Hair Diagnostix

eLABJournal handles workflow and digital lab data reliably and securely for Hair Diagnostix

Dutch Screening Group (DSG) is a medical technology company in Maastricht, The Netherlands, with its division, Hair Diagnostix (HDX) that uses mass spectrometry to detect and measure the presence of chemicals in hair, examining minute cross sections that form time series at resolutions as small as single days and for overall periods as long as several months. The data pertaining to individuals (always protected from unauthorized identification) may be used to diagnose illness and exposure to toxic chemicals, monitor nutrition, or screen for drug use or doping. Individual data can also be aggregated into larger datasets to monitor cross-population characteristics and trends. The technology examines only the core of the hair, which is directly linked to the bloodstream, and is not affected by external contamination, and works with human or animal hairs.

Sara Mandić

“eLabJournal helped facilitate the communication between departments by providing on-the-go access to both our experimental and sample information. This prevented data losses, both due to the risk of losing the physical copies of lab journals and losing information ‘in translation’. Thanks to this system, we were also able to safely pseudonymise our samples and keep close track of where they were in the process, making it transparent to anyone not only within the company, but to our external partners as well while keeping access restrictions up to date even per user.”

Sara Mandić Lab Engineer


To develop and deploy applications of mass spectrometry to the analysis of hair to solve problems in healthcare, pharmaceutical development, health insurance, sports, and law enforcement, with particular emphasis on early stage warning for and monitoring of diseases.

Challenge – To establish secure, reliable processes and procedures for tracking samples and lab work

When our start-up company was founded and started offering our services, we received samples from many sources and needed to keep track of them through a rat’s nest of processes, people, and locations. Our offices, storage facilities, and laboratory were all in different buildings. During the first months of operations and setting up our protocols, there was a risk of misplacing the samples. After our first year of operations, the decision was made to move to our current, newly built laboratory. This also meant that we had to minimize the risk of the loss of information.

Solution – eLABJournal meets all of Hair Diagnostix’s scientific and business needs

We started with an Access database just for inventory, but it did not address all our other needs. We considered several Electronic Lab Notebook systems but they were focused only on the scientific work in the lab, and none of them covered our entire work process like our eventual choice: eLABJournal. eLABJournal made tracking of incoming and outgoing samples simple and utterly reliable. It provides many levels of security protection at the physical, network, data encryption, application, authentication, and user permission levels. Hair Diagnostix’s clients can rest easy that the confidentiality of their data and information will not be compromised. Handwritten lab notebooks were eliminated, and with them went any possibility of loss, because eLABJournal Cloud is hosted in multiple ISO-certified data centers with high availability and full redundancy, and data is backed up in real-time and periodically archived to an off-site encrypted vault. All of the lab notebooks are now available to any authorized user at any time.

Result – Hair Diagnostix workflows are now more reliable, secure, and thoroughly documented

Implementing eLABJournal streamlined the workflow of client samples and information, making it even more efficient, reliable, secure, and fully legally defensible. Authorized users from within the company and our external research partners are now able to reliably track test status and progress. And since the lab notes have gone digital, any authorized user can read them from any location at any time, without having to struggle with indecipherable handwriting. Looking back on the hectic developmental period, we are pleased to be able to conclude that due to our meticulous way of working, which was facilitated by eLABJournal, our data flow and storage were safe and solid.

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