The ACTION and the advantages of digital home cage technologies were mainly presented in the workshop, “Digitization in Laboratory Animal Research: Welfare, Science and Operational Aspects”:
In drug discovery and development, traditional assessment of human patients or research animals frequently occur at limited and very brief occasions in a potentially challenging environment (i.e. the clinic or a test arena), which can have an impact on data quality due to the number of uncontrollable unspecific stressors. Moreover, for animal research, conventional testing has raised concerns of validity and also for results. The ability to monitor laboratory animals continuously 24/7 and theoretically throughout their lifetime, provides an opportunity for more relevant and efficient discovery of disease symptom progression, cost-efficient and better facility management (e.g. contingency plans), as well as improved welfare assessment. In pre-clinical in vivo animal models, these digital technologies allow for continuous, longitudinal and non-invasive monitoring in the home environment.
This workshop provides different overview of digital monitoring technology aspects including:
- Historical welfare/science aspects are approached in a pharmaceutical company or university level and future how digitization could improve such processes
- Operational pros and cons for digitization of a complete facility
- Aspects of digitization for monitoring and testing animals in their home cage
- Overview of the COST Action “Improving biomedical research by automated behaviour monitoring in the animal home cage”