NovaticLab Case study:
A Success Story with
E. Gulbja Laboratory

How a leading European Laboratory tackled the pandemic by utilizing flexible automation and robotics.

E.Gulbja Laboratory Overview

Founded in 1993 with a small but dedicated team of five, E.Gulbja Laboratory has evolved into the premier privately-owned diagnostic lab in the Baltics. With a relentless commitment to quality and efficiency, the lab operates 24/7, catering to the urgent needs of inpatients and outpatients alike. In 2022 alone, it proficiently managed 2.1 million examination requests, conducting a staggering 10.9 million analyses for an average of 8560 patients daily.

Strategically positioned across Latvia, E. Gublja Laboratory extends its services through 71 collection points, effectively serving the nation’s 1.8 million residents. Occupying a space of 3500m2, the laboratory is not just limited to human health diagnostics; it spans a broad spectrum of testing services for veterinary, food, soil, and water analysis.

The lab boasts an array of specialized departments, including Environment, Mass Spectrometry, Hematology, Molecular Biology, Hormonology, Cytogenetics, Clinical Chemistry, Bacteriology, Hemostasis, Cytology, Serology, and Clinical Analysis. This diverse range of departments underscores E. Gublja Laboratory’s ability to provide nearly 1000 different types of medical tests, addressing a vast array of diagnostic needs.

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Universal Challanges

E.Gulbja Laboratory (EGL) is navigating a complex landscape of challenges, reflective of the evolving demands and constraints within the laboratory sector.

Soaring Demand: Since the pandemic, EGL has witnessed a substantial surge in diagnostic requests. This persistently high demand stretches the laboratory’s capacity, compelling a reevaluation of workflow efficiency and resource allocation.

Staffing Issues: A critical shortage of skilled professionals is a pressing concern for EGL. Staffing issues not only affect the lab’s ability to scale up to meet increasing demand but also influence employee morale and job satisfaction.

Quality Versus Speed: The challenge of balancing quality with speed is more pronounced than ever. With growing workload, EGL is focused on maintaining its reputation for high-quality, accurate results without compromising on turnaround times.

Resource Constraints: Efficient utilization of resources is key in the face of escalating operational costs and limited budget allocations. EGL is continuously exploring strategies to optimize resource use while maintaining service standards.

Operational Hurdles: Day-to-day operational hurdles, from equipment maintenance to logistical coordination, require constant attention. EGL is working to streamline these processes to enhance overall efficiency.

Service Continuity: Ensuring uninterrupted service, especially in times of unforeseen disruptions, is vital. EGL is committed to maintaining a continuous flow of operations, adapting swiftly to any challenges that may arise.

Data Management: With the increasing volume of tests and analyses, robust data management has become crucial. EGL is focusing on implementing more sophisticated data handling and storage solutions to ensure accuracy and accessibility.

Infection & Safety Risks: In the current health climate, managing infection and safety risks is paramount. EGL is reinforcing its protocols and safety measures to protect both its staff and the integrity of its laboratory services.

Confronting these diverse challenges, EGL is dedicated to innovating and adapting its practices to remain at the forefront of diagnostic services, ensuring reliability and excellence in every aspect of its operations.

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Tailoring Automation:
NovaticLab's Custom Solutions for
E.Gulbja Laboratory's Challenges

In response to the diverse and pressing challenges faced by E.Gulbja Laboratory, NovaticLab has stepped up with its innovative Flexible Task-Targeted Automation Solutions.

These custom solutions are the result of a close collaborative effort between NovaticLab and E.Gulbja Laboratory, specifically designed to meet the intricate needs of different labs and departments within the facility.

Leveraging a robust and versatile platform, NovaticLab’s solutions enable swift and efficient integration, offering the needed flexibility to adapt to various operational demands. 


This approach is characterized by its modifiability and reusability, ensuring that resources are optimally utilized across the spectrum of laboratory functions.

This partnership between NovaticLab and E.Gulbja Laboratory marks a significant stride in addressing the common challenges faced in the laboratory sector. Through these tailored automation strategies, NovaticLab delivers precise and resource-efficient responses, catering specifically to the unique requirements and challenges of the diverse departments at E.Gulbja Laboratory.



Building on the strategic partnership with E.Gulbja Laboratory, NovaticLab has developed three distinct product lines, each representing a unique solution to the specific challenges identified. These product lines are a testament to NovaticLab’s dedication to providing targeted, effective automation solutions.


Each product line is a concentrated effort to enhance different aspects of laboratory operations, going beyond mere efficiency. They represent a thoughtful and intelligent incorporation of technology tailored to make a significant impact in the laboratory environment.

In the subsequent sections, we will explore each of these product lines in greater depth. 


We’ll examine how they align with the specific challenges faced by E.Gulbja Laboratory and how they exemplify the innovation and vision of NovaticLab. 


This exploration will highlight how NovaticLab’s solutions are not just revolutionizing E.Gulbja Laboratory’s operations, but also setting new standards in laboratory automation industry-wide.


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NOVALab: Revolutionizing Sample Kit Distribution and Collection

NOVALab, a joint venture of NovaticLab and E.Gulbja Laboratory, stands as a hallmark of innovation in laboratory operations and patient services. 


Launched in December 2020, amidst the pandemic’s peak, NOVALab rapidly evolved from a concept to an operational reality in just four months, highlighting a strong commitment to innovation and patient-focused healthcare.


Key Features and Advantages of NOVALab


Easing Laboratory Workloads: Designed to alleviate the intensive workload during the pandemic, NOVALab facilitates contactless self-sampling, reducing infection risks and expanding testing capabilities.


Design Versatility and Sample Integrity: The kiosks are equipped to handle a variety of self-sampling kits, ensuring broad usability. Microclimate controls, including freezing options, guarantee sample preservation and integrity.


Efficient Operations through Technology: Remote monitoring capabilities streamline logistical processes, easing staff workload and ensuring efficient operations in kit distribution and sample collection.


Expanding Healthcare Access: Positioned in 21 locations across Latvia, NOVALab enhances healthcare access, particularly in remote and underserved areas, with its 24/7 service model.


Boosting Patient Engagement and Satisfaction: With over 300,000 kits distributed, NOVALab has significantly improved patient satisfaction, evidenced by a 90% same-day return rate of kits, demonstrating its efficiency and convenience.


Accelerating Test Turnaround Times: PCR test results are available in approximately 11.1 hours in the capital city, with suburban and nationwide results within 15.5 and 17.6 hours, respectively, showcasing NOVALab’s efficiency in delivering health information.


Encouraging Regular Health Monitoring: The initiative has not only met but also stimulated increased demand for self-testing, fostering a trend toward regular health checkups and proactive health management.


Diverse Testing Options in a Post-Pandemic World: In response to evolving health needs, E.Gulbja Laboratory has expanded NOVALab’s offerings to include various types of self-sampling tests, such as COVID-19, Albuminuria screening, tick tests, H. pylori breath tests, HPV testing, and urine and feces analyses.


NOVALab represents a significant leap in the realms of laboratory automation, patient care, and healthcare accessibility. This successful implementation by NovaticLab exemplifies a forward-thinking approach in healthcare, setting a precedent for future innovations in laboratory and patient care services.

Map of NOVALab locations in Latvia
SLAS Sample Management Symposium

NOVAFlex Archiver: Revolutionizing
Sample Archiving in Laboratories

Developed by NovaticLab, the NOVAFlex series marks a significant advancement in laboratory automation. These tabletop robotic solutions are designed to enhance efficiency in both pre and post-analytical tasks. 


A prime example of this innovation is the NOVAFlex Archiver, a specialized tool for daily blood sample archiving, tailored to the high-throughput demands of modern laboratories.


E.Gulbja Laboratories, dealing with the archiving of up to 15,000 samples daily, faced a critical challenge. They received on average 40 additional test requests each day, including re-tests, requiring rapid retrieval of archived samples. 


Previously, finding a single sample took about 10 minutes, translating to nearly 7 hours daily just in sample retrieval.


Key Features and Benefits of the NOVAFlex Archiver:

Rapid Sample Retrieval: The Archiver reduces sample retrieval time from 10 minutes to a mere 30 seconds, representing a 20-fold increase in speed. This efficiency significantly accelerates workflow and eases operational burdens.



Enhanced Testing Capability: With the Archiver, E.Gulbja Laboratory now efficiently processes over 100 extra tests daily, utilizing “alive” samples within a 24-hour post-analysis period. This not only speeds up testing but also improves patient experiences by reducing the need for additional sample collection.


Labor Hours Saved: Automation of the archiving process conserves up to 20 labor hours daily, redirecting staff efforts towards more critical tasks and boosting job satisfaction.


High Efficiency in Processing: With its unique 6-tubes-at-a-time gripper, the Archiver can archive up to 1800 samples per hour, meeting the needs of busy labs effectively.


Versatility in Sample Handling: The Archiver’s adaptable design accommodates various types of blood collection tubes and other containers, ensuring flexibility for diverse laboratory requirements.


Error Detection and Reliability: The system proactively identifies and addresses issues such as mislabeling or empty sample tubes, enhancing accuracy and reliability.


Seamless System Integration: The Archiver integrates effortlessly with existing LIS and HIS, ensuring smooth data transfer and workflow management.


User-Friendly Design: Requiring minimal training for operation, the Archiver is accessible and easy to use for all lab staff.


Substantial Operational Capacity: Having archived over 2 million tubes since deployment, the Archiver demonstrates exceptional capacity and reliability.


The NOVAFlex Archiver exemplifies a transformative shift in laboratory operations. By automating routine yet critical tasks, it liberates valuable resources and time, enabling laboratory personnel to engage in more complex and impactful work. 


This movement towards advanced, efficient, and patient-centric laboratory services, spearheaded by NovaticLab, is setting new benchmarks in the field of laboratory automation.

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NOVAMove Porter: The Future of
Autonomous Laboratory Logistics

The NOVAMove Porter, a pioneering autonomous transport robot from NovaticLab, represents a transformative advancement in laboratory operations. 


This intelligent robot exemplifies the future of lab logistics, significantly enhancing the efficiency and accuracy of sample and material transportation within E.Gulbja Laboratory.


Impact at E.Gulbja Laboratory


Sample Handling: Manages over 50% of daily samples, significantly reducing manual workload.


Labor Hour Savings: Frees up over 15 labor hours daily, allowing staff to focus on critical tasks.


Extensive Coverage: Travels over 3 miles and 32 floors daily, ensuring timely and accurate sample transportation.


Reduction in Operational Bottlenecks: Automation provides real-time data for continuous process improvement.


Enhanced Focus on Specialized Tasks: Frees staff from routine tasks, improving job satisfaction and patient care.


Key Advantages for E.Gulbja Laboratory


Interdepartmental Connectivity: The Porter’s ability to seamlessly link various departments streamlines operations, ensuring swift and secure sample transit.


Efficient Sample Transport: Designed for precise transportation, it drastically reduces manual handling and associated errors.


Autonomous Navigation: The Porter’s advanced navigation system allows it to move autonomously within complex lab environments, reducing the need for human intervention.


Advanced Functionality: Its capability to autonomously operate doors and elevators makes it versatile for diverse laboratory layouts.


Automatic Charging: Self-charging capabilities ensure continuous operation, minimizing downtime.


Collaborative Operation: The Porter is designed to complement human workflows, enhancing overall lab efficiency.


User-Friendly Interface: Its intuitive operation facilitates quick staff adoption with minimal training.



The NOVAMove Porter sets a new standard in laboratory automation, offering a blueprint for other labs seeking to optimize their logistics. Its ability to streamline sample transportation, reduce manual errors, and improve operational efficiency makes it a valuable asset for any laboratory aiming to enhance productivity and focus on more complex and impactful work. NovaticLab’s commitment to innovation is evident in the Porter, showcasing a forward-thinking approach to laboratory operations that could benefit the broader laboratory community.

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Cost Savings through
Laboratory Automation

E.Gulbja Laboratory’s adoption of NovaticLab’s automation solutions—NOVAFlex Archivers, NOVAMove Porters, and NOVALab kiosks—has not only transformed its operational efficiency but also resulted in significant cost savings. While the primary focus is on salary savings, it’s crucial to consider other related metrics that contribute to overall cost reduction.


Salary Savings Breakdown


Operating two units of the NOVAFlex Archiver results in up to 750 labor hours saved per month, translating to a monthly saving of approximately 11,250 EUR per month.


The deployment of three NOVAMove Porters saves up to 450 labor hours monthly, equating to a saving of around 6,750 EUR per month.


The 21 NOVALab kiosks collectively save up to 480 labor hours per month per location, leading to an impressive total of over 151,000 EUR in monthly salary savings.



This results in total monthly salary cost savings exceeding 169,000 EUR, which amounts to an annual saving of over 2,028,000 EUR.


Additional Cost-Saving Metrics


Reduced Operational Costs: Automation minimizes the need for manual intervention, thereby reducing costs associated with operational inefficiencies and errors.


Energy Efficiency: Automated systems, especially those with self-charging capabilities like the NOVAMove Porter, are often more energy-efficient compared to manual operations.


Maintenance Costs: Automated systems typically require less frequent maintenance, leading to lower long-term costs compared to manual equipment.


Increased Throughput: Automation enables the processing of a higher volume of samples in less time, potentially increasing revenue streams while keeping operational costs constant.


Reduced Waste: Automated systems are precise and consistent, reducing the amount of wasted materials and reagents.


Improved Resource Allocation: Automation frees up human resources, allowing staff to focus on more specialized tasks that can drive laboratory growth and innovation.


The integration of NovaticLab’s automation solutions has provided E.Gulbja Laboratory with not just significant salary savings but a holistic transformation in cost efficiency. 


By optimizing operational processes, reducing waste, and enhancing throughput, the laboratory is poised to maximize its financial resources. 


This strategic move towards automation demonstrates a commitment to both operational excellence and fiscal responsibility, setting a precedent for modern laboratory management.

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Lessons Learned: The Path to
Successful Laboratory Automation

The journey of NovaticLab and E.Gulbja Laboratory in implementing cutting-edge laboratory automation solutions has been marked by significant lessons learned, key among them the value of agility, collaboration, and user-centric design. These insights have not only fueled their success but also offer valuable guidance for others embarking on similar transformative projects.


Key Takeaways


Rapid Testing and Adaptation: The ability to quickly test, adapt, and deploy solutions in a real-world lab setting has been instrumental. Swift feedback loops and the agility to modify solutions based on this feedback are crucial for effective innovation.


Importance of Collaboration and Communication: Strong collaboration and open communication between NovaticLab and E.Gulbja Laboratory have been pivotal. This partnership approach ensures that solutions are not only technically sound but also align with the practical needs of the lab.


Embracing Agile and Flexible Architecture: Preferring shared, agile, and flexible systems over custom-built, rigid structures has allowed for more adaptable and scalable solutions, ensuring long-term relevance and efficiency.


Readiness for Automation: The transition has shown that people are generally ready and receptive to automation, especially when it demonstrably enhances efficiency and reduces manual workload.


User-Centric Design: Focusing on user-friendly UI/UX has been essential. Ensuring that new technologies are intuitive and easily adoptable by all staff members facilitates smoother integration and wider acceptance.


Micro Speed, Macro Patience: The approach of moving quickly in development and deployment phases (micro speed), while maintaining a long-term vision and patience for overall transformation (macro patience), has been effective.


Maintaining Focus: Keeping a clear focus on the end goals – improving laboratory efficiency, accuracy, and staff satisfaction – has guided decision-making and prioritization throughout the process.


Broader Implications


These lessons extend beyond NovaticLab and E.Gulbja Laboratory, offering a blueprint for other organizations aiming to integrate automation into their operations. 


The insights underscore the importance of agility, user-centric design, and strong collaboration between technology providers and end-users in successfully navigating the complex landscape of laboratory automation.


If you wish to learn more about specific solutions, feel free to reach out to me personally – [email protected]

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