The Fix

This situation can be alleviated by employing the same high-tech approach to redesigning the workplace as was used to develop the business processes. A good understanding of the challenge can be achieved by reviewing the operation of the optical microscope.

The user must sit in a rigid position with eyes focused on a distant image through binocular eyepieces while using his/her hands to turn the focus knob, move the sample, adjust the illumination, and change the magnification.

This becomes a very challenging set of physical requirements, yet the physical operation of the microscope has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual analytical work being performed. In fact, the operation doesn’t have to be physical at all. Manipulation of all of the microscope’s manual controls can be accomplished using a personal computer based system and state-of-the-art motion control technology.

And off- the-shelf electronic video imaging technology can be utilized to transmit the magnified image to the personal computer monitor. By fully-integrating these functions, we have a microscope operable from an office desk located outside of any exclusionary space. By employing a second personal computer and interconnecting the 2 in a host/remote configuration, the microscope can be operated from another building, or even another state