Let's talk about lab water
Let's talk about lab water
Back in June, our team at ELGA was one of 160 exhibitors welcoming over 10,000 scientists from 106 different countries to IFCC EuroMedLab-JIB exhibition, held this year in Paris. The International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC) is aimed at providing a platform to not only network through knowledge-sharing and educational plenary sessions, but to build awareness on the future of laboratory and personalized medicines. The annual congress and exhibition is one of the largest for clinical laboratory products and services worldwide.
We hope that you were able to attend the show and that you stopped by our stand as well. We have pulled together 5 key trends and messages from the show that we thought were useful and though-provoking.
There has already been a move towards semi-automated processes in labs, however we are seeing a greater emphasis on fully automated lab functions particularly in the clinical laboratory field. From the use of multitip pipetters to cell culture media dispensing, repetitive and sensitive tasks such as DNA sequencing require the processing of large numbers of samples.
Ideally a fully automated lab system to achieve this would not only improve patient care through faster diagnosis, but ultimately allow scientists to tackle several lab processes through modular systems in one automation platform. With this apparent drive to increase automation, questions arise on flexibility versus specificity with the uptime of laboratories.
Ensuring that labs increase uptime while also improving efficiency has been seen more and more at the last few clinical exhibitions that we have attended. Whilst linked to automated labs, there is a drive for testing efficiencies to ensure better outcome for patients. With a growing number of people on the planet, labs are coming under more pressure with the volume of samples that need to be analyzed. Not only do labs need to deliver accurate results at a faster pace, but they also need to ensure compliance with global regulations and maintain low running costs.
We think that this efficiency drive will manifest itself in more ‘intelligent’ equipment that requires smaller sample sizes and the ability to perform multiple analyses through the one automatic platform. We look forward to seeing what is in store with this type of product innovation over the next 5 years.
Environmental issues have been affecting people and businesses for a growing number of years and labs are becoming increasingly more aware of the impact of diagnostic and clinical testing on the environment. We noticed a number of trends aimed at reducing sample volumes leading to reduced liquid waste and therefore a minimized environmental impact.
Not only were we happy to see a heightened awareness of the effects of laboratory processes on the environment, but our own booth highlighted the options available to labs with regards to automated analyzer waste treatment and a reduction in consumable waste through the adoption of cleaner technologies.
With an increase in automated processes, patients would naturally expect an improved diagnosis time for a multitude of diseases. If you were at the show on Monday, then you will have undoubtedly been present at the reveal of a number of products. One of the main products which seems to have stolen the show provides a breakthrough in the management of heart attack patients by providing clinicians with the ability to diagnose and treat patients within an hour, thanks to a new generation troponin test.
The innovation that spans across all of the major diagnostic companies shows a drive to increase product ranges to ensure that analyzers are pushing the boundaries of diagnosis times at every opportunity. We expect to see even more of this in the future and at future shows.
While all of the trends point to improved patient care, the underlying process which underpins all aspects in the lab are the water systems. From our survey on laboratory experience with water systems, we discovered that 55% of people have had a negative experience with the water systems in the lab and yet everyone has agreed that water is one of the most fundamental aspects of the lab reagents. Not surprisingly, 58% of those asked would expect a response from a service team within 4 hours of raising the alarm (pun intended). We know that water is important in the lab, but did you realize just how much?
If you are interested in seeing the full results from the survey, then please keep in touch by subscribing to our blog.
We would love to hear from you with your comments and feedback from the show or what your top 5 trends would be. Leave us a comment below or tweet to us #IFCC2015 @sciencewater.
We look forward to seeing you at the next IFCC in 2017, but if you that is too far to wait then visit us at AACC at the end of July. See you there!