The ever-increasing demand for analysis, combined with an unrelenting pressure to control costs, is pushing every laboratory to find ways of better managing the chain of tasks for sorting blood and tissue samples from patients, dispatching them to the right instruments and preparing a report for clinicians.
Typically, only high volume centres handling upwards of seven million samples per year could install the highly complex aas well as highcost equipment. Yet, the challenge to efficiently deliver diagnostic results for patient care decisions are just as great for hospital labs, blood banks and local processing centres that do not have the volume of samples to justify the expense. At the 2012 AACC Annual Meeting, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics (OCD) demonstrated a fresh approach that opens a step-by-step path to clinical lab automation, creating a way forward for every operation. ‘Over the past 18 months we have gone back and reassessed what automation truly means to laboratories,’ explained Colin Hill, the firm’s international marketing director. ‘We sit down with customers in partnership, working along the continuum of needs to understand their goals and outlining ideas for process improvement.’ The result is enGen CoreCell, a flexible solution applied across the full range of OCD’s Vitros systems, allows customers access to the advantages of automation in stages covering every variant imaginable from haematology to molecular diagnostics, he said. ‘CoreCell allows laboratories to only automate specific processes where there is a clear need and an immediate cost-effective result. We can start small and only automate the area a laboratory truly needs for process improvement. After that the track can expand.’
Recognising a need for better managing informatics and the tremendous data generated by lab instruments, brought OCD into a partnership with Data Innovations, a market leader for middleware solutions – the layer of software between the instruments and the information networks. The partnership enabled OCD to take the built-in intelligence of Vitros instruments to the next level, rewriting rules and algorithms to coordinate how samples are assessed, dispatched and reported, Colin Hill explained. At this year’s AACC, his company also introduced the Vitros Immunodiagnostic Products 25-OH Vitamin D Total Assay, which recently received European CE Marking. More than one billion people globally are thought to have an insufficiency or deficiency of vitamin D, a pre-hormone essential in the maintenance of kidney, bone and intestinal health. Increasing concern about vitamin D levels is driving a need for fast and reliable laboratory testing – the only way to definitively determine if an individual suffers from, or moving towards, a vitamin D deficiency. OCD also introduced the Vitros Immunodiagnostic Products Total PSA II Assay and the Vitros Immunodiagnostic Products Free PSA Assay, which also were recently approved for commercialisation in Europe. These new assays round out OCD’s state-of-the-art oncology portfolio for the early detection of prostate cancer.