Last week, our team at ELGA visited the annual exposition for the American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC 2014) in Chicago. Drawing more than 20,000 people from 100 different countries, it is clear to see that AACC is one of the largest exhibitions for clinical laboratory products and services worldwide.
We have pulled together a list of the trends and take-home facts that our team observed while there.
Automation: We all know how important lab technicians are, but there is now a move towards the invisible lab tech through product automation. The requirements: a robust product, requiring little user intervention and providing high, consistent throughput.
Cross–functional laboratories: With increasing turnover in staff, laboratories are seeking more generalized professionals to perform cross-functional analyses.
Smarter equipment: When time is of the essence, it is important that the systems are capable of maintaining consistent and rapid productivity without compromising on quality. New product models appeared to show smarter systems, which filter the data while providing stricter quality control.
Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS): While the technology of Capillary Electrophoresis (CE) is becoming widely used across the world, NGS takes the concept and extends it further to enable rapid sequencing of genomes. The next step in the evolutionary chain appears to be combining these concepts with nanotechnology, such as Microchip Capillary Electrophoresis. Imagine finding out from your genes whether you are predisposed to specific health problems before they even happen …
Vitamin D: When you read news about the long-term effects of Vitamin D deficiencies, it is comforting to hear about new developments in Vitamin D research. We think that this will be a future hot topic to listen out for.
Immunoassay and cancer biomarkers: Identifying early detection biomarkers could provide early diagnosis of cancers significantly increasing survival rate. With a growth in the immunoassay technique for detection, this important research could lead to the development of new early screening tests.
Personalized medicines: Customizing healthcare on a molecular level to tailor a medicine specifically for a patient, meaning a more precise, predictable and powerful medicine. Scientists and doctors are learning how to tailor healthcare to a persons’ unique genetic make-up in order to provide better diagnoses, safer drug prescription and more effective treatment to all forms of diseases and conditions.
Testing at home: No more queues at the doctor or waiting for days, weeks or months for your results, it appears that there is a trend towards testing for a variety of ailments in the comfort of your own home. The Chinese market appears to be at the forefront of this innovation at the moment.
Nanotechnology: A move towards miniaturization of equipment and automation processes will lead to a reduction in the time and costs for analyses, while vastly maximising uptime and laboratory efficiency. This is likely to be a major player in the coming years. Keep an eye out for our upcoming blog on nanotechnology.
Laboratories in developing countries: With a 15% growth of the market in Latin America, it is clear to see that the number of laboratories in developing countries is expanding due to an increase in healthcare spending. We look forward to even more innovative research at next year’s show!
Environmental: With global governmental campaigns about emissions, laboratory users are becoming more proactive when it comes to understanding the environmental impact of their processes and how to reduce this to be more green while reducing costs. They could even read this blog!
AACC is a great opportunity to take in all of the latest trends and innovations in the clinical and diagnostic market. We look forward to seeing what new things are in store next year!