AACC 2019 Anaheim: A Demand for Faster, Better, and More Relevant Tests

Kalorama Information attended the American Association of Clinical Chemistry in Anaheim this year.    We analyzed products and trends, interviewed vendors and experts, and gathered information for our 12 Edition Worldwide Market for In Vitro Diagnostics Tests report, due out this month.

Time is of the essence, it is said, and that was the case in Anaheim at the latest AACC.  As in other years, Kalorama found that vendors emphasized time-savings in their pitches.  That meant saving lab staff time, increasing walkaway time, reducing sample-to-result time, increasing test-to-treatment time.  Faster tests were on display, and “better” tests too.   Tests that are more sensitive, more precise, test instruments with operator assists such as decision aids, management IT and automated features.  These are features that vendors hope will help retain customers in a shrinking lab environment. In the scientific sessions and on the Clinical Expo floor, vendors and speakers focused on improvements in testing and patient care.  There was a clear demand for biomarkers that can really inform therapy, and a need for a better solution on sepsis.

Developments of note in the first day of the Clinical Expo include.

“Disruptive” Sepsis System wins Prize.   Sepsis is oft misdiagnosed; hence the plethora of discussion and exhibits on the disease at AACC over the years.   Inflammatix’s in-dev 30 minute sepsis test attracted attention and an award.  Their product  HostDx Sepsis, a highly specific diagnostic test that can identify the type and severity of a patient’s infection in less than 20 minutes.  The company claims the product enables early detection of both bloodstream and non-bloodstream infections.   The product uses mRNA and gene signature technology, and according to the makers, detecting changes in gene expression across a range of messenger genes  creates greater granularity than markers such as PCT.   The intention is to direct better treatment.   The product is in the early stages and clinical trials are not yet performed.

Improvements to dPCR, colon cancer testing and mass spectrometry were also among the innovative tests that received Disruptive Technology awards.   CombiNATI is  an in-dev 16 sample-per-plate dPCR platform that aims to compete with market leaders Bio-Rad and Thermo in the burgeoning dPCR field.  The company was a semi-finalist in the awards.  La Jolla-based Singelera Genomics was a finalist for their ColonES colorectal cancer screening assay. The circulating tumor methylated DNA (ctmDNA) test.   The company claims ColonES is an accurate test that is non-invasive and uses blood samples rather than stool  the sample used for Cologuard and other fecal occult blood-based tests.   The award might be indicative of a need for a simpler sampling method.

AACC President Touts POC Platform, Takes on PAMA: In an interview with LabPulse.com  AACC 2019 President Carmen Wiley, PhD talked about top presentations at the conference, as well as some of the major issues facing clinical chemistry right now.   She previewed important plenary sessions; presented the LabTestsOnline.com website, which is meant for the layperson and efforts of AACC to go to Capitol Hill and meet with representatives.

“The A in PAMA is supposed to represent access, and it actually does the opposite. The most vulnerable patients are going to be affected, because they won’t be able to obtain the tests they need. ”
-AACC President, Carmen Wiley, PhD, LabPulse Video Interview

She also mentioned the grass-roots efforts to get members to write to their representatives about laboratory medicine issues, and touted the POC certification program that has 32 diplomates already: “Testing is leaving the core laboratory and going out into other areas, and we want them to have a strong foundation,” she said.   Wiley also promoted the work the organization is doing with PAMA. “The A in PAMA is supposed to represent access, and it actually does the opposite. The most vulnerable patients are going to be affected, because they won’t be able to obtain the tests they need. ”

Roche Bets on Precision, Deep Analytics, Presents Tumor Board Review Tool:  Roche Diagnostics is the #1 IVD company in the world according to Kalorama Information’s The Worldwide Market for In Vitro Diagnostics.  They compete in all major sectors, but with traditional in vitro segments such as chemistry and glucose at low-growth levels, the company made a noticeable shift to possibly game changers like big data and deep analytics.    This was evident at its press conference on Tuesday of the meeting, which Kalorama attended.   VP Rod Cotton and VP for Information Diagnostics Ketan Paranjape presented their solutions to enhance teams of doctors participating in tumor board review.  “Scientific knowledge doubles every 80 to 90 days,” said Paranjape.  “We have to find meaningful ways to add value.”

Roche’s foray in this area is the NAVIFY Tumor Board 2.0, a cloud-based product resulting from a partnership with GE Healthcare, integrates and presents patient data along with relevant scientific data. A single, standardized dashboard with GE enables viewing of DICOM and manually uploaded digital image files.   And the seamlessly incorporated application ecosystem enhances tumor board preparation and presentation to support the clinical decision making of oncology teams.

In other news, Roche announced that longtime CEO of Roche Diagnostics’ North American operations Jack J. Phillips was leaving the company.  Media reports indicate he left to join Accelerate Diagnostics.

Roche announced instrument system additions as well, including their cobas  Pro Integrated Solution— An integrated mid-to-high volume solution for clinical chemistry and immunochemistry testing needs that is designed to achieve reduced maintenance and increased throughput through a scalable and modular system.  The system is not available for use in the U.S. pending 510(k) clearance.  They also featured cobas Prime — A pre-analytical system designed for standard processing and cross-contamination control of molecular samples. This system is also not available for use in the U.S.

Pro-Keto Diet Study Unveiled at AACC – In recent years, numerous contradictory dietary guidelines have come out, leaving the public confused about what is truly healthy to eat. The American Heart Association recommends an ideal upper salt intake limit of 1.5 g/day for adults in order to prevent high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. However, in 2013, the Institute of Medicine came out against cutting sodium levels below 2.3 g/day. So which organization is correct? The answer turns out to depend on an individual’s genetically determined salt sensitivity.

By the end of the study, mean blood glucose and HbA1c levels had dropped for 110 of the participants, going down to 137 mg/dL and 6.43%, respectively.

This new test and a second study showing that the ketogenic diet improves diabetes symptoms were presented   Kanchana Lakshmi Prasanna Angati, MD and other researchers recruited 115 Indian type 2 diabetes patients to follow the keto diet for 3 months. At the start of the study, participants’ mean blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels—both of which reflect blood sugar levels—were 169 mg/dL and 7.8%, respectively. By the end of the study, mean blood glucose and HbA1c levels had dropped for 110 of the participants, going down to 137 mg/dL and 6.43%, respectively.

Ortho Clinical Diagnostics Wins Service Awards:  for the fourth consecutive year, its Ortho Care™ service and support program was ranked No. 1 in the diagnostics industry. The rankings were published in three IMV 2019 ServiceTrak™ reports, which are based on opinions of laboratory professionals working in U.S. hospitals representing more than 3,000 systems.

Kalorama spoke with Michael S. Iskra, President of North America Commercial Operations for Ortho, as well as Clinical Lab Portfolio head Piper Antimarino.  The company unveiled the VITROS XT 3400, which is currently under development and is intended for smaller laboratories that do not require the full menu and full throughput of the VITROS XT 7600. The company says the VITROS XT 3400 will also employ Ortho’s dry-slide technology that eliminates washing and other steps, which can normally introduce errors in testing.

Ortho’s message: Automation of basic tests contributes to precision.  Freeing up bread-and-butter tasks performed by laboratory staff can ensure that laboratorians have time for novel testing that needs to be done.

While awaiting FDA clearance, the product boasts a 3x performance boost over the company’s existing VITROS model, while saving space.  “In order for labs to perform more novel tests, we want to free up labs from the the bread and butter tasks,” Iskra told Kalorama.

Ortho Clinical Diagnostics Unveiled its Ortho’s VITROS XT MicroSlide which uses an advanced digital imaging optics technology that allows labs to simultaneously perform two tests that are commonly ordered together from a single small blood sample. The company claims this new tech gleans significantly more information from each test than before, improving performance, saving time and space in the lab, and increasing productivity, with less patient sample required for testing. Ortho’s VITROS XT MicroSlides, which include VITROS XT UREA-CREA, TRIG-CHOL and GLU-Ca Slides, have received CE Mark and are available on the VITROS XT 7600 Integrated System.

Solving Disease Mysteries with Precision Med– Millions of individuals in the U.S live with a rare disease. Using genome sequencing, some of them have received answers. Euan Ashley, MB ChB, DPhil, of the Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Diseases, highlighted new genomic sequencing technologies that could drive precision medicine forward, while also exploring precision medicine’s likely near-term uses—such as in solving the mystery of unidentifiable diseases. Dr. Ashley presented compelling cases from the Undiagnosed Disease Network that demonstrated the potential of precision medicine to better characterize rare diseases. The network diagnosed 200 patients that previously had an unknown disease. Of those, 40 patients were able to find a targeted therapy to treat the disease. These are small numbers, relative to the total number of patients, but indicative of what larger funded efforts could do.

70-Second BMP: Instrumentation Laboratory (IL) today announced the unveiling of their latest innovation, the GEM Premier ChemSTAT.  The system is a whole-blood analyzer designed for rapid basic metabolic panel (BMP) testing at the point of care, primarily in hospital Emergency Departments (EDs) and Clinical Laboratories.  The system provides laboratory-quality results on-demand, in less than 70 seconds, from venous or arterial whole blood samples, with no preparation required.

Laboratory-quality BMP results on-demand, in less than 70 seconds, one of several products aiming to slice test time.


Three-Minute HbA1c Test On Display:  HbA1c is an established marker, but its important to note the developments in the interfaces and formats for A1c tests.  Abbott displayed its recently FDA-cleared Afinion™ HbA1c Dx assay is now available for use on the Afinion 2 and AS100 Analyzers.  Abbott says the Afinion HbA1c Dx assay is the first and only rapid point-of-care test cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to aid healthcare professionals in the diagnosis of diabetes and the assessment of patients’ risk of developing the condition.  The test delivers accurate and precise glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) results in only three minutes, enabling clinicians to diagnose patients and help them formulate individualized care plans during a single doctor’s office visit.

90-Second Lipid-Glucose Combo: PTS Diagnostics presented a CardioChek Plus analyzer and PTS Panels Lipid Panel + eGLU Smart Bundle. The company says these products help clinicians save time by simultaneously testing lipid panel and glucose.

Game Changer on Lyme Disease? Lyme Disease cases are up, public awareness has grown, and tests are simply inadequate to detect the disease in most patients — too many false negatives to call existing products successful. This has been widely acknowledged. Genetic tests are in development. But another way is to take the existing technologies and double them up.   ZEUS Scientific promoted ZUES MITT – a double immunoassay system which the company claims can detect 30% more acute cases than the immuno/WesternBlot combo.

AACC Aims at Africa:  AACC announced an expansion of The Global Lab Quality Initiative (GLQI) to Africa next year.  The program circulates testing best practices, providing method verification workshops and other training and education.  For 8 years, the GLQI has worked with partner associations in Latin America and the Pacific region.   A quality control workshop is slated for Ethiopia in 2020, and a newborn screening workshop is planned in Morocco in the coming year.

More than half of global population growth between now and 2050 is expected to occur in Africa, according to the U.N.

As lab quality, tools and possibly information systems better take root in these countries, Kalorama sees an important marketplace to watch long-term.  The African Federation of Clinical Chemistry (www.afccafrica.org) counts labs in fifteen countries among her members.   Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa are among countries with established clinical chemistry societies of their own.

Biomarker Discovery is Not Enough: Researchers may be developing more biomarkers than needed.   And there are thousands of tests of dubious value.  This was the conclusion of a plenary talk by David Walt, PhD – “Biomarker Discovery from Technology Development to Clinical Application” emphasized that the genertic technology he helped to foster (Walt is the developer of microwell technology) is creating an overwhelming amount of biomarkers, but not yet optimizing patient care.   Dr. Walt told two “stories of technology development” that illustrate how long it can take research technology to reach the diagnostics market, asking “how can we bring transformative technology to the clinic?” By the time such companies begin to address the diagnostics market, their revenue stream is already strongly tied to research markets. He said few companies participate in both the research and diagnostics markets.He went on to propose an alternative that would see the process reversed.

By the time research companies begin to address the diagnostics market, their revenue stream is already strongly tied to research markets.

He emphasized that developers need to start with an unmet clinical need and approach with an eye to clinical utility.    Innovation does not always improve the clinical work up.  More detail and analysis of Dr. Walt’s talk is provided in Instrument Business Outlook. 

Testing for CBN and THC Differs, Study Shows: A study of immunoassays used for detecting tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the psychoactive part of marijuana — found that other types of cannabinoids have the potential to give a positive result, researchers reported on August 5.  Cannabinol (CBN), which is marketed as an over-the-counter sleep aid, gave a positive result on one of two THC immunoassays tested in a study of urine samples taken at Arup Laboratories, a nationwide clinical and anatomical pathology reference laboratory and a nonprofit arm of the University of Utah.    The researchers also tested three other types of cannabinoids in urine samples — cannabidiol (CBD), cannabichromene (CBC), and cannabigerol (CBG) — but did not identify the same cross-reactivity issues reported for CBN.  The study shows the unknowns for consumers and laboratories alike regarding effects of cannabinoids and risks for false positives in drug tests. The legalization of marijuana in some U.S. states and the first approval by the Food and Drug Administration of a prescription-grade formulation of CBD (GW Pharmaceuticals) for a rare form of epilepsy has given a stamp of legitimacy to cannabis-derived products. CBD may be stealing the headlines nowadays, but according to the University of Utah researchers, CBN is also commonly used and may affect lab results.

Quest for Sepsis Silver Bullet Continues: procalcitonin (PCT) and lactate are two established biomarkers for sepsis, but there are limitations.  A Session entitled  “The Journal of Applied Medicine Hot Topics of 2019” discussed these limitations, and the progress on new markers.  Several European studies have reported reduction in antibiotic usage with PCT-guided decision making, but a large multi-center U.S. discussion did not show results.   A novel marker, Human Neturophil Lipocalin (HNL) was discussed.  HNL is a glycoprotein released from activated neutrophils during bacterial infections. It can distinguish between bactertial and viral infections with greater than 90% accuracy, according to Robert Christenson, PhD, Editor in Chief of The Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine.  bioMerieux, Diazyme, iCubate, Nova Biomedical, Response Biomedical, VITRO, Joinstar Biomedical Technology Co. are among the companies that presented sepsis products at the meeting.

The understanding of sepsis is changing.  A recent JAMA study, based on EHRs, which found that sepsis has at least four types labelled alpha (α), beta (β), gamma (γ), and delta (δ) — with different demographics, laboratory values, and patterns of organ dysfunction.(https://www.medpagetoday.com/meetingcoverage/ats/79

Opioids: AACC released a position statement at AACC calling for increased collaboration between clinical laboratories, the healthcare community, and federal agencies to end the opioid epidemic. The statement emphasizes that labs are critical to preventing opioid abuse and urges the medical community and government to leverage the expertise of clinical laboratory professionals to curb soaring drug overdoses in the U.S.

From 2016 to 2017, fatal overdoses caused by synthetic opioids jumped by 46%, a surge that contributed heavily to the more than 70,000 drug overdose-related deaths in 2017. Synthetic opioids are so deadly because of their extreme potency, but also because common tests often can’t detect them. This makes it difficult to determine whether synthetic opioids are the cause of a drug overdose and to detect when a patient is abusing synthetic opioids. The AACC is betting that laboratories with the appropriate experts and the right instrumentation and tests can identify many synthetic opioids that would otherwise be missed. Without this information, patients might not get crucial addiction or overdose treatment. Clinicians especially need to know if an overdose is due to a long-lasting synthetic opioid, because in these cases patients may need additional doses of the opioid antidote naloxone to prevent a relapse of overdose symptoms.

Quidel Promotes New Drug Test: launched its Triage TOX Drug Screen, a fluorescence immunoassay to be used with the Quidel Triage MeterPro System for detection of   acetaminophen/paracetamol, amphetamines, methamphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, methadone, opiates, phencyclidine, THC and tricyclic antidepressants in urine.  The MeterPro is a comprehensive test menu a diverse immunoassay menu in a variety of tests including BNP, CK-MB, d-dimer, myoglobin, troponin I.

Boosted Mass Spec with New Emitter: For Mass spectrometry (MS) to work in clinical diagnostics two enabling developments will be required. Throughput for the clinical environment, and the adaptation to immunoassays.  Newomics, a semi-finalist at the AACC Most Disruptive Technology Awards claims to have done both, and was recognized by the association for their work.  They have developed a novel, sensitive, robust, and fast MS assay to quantify intact proteins directly from human plasma without immunoprecipitation or digestion. Newomics has developed a top-down parallel reaction monitoring-MS (PRM-MS) assay that the company claims has a sensitivity (0.1−1.0 fmole) and speed (1−5 min) on par with ELISA.

For mass spectrometry to work in clinical diagnostics, throughput for the clinical environment, and the adaptation to immunoassays will be required.

Newomics produces emitters (M3 emitters) that they say enable optimization of sensitivity, throughput and robustness for LC-MS by splitting the LC eluent evenly into multiple flows at the emitter, thereby dramatically enhancing the ionization efficiency. The first commercially-available M3 emitter has been optimized for microflow LC – nanospray MS and can easily be configured for the Thermo Scientific microflow LC-MS systems and the Thermo Scientific Nanospray Flex ion source. The company has a co-marketing agreement with Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Molecular Point of Care:  PCR systems at the near-patient level are one of the more innovative technologies in IVD. Kalorama Information’s report estimated a more than $400 million-dollar market for PCR and other NAAT-based tests at the point of care. Abbott, Cepheid, BioFire (bioMerieux) and Roche lead in this segment, but Quidel, Meridian, Mesa Biotech, and Biocartis are among those with offerings as well. Credo Biomedical, a Singapore-based developer of systems for veterinary diagnostics, launched their new molecular diagnostic platform, VitaPCR, and its Influenza A/B assay. Credo is boasting cost-advantages, the system delivers lab- accurate results in less than 20 minutes with only 2 minutes hand-on time at the same price level as traditional lateral flow tests. The product is especially aimed at NGO markets, and is under development pending approval from major authorities.

Diabetes: Given the unfortunate incident rates and the severity of the disease, this is an important area for test innovation and this was evident at AACC 2019.   Revised American Diabetes Association standards since the last AACC annual meeting – https://www.aacc.org/publications/cln/cln-stat/2019/january/17/new-diabetes-standards-of-care-what-labs-need-to-know. may increase vendor focus on new hbA1C testing systems. The annual National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program and IFCC Manufacturer Forum met at the Hilton Anaheim during the meeting.   The group sets test certification standards.  In terms of vendors, EKF Diagnostics displayed their now FDA-cleared glycated albumin test, used for intermediate term monitoring of glycemic control in diabetes patients. Glycated albumin is measured when diabetes therapy is initiated to determine medication regimens and doses and to assess overall therapy efficacy. Nova Biomedical offered several seminars at the meeting related to diabetes, including “Regulatory Requirements and Legal Consequences of Off-label Glucose Testing Rapid Diagnostics for Electrolyte Imbalances in Sepsis”,” Rapid Diagnostics for Electrolyte Imbalances in Sepsis”, and “Regulatory Requirements and Legal Consequences of Off-label Glucose Testing” Roche Diagnostics promoted its Accu-Chek® Inform II system The company says the wireless meter and test strip technology, along with its connectivity solution work together to provide reliable results in 5 seconds.

NAFLD and NASH: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), in which fat deposits in the liver, affects over 1 billion people globally and is projected to become the leading cause of liver-related mortality within 20 years. Siemens Healthineers sponsored a “Managing Patient Pathways and Improving Outcomes in NAFLD and NASH” Tuesday, August 6 in the Exhibit Hall. Of note: According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the prevalence of this disease is more significant in the U.S. NAFLD affects between 30% and 40% of American adults. NAFLD is one of the most common causes of liver disease in the United States. Most people with NAFLD have simple fatty liver. Only a small number of people with NAFLD have NASH. Experts estimate that about 20 percent of people with NAFLD have NASH. Caspase-generated fragments such as cytokeratin-18 (CK-18) in patients with various hepatic impairments are investigated as markers for diagnosis and assessment of disease severity. cytokeratin-18 (CK-18) CK-18 is the most extensively evaluated analyte for NASH diagnosis. Ray Biotech, Arup, Millipore Sigma and Thermo Fisher were among vendors with CK-18 antibody products.

Alzheimer’s Disease Progress: Blood metabolites could one day help predict which patients with Alzheimer’s disease will experience relief from cognitive symptoms through exercise therapy, based on preliminary data presented on August 5 at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) conference in Anaheim, CA.  A team of researchers led by Danni Li, PhD, and Fang Yu, PhD, both from the department of laboratory medicine and pathology at the University of Minnesota, identified the metabolites in a study of 26 patients.

Prior research has suggested that exercise enhances cognition in Alzheimer’s disease and reduces the accumulation of amyloid plaques in the brain. In light of the many failures of drug treatment, exercise has become an increasingly important area of research for this common and disabling condition. In the U.S., one of every three seniors has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia at the time of death.

While the research is encouraging, authors emphasized that it is still preliminary; the results must be validated and replicated. A new follow-up clinical trial of 120 patients that will combine exercise and cognitive training as an intervention for cognitive impairment is in the planning stages. The follow-up trial will also look for metabolites associated with improvements in patients’ cognitive abilities.


Biotin: A session at AACC 2019 “Beautiful Skin and Erroneous Lab Results” dealt with biotin or B7 and its interference with testing some immunoassay methods.  Biotin is an issue as it is in some foods but also in commonly consumed supplement products for hair, skin and nails.  The supplements can be higher than US RDA and throw off testing results.  The session suggested ways to deal with interference, such as testing for biotin and adjusting results.  That doesn’t mean all labs will do that, thus this trend is one where some vendors can prosper:  Tosoh Bioscience presented its biotin free assay menu ST AIA-PACK.  The increase in biotin supplementation use combined with the limitations in many immunoassays, the company says, has led to false lab results, misdiagnosis and mismanagement of patients.  The FDA to issue a warning against biotin interfering with some lab tests.  Abbott diagnostic tests are also biotin-interference-free, according to the company.

Testing and Transgender Patients:  Laboratorians should be aware of transgender patients and how hormone therapy can change lab values, due to the lack of test reference values for this subset of the population, according to a pathologist who presented long-term data on August 5 at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) conference in Anaheim, CA.   The retrospective study examined lab test results from charts of 147 healthy transgender people over five years, including a comprehensive metabolic panel, complete blood count, and lipids.  Hormone therapy can affect lab values — for example, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, red blood cell count, and kidney function — and it’s an issue for those who transitioned to female and are on estrogen therapy, as well as for male patients taking testosterone.

Laboratorians should be aware of transgender patients and how hormone therapy can change lab values, due to the lack of test reference values for this subset of the population.

New Sickle Cell Rapid – Fast diagnosis of sickle cell disease is necessary RBCs containing evidence of the disease live only about 16 days compared to 120 days for normal red blood cells. To initiate life-saving therapies, early diagnosis of SCD is key.   Absent treatment, severe complications can occur.  BioMedomics launched its Sickle SCAN —  a multiplexed, qualitative, point-of-care immunoassay used for the rapid diagnosis of sickle cell disorders. The test is made up of three indicators which detect the presence of hemoglobins A, S, and C, allowing the user to rapidly distinguish between normal, carrier, and sickle cell disease samples.


CRP Rapid: Orion Diagnostica presented its FDA-cleared QuikRead Go CRP, an immunoturbidimetric assay for the in vitro quantitative determination of C-reactive protein (CRP) in K2-EDTA and lithium heparin whole blood, K2-EDTA and lithium heparin plasma, and in serum sample. The company says that QuikRead Go makes it easy to add patient and/or operator identification information together with the result which is automatically stored in the instrument’s internal memory.

Automation Developments for Mid-Size Labs: Analyzers with automated features were a common offering at AACC – ERBA Mannheim unveiled its NEXUS next generation automation at AACC 2019. Erba’s Hematology system uses unique combination of ultra-high definition imaging, artificial intelligence (AI) and traditional methods to analyse thousands of blood cells per minute to improve turn-around time Immunoassay system uses high sensitivity CLIA technology with proprietary magnetic bead design with menu of over 100 parameters Chemistry system uses advanced thick-film ISE analysis technology and innovative reagent management to deliver improved workflow and enhanced analytical result quality.  Festo introduced a new low-weight, high-accuracy 96-channel bulk dispense head, which offers an economically effective way to distribute bulk reagents at high throughput. The system can be made compatible with various liquid handling robots or supplied as a standalone automated sample preparation system. The company said Most bulk-dispense heads are heavier and require more costly motion units to handle the greater torque requirements.

Beckman Provides Automation Across Lab Sizes, Wins Performance Award:  Beckman Coulter introduced its “Automation for All” strategy that includes a scalable workflow solution that complies with the cost and space requirement s of small to large clinical laboratories.  The new automation products include:  Command for larger labs, Advance for medium-sized labs, Connect for small labs.

Beckman Coulter announced that its MicroScan WalkAway family of instruments has once again received IMV ServiceTrak’s “Best System Performance” award in the AST/ID category. ServiceTrak™ Clinical Laboratory Awards are based on interviews conducted with respondents in 2,075 clinical testing locations. The award in each category is given to manufacturers that receive the highest percentage of highly satisfied customer responses. The Best System Performance award was presented to Beckman Coulter today at the 71st AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in Anaheim, Calif.

Benchtop Automated AST System:  Thermo launched a benchtop automated reading and incubation system for antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) and new sustainable culture media plate technology at this week’s American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) annual meeting in Anaheim, CA.   Sensititre Aris HiQ AST from Thermo Fisher Scientific is a new benchtop automated reading and incubation system for antimicrobial susceptibility testing.

Thermo Fisher Scientific said that it has collaborated with pharmaceutical companies to include a large selection of antimicrobials, enabling access to new therapies for multidrug-resistant infections.

Thermo Fisher Scientific said that it has collaborated with pharmaceutical companies to include a large selection of antimicrobials, enabling access to new therapies for multidrug-resistant infections. Laboratories can also use the system to create their own custom AST plates from more than 300 antimicrobials in broad dilution ranges to consolidate and reduce offline testing, according to the firm.

bioMérieux Highlights Decision-Making Aids: PhenoMATRIX for WASPLab that allows labs to take their automated processes to “the next level” with artificial intelligence and interpretative algorithms for sample interpretation and automated sorting. PhenoMATRIX evaluates growth on a media plate through user-defined custom rules, allowing staff to spend less time reading plates and focus on those that are positive. And its AGILIST advanced analytic platform which securely connects and integrates siloed systems into a single source focused on operational efficiency, antimicrobial stewardship and surveillance, analyzing data in real-time, addressing problems, providing reliable information, and improving communications among key stakeholders.

Raising the Profile of Lab Professionals: Alan Wu, PhD, a professor of lab medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, has a few ideas that he shared with LabPulse.com Editor-in-Chief Emily Hayes at this week’s American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) meeting.  Most laboratory professionals would agree that the public is generally unaware of what they really do. But what’s the best way to change the discipline’s low profile?  Video interview here:  https://www.labpulse.com/index.aspx?sec=nws&sub=rad&pag=dis&ItemID=800269