IoT data collection has found a home in many devices from our phones to our thermostats. Somewhat surprisingly, IoT data collection is extremely rare in biological research labs. Much data is still logged manually, and even computer-generated data is often stored locally and transferred to other researchers by email or local data transfers. MIOS is an experimental concept to explore using IoT to streamline the collection and visualization of research data. Cloud-based research data collection has the inherent benefits of:
- Data is automatically archived and saved
- Data can be collected from multiple sites simultaneously, making multi-site studies as easy to run as single-site studies
- Problems in data collection can be visualized immediately, instead of being discovered at the conclusion of a study
- As data is in the cloud, data can be shared among researchers as soon as it is collected
- Cloud analytics can be used to process and visualize data much more quickly
Our team worked with Blynk to develop app widgets that are suitable for visualizing and saving research data. We will continue to work with them to improve these tools, and generate new tools specifically aimed at research data collection.
We also generated hardware devices that are useful for collecting research data. These include an environmental monitor, a running wheel, and a feeding device.