December 2014 542

Laboratory Automation

The key to improvement of laboratory services is implementation of correct automation technology from the right vendor, says Sunil Dhadkar, Sr Business Manager-Biochemistry, Transasia Bio-Medicals Ltd.

Sunil Dhadkar

Sunil Dhadkar,
Sr Business
Manager-Biochemistry,
Transasia Bio-Medicals Ltd

With the increasing age of population in India and growing demand for healthcare solutions there is an increased workload in the clinical chemistry laboratories in India. There is also a constant pressure to provide an accurate test report while managing the turnaround time in a cost effective manner by maintaining profitability.

In India, laboratories today are attached with hospitals, corporate labs, and standalone labs with high workload of samples and are facing major challenges of providing the test report in the shortest time by optimizing the total turnaround time and scheduling of the samples. This has become even more important especially since new methods and battery of new tests have to be performed with accuracy.

When the sample workload is high, pre-analytical procedures such as collection of samples in the right tube, sorting of samples according to department and tests to be performed, patient data entry with proper ID, and placing the samples at right positions and selection of tests are challenging and involve errors. With automation, bar code reading facility and automated sample loading facility onboard can eliminate such errors.

Laboratory automation can be a tool for the improvement of laboratory services as it helps decrease the cost and increase the turnaround time significantly. The key to improvement of laboratory services is implementation of correct automation technology from the right vendor. The design of this technology should be driven by required functionality.

Today the technology is evolved from hardware based approach to software based approach. Highly advanced software are available for robotic operations with high throughput and to support various automated operations like auto dilution ,auto-rerun with dilution, reflex testing, sample transport management, effective handling of samples and reagent while maintaining the accuracy in volume measurement.

While investing in highthroughput analyzers, one should look for possible future up gradation and laboratory integration with other instruments

Quality control program, which ensures the accuracy with facility to display and record the CV and SD for more than three levels, is available in the new generation analyzers. The provision for knowing the L J chart for two levels of controls simultaneously not only saves time but also gives better reliability of results.

Cost effectiveness is the key feature which needs to be evaluated before deciding the high throughput clinisoftcal chemistry analyzer. Many features such as openness, reading volume, nature of cuvette (whether disposable or permanent), result recalculation, maintenance cost and consumables are important to decide the recurrent expenses on the analyzer. It is also important to know whether the analyzer requires DI water, any detergent, or cleaning solution, if so in what quantity.

Photometer is a very important component of an analyzer and should be preferably gratings based with capability of measuring wavelengths from 340 to 800 nm. Inbuilt ISE can facilitate electrolyte analysis simultaneously with photometric tests.

Test menu has to be wide and expandable. System should be capable of performing assays of up to three reagent capabilities and for all sorts of substrates, enzymes, special chemistry parameters, drug assays, TDM, etc.

Today getting an extra space for placing any new system in the laboratory is a remote possibility, hence design and footprint of an analyzer is also very important. One should select a suitable analyzer with compact design and small footprint with flexibility of operating movements.

While investing in high-throughput analyzers, one should look for possible future up gradation and laboratory integration with other instruments. Automation should provide high speed, flexibility, convenience and be cost effective.

Transasia Bio- Medicals Ltd. recognizes this need and provides laboratories with a vast choice of analyzers from bench- top analyzers with a throughput of 100 tests/ hour to over 1000 tests/ hour.

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