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23 February 2023

For human health’s sake, labs must take an increasingly holistic approach to data

The meaning of holistic data to public health

Specialized testing at US public health laboratories, or PHLs, is a vital function, but their resulting test data must increasingly connect and converge to produce a more complete picture of the many factors, large and small, that affect human health. Using the equipment, methods, expertise, and historical data sets specific to each testing discipline, PHLs test for infectious diseases in parallel to, but too often not in concert with, testing of drinking water or soil, or for foodborne illnesses, genetic defects and other factors that affect human health and safety. Test result data too often remains siloed.

Natural and created environments, as well as water consumption, can have massive positive or negative impacts on people’s health. Monitoring and testing soil, air, water, wastewater, and solids give scientists insight into potential environmental or public health hazards and diseases, like how wastewater monitoring can now predict future COVID-19 outbreaks.

The insights and analysis from PHL testing data inform epidemiologists and government officials to predict, plan for, and then take action at a grassroots level with fact-based awareness, often long before events unfold. Ultimately, it is laboratory testing data that drives community action, public policy, and healthcare practice, which further spurs on biotech research and pharma development. Testing results from public health labs have the potential to alter agricultural practices and prompt new biotech research for the agriculture industry, for example. That is why data and its subsequent analysis must be accurate and multivariate for stakeholders to effectively predict risks and then mobilize the larger public health ecosystem.

At Clinisys, we recognize the need to enable PHLs of any scale and scope to perform the critical, daily functions of their highly specialized testing programs with the assurance that the data they each generate can be connected, shared, integrated, and analyzed to improve human health and safety. 

The Clinisys Platform™ provides sector- and domain-specific features for daily operations within a modern cloud architecture and data model that helps guide laboratory business decision-making. It is designed for PHLs that are ready to take a holistic approach to public health and safety, allowing individual labs to contribute to large-scale initiatives with global impacts.

The potential for PHL data

Unlike many laboratories that test individual points and report individual or tightly grouped results per project, US PHLs provide data that can be compared across regions, states, or even globally.

According to the NCBI, PHLs use several kinds of codes in their daily operations – ”codes for the tests they offer and perform, codes for pre-defined results, and codes for patient demographics. To make data comparable across locations, PHLs map their local codes to national data standards, which facilitates knowledge-sharing on a large scale.”

This data integration between PHL departments, and then further between PHLs across broader regions, creates a fuller picture of a population and helps health departments and government agencies implement a proactive risk response. This integration requires labs to change from a patient- or specimen-centric approach to a data-centric approach to informatics.

The detection of monkeypox viral DNA in municipal wastewater is a perfect, recent example of why PHL data matters. In 2022, it was wastewater testing laboratories that provided the data to predict potential hotspots for US monkeypox outbreaks. This data gave public health agencies advance warning, so they could prepare for clinical testing and monitoring of viral spread through communities. This unparalleled insight into disease spread and control demonstrated the importance of collaboration and integration between environmental and clinical data for positive public health outcomes.

While each singular data point provides value, collating multidisciplinary results en masse can help link cause to effect and ultimately affect widespread change. With Clinisys Platform, PHLs can contribute to data lakes and large-scale analytics. Clinisys Platform gives each lab the laboratory information management system (LIMS) functionality they need to support their specialized testing, together with the data management and integration capabilities agencies at all levels need to take a holistic approach to public health and safety.

The Clinisys method

The Clinisys Platform architecture and data model is built upon our unique expertise and understanding derived from supporting over 3,000 testing and research lab customers worldwide. We’ve worked across multiple industry sectors and science disciplines, handling workflows efficiently, meeting diverse regulatory needs, and integrating with thousands of instruments and related systems.

Here’s an in-depth look at just a few of the public health laboratory specialties that use Clinisys laboratory information management testing solutions:

Water, wastewater, soil, and air

Manage end-to-end environmental sampling processes, including pre-log, login, collection scheduling, remote collection, sampling methodologies, process control, inventory management, and analysis, reporting, and final disposal—all per embedded protocols and analytical techniques. Increase productivity by automating the Clinisys LIMS for environmental and water laboratories with instrumentation and mobile devices for field sample collection.

Disease surveillance

Monitor and manage complex interagency processes and data-sharing protocols for infectious and non-infectious disease surveillance at local, tribal, state, federal, and global levels. Track incidents and prevent outbreaks to protect public health and safety using the Clinisys electronic disease data management system.


Maintain efficient, high-quality microbial testing services for bacterial and viral contagions and emerging biological threats with the Clinisys LIMS for microbiology laboratories.


Deliver critical testing programs for chemicals or substances that can affect human, animal, or environmental safety with the Clinisys LIMS for toxicology laboratories.


Execute highly efficient workflows with the Clinisys LIMS for molecular diagnostics, including next-generation sequencing, to better guide clinicians in predicting health risks, making accurate patient diagnoses, and creating precision medicine treatment plans.

Other sectors

Clinisys also has unique laboratory informatics expertise in other industries that can work together to connect holistic laboratory data to positively affect public health and safety.

Crop sciences

Our expertise in crop sciences helps scientists study and develop new ways of protecting and producing the crops that feed the world with the Clinisys LIMS for the crop sciences industry. Labs serving the crop sciences sector help address many of the world’s most pressing issues, including food production and security, biodiversity, sustainability, and the environment.

Food & beverage

Ensure product consistency, control, and compliance and accelerate product development with the Clinisys LIMS for the food and beverage industry.

Pharma & biotech

Research and development of next-generation medicines and technology significantly improve the general population’s quality of life and overall wellness. The Clinisys LIMS for pharmaceutical and biotech research laboratories helps labs quickly and safely deliver complex new research programs, integrating multiple scientific disciplines, test methodologies, instrumentation, and techniques.

What makes Clinisys different

Clinisys is the largest LIMS software provider in the world. Our intelligent diagnostic informatics solutions and expertise are designed to redefine the modern laboratory for more efficient collection, testing, analysis, and reporting of data across the full spectrum of public health disciplines.

All built upon the shared Clinisys Platform, our laboratory information system solutions help you bring together environmental, water, soil, and disease data with clinical laboratory data for complex data integrations and deep analytics. These holistic insights will inevitably advance our understanding of how to protect human health and safety. Together, we can improve health outcomes across communities and around the globe.

Interested in taking a more holistic approach to your public health laboratory’s data? Let’s start the conversation.