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Laboratories: Automation in the Modern Pathology Laboratory
Jaleh Mansouri, M.D.
A major goal of many pathology laboratories today is the implementation of total automation for accommodating the increasing volumes of high complexity laboratory specimens. Large reference laboratories (i.e. ARUP, Mayo) have been at the forefront of this endeavor for many years, and it is expected that their methodologies will serve as a blueprint for other pathology laboratories. Laboratory automation requires extensive equipment including transport systems, robotics for specimen handling, automated analyzers, and integrated data analysis software. Despite the incurred costs, total laboratory automation is likely to be profitable as it increases product workflow (with decreased turn-around time), decreases errors such as mislabeling and cross-contamination, and improves accuracy of results due to standardization of manual operations (e.g. pipetting). Furthermore, high-throughput screening techniques enable the analysis and characterization of vast arrays of drugs, biological molecules, and genes that enhance the research and development process for new pharmaceutical and biologic products.
While most Clinical Pathology Laboratories have routinely employed automated systems for some time, advances in digital pathology have facilitated automation in Anatomic Pathology Laboratories. Ventana Medical Systems and other vendors have developed innovative automated platforms for slide processing, staining, and scanning for whole slide imaging. Such advancements not only exert a profound effect on workflow efficiency and throughput, but will also expand the use of telepathology in the future.
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ARUP Laboratories Founded in 1984, ARUP Laboratories is a leading national reference laboratory and an enterprise of the University of Utah and its Department of Pathology. ARUP offers more than 3,000 tests and test combinations, ranging from routine screening tests to esoteric molecular and genetic assays. ARUP serves clients across the United States, including many of the nation's top university teaching hospitals and children's hospitals, as well as multihospital groups, major commercial laboratories, military and other government facilities, and major clinics. In addition, ARUP is a worldwide leader in innovative laboratory research and development. For more information, visit www.aruplab.com.
bioTheranostics discovers and develops innovative diagnostic technologies for oncology, designed to improve patient care from the time of diagnosis through selection of appropriate treatment. The company's initial diagnostic test offerings are: (1) CancerTYPE ID®, which improves cancer classification, especially in patients with metastatic cancer and an unknown primary. It is based on a 92-gene qRT-PCR panel and capable of identifying up to 39 tumor types with 86% accuracy. (2) THEROS Breast Cancer IndexSM - This provides a more complete picture of recurrence risk and therapeutic options for patients by combining the results of the THEROS H/I and THEROS MGI tests, to better stratify ER-positive, node-negative breast cancer patients. bioTheranostics is also working on prostate cancer prognosis and drug-response profiling. Email Brittany.Rothnem@biotheranostics.com or call 858 587 5883 for more information.
Cleveland Clinic Laboratories has been providing the highest quality reference laboratory testing for more than 25 years. Today, our staff of board-certified anatomic and clinical pathologists, medical technologists and laboratory technicians provide crucial pathology and laboratory testing services to clients around the corner and across the country. Cleveland Clinic Laboratories operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Clients may select from a menu of more than 2,400 routine and esoteric tests. Through the application of leading-edge technology, Cleveland Clinic Laboratories prides itself on providing rapid turnaround time, affordable testing and superior customer service. To find out more about Cleveland Clinic Laboratories please visit us at www.clevelandcliniclabs.com
or call us at 800.227.2155.
Past / Future Feature Pages:
June 2013: Diagnostic Testing / Reagents
July 2013: Imaging / Digital / Photography
August 2013: Books & Journals
September 2013: Antibodies / Biomarkers
October 2013: Laboratories
November 2013: Consumable Lab Products / Clinical Lab Analyzers
December 2013: Grossing Equipment / Workstations
January 2014: Billing / Consulting / Management
February 2014: Microscopes / Microscopy Products
March 2014: Tissue Processors / Other Histology
April 2014: Laboratory Accreditation / Education / CME
May 2014: Computer Software and Systems
June 2014: Diagnostic Testing / Reagents
July 2014: Imaging / Digital / Photography
August 2014: Books & Journals
September 2014: Antibodies / Biomarkers
October 2014: Laboratories
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