boards to see if I can find out the answers to these questions. So far, the only response I’ve gotten is from the one and only LabWare LIMS project around here, one that we all know about, at Ben Venue. There’s also apparently a LabWare LIMS at Goodyear, but Goodyear isn’t really in Cleveland, so I guess it’s just the one. If I find anything out, I figure it could be an interesting blog post.
I’ve gotten used to the fact that Clevelanders think it’s perfectly acceptable to use a potato pancake instead of bread to make a sandwich and that pierogi are considered an ingredient in just about everything, including making a suitable hotdog topping, but I continue to struggle with living among a sea of laboratory informatics people who seem to speak a different language than I do.