With the increasing penetration of smart phones and tablets into laboratories there is an even bigger need for these smart devices to be a part of a researcher’s everyday life. ZappyLab, a California based company is one such startup working towards making this a reality by developing mobile and web applications for students and researchers. The company currently has 4 applications; PubChase, GrowthCurves, Lab Counter and Tetrad on the market right now with more in their development stages. PubChase, GrowthCurve and Lab Counter are currently available for iOS and Android platforms, whereas only iOS version of Tetrad is currently available.
PubChase is a scientific literature search and recommendation tool that allows users to search, access, share and archive biomedical literature over their mobile devices or personal computers. PubChase makes it easier for researchers to recommend scientific literature and protocols to their peers and enjoy instant access to their library whenever required. Lab Counter is a tallying app to keep track and score different categories by adding up to 12 counters. The Lab Counter application can be used as a substitute to physical laboratory counters whose cost range anywhere from $100 to more than $1000 depending on the number of counters. GrowthCurve and Tetrad apps allow researchers to record and analyze observations in growth curve and genetic studies respectively. A new BenchTools app will combine all these apps into a suite with a shared Journal for observations and readings and the users can access their account from any BenchTools installed device.
ZappyLab is co-founded by Lenny Teytelman, a computational and experimental biologist along with Alexei Stoliartchouk and Irina Makkaveeva, who are filling the lacuna of a well defined scientific app segment in the mobile app market by developing quality apps for researchers and students.
According to Lenny, there are very few scientific apps available for researchers at the moment, and most of them are single products with app spinoffs or free tools offered by large bioreagent companies like Promega or Life Technologies and ZappyLab aims to be the sole serious provider of mobile applications for researchers. All ZappyLab applications are available for free to make sure it is accessible to all researchers, most of whom are generally underpaid graduate students or postdocs.
ZappyLab is getting a good response with close to 1000 downloads per month and growing, in less than a year of its launch. PubChase has been registering about 3000 new visitors a month on an average since its launch in early March this year. Lenny Teytelman is bombarded with tonnes of requests and suggestions from the scientific community, and at the same time he also has plenty of ideas and plans to where the scientific apps market is headed towards.
ZappyLab will soon be offering free cloud storage space on PubChase enabling users to save up to 300 article and scientific literature PDFs, with an option to subscribe more or request for sponsored storage if necessary. Timer is the new yet to be launched lab timer app with preset alarms for predetermined protocols, with an option to set warning alarms well in advance before the completion of experimental steps. Another soon to be launched Molarity app for calculating the quantity of chemical to be added to get a solution of desired concentration and volume. It will also include a database of common chemicals which can be updated by the users to eliminate the need to manually enter the molecular weights each time. They are also working on an open access central repository of laboratory protocols, says Lenny from ZappyLab.
Conforming to the vision of its founders, ZappyLab is on a promising path of providing quality, reliable and affordable laboratory applications that are easily accessible over different platforms to streamline research.