Lab Industry Voices, Diagnostic Innovation, and Ugly Sweater Parties: What We’ll be Watching at #2020AACC

Although virtual this year, this years meeting of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) is probably more important than ever.  The industry is at the forefront of worldwide efforts to combat the COVID-19 disease.   In the United States, national focus is on laboratorians in an unprecedented way.  In vitro diagnostic vendors are under pressure to deliver instruments and reagents as never before.

As usual, AACC is the largest gathering of lab professionals and the IVD vendors that service them.  This year to keep their interest and participation, virtual happy hours and even ugly sweater parties are part of the meeting, along with the usual complement of scientific sessions and posters.  In this article, Kalorama outlines what areas to watch out for will be.

Laboratorians have been busy all year and this year especially have been a focus of national attention.   Now it is their time to be heard from.

Kalorama Information analysts will be viewing events and vendor announcements.  Kalorama’s market report on the IVD industry can be found at:

What We’ll Be Watching

In particular, analysts are keeping their eye on the following:


Time to Hear from Labs

 Laboratorians have been busy all year and have been a focus of national attention.   Now it is their time to speak.  Expect to hear what various labs across the country and the world are experiencing in terms of the COVID-19 disease, and associated workloads, staff issues, stress and supply problems.  In particular, Kalorama analysts are on the lookout to hear if supply issues have continued even this many months out.  Recent surveys from AACC and AMP reflected this.

One session,  Just The Facts on SARS-COV-2 should provide some of this story.  Giuseppe Lippi, MD, and John Hackett, PhD, offer insight into the mechanisms of infection, viral kinetics, and human-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Additional details on the characteristics of COVID-19 disease progression, including viral incubation, respiratory involvement, inflammatory responses, thrombotic response, and death (or remission) also are addressed.


Home Collection

The unexpected and unprecedented demand for testing given the COVID-19 crisis has lead to a parallel demand for new sampling methods, including home testing.  What are vendors developing and what will scientific sessions say about the experience and performance of these methods in 2020?

Vaccine Connections

Analysts will be on the look out for tests, like antibody tests or specific collection devices, related biomarkers for preexisting conditions, any developments that might pair up well with vaccines, now that COVID-19 vaccines will be available.  Already some of these products have been announced.    And any related sessions.

 How Robust is R&D and New Products

AACC is a particularly important time for vendors to launch new products and to announce partnerships and mergers.  Perhaps this year, COVID-19 may have impacted these activities, but we suspect not.  We’ll be watching to see if new products of a variety of tests are launch or if the primary focus is COVID-19.  Of note: Siemens announced its new epoc Blood Analysis System with new epoc NXS Host, which the company says provides critical test results at the point of care in less than a minute to promptly diagnose and monitor patients in acute care settings.    Roche announced a high-volume laboratory SARS-CoV-2 antigen test

Respiratory Combo Panels

Roche, Quest labs and Quidel are among the companies that have announced tests for a combination of Flu and COVID-19.  Will there be more announcements in this promising area.

AI in Diagnostics

With the lab industry in what many described as a ‘war’  this year, did artificial intelligence technologies provide any assistance?  We’ll be looking at sessions, vendor press releases and posters to see if there’s any positive statistics to match some of the AI-based approaches announced in the past few years; or promising new efforts that might help improve diagnosis using in vitro diagnostics.

Attendance and participation

Tens of thousands attend AACC.  Kalorama has noted over the years how many a city has been surprised at the size of the industry it is hosting when the convention comes to town.  This year, will virtual sessions lead to a decline or perhaps even an increase in participation?, since more laboratorians can access than may have been able to attend in previous years.

Key Laboratory Supply Vendors at AACC

Of note – AACC has announced its Vendor Support Awards, which are a good indication of the significant companies in the industry supplying laboratorians.  This year, AACC recognizes 45 different companies and organizations that generously support the association through sponsorships, advertising, and exhibiting. These significant contributions make it possible for AACC to improve patient care by fostering research, innovation, and professional excellence in the field of laboratory medicine.

The AACC 2020 Corporate Supporter Award recipients include:
  • Siemens Healthineers
  • Abbott Diagnostics
  • Roche Diagnostics
  • Beckman Coulter, Inc.
  • Sysmex
  • BD
  • Ortho Clinical Diagnostics
  • Instrumentation Laboratory (IL)
  • Bio-Rad Laboratories
  • Randox Laboratories
  • Diagnostica Stago, Inc.
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Fujirebio
  • HORIBA Medical
  • DiaSorin Inc.
  • BioFire Diagnostics, LLC
  • Nova Biomedical Corporation
  • Grifols
  • Sebia
  • Binding Site, Inc.
  • Sekisui Diagnostics LLC
  • BioMerieux Inc.
  • MilliporeSigma
  • IDS Co, LTD
  • Hemosure / WHPM
  • Orchard Software Corp.
  • Hologic, Inc.
  • Diazyme Laboratories, Inc.
  • Tosoh Bioscience
  • Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics Co., Ltd.
  • Waters Corporation
  • DiagnostikNet-BB e.V.
  • ARK Diagnostics, Inc.
  • Kamiya Biomedical Company
  • Luminex Corporation
  • Tecan
  • Hamilton Company
  • Streck, Inc.
  • Zeus Scientific
  • Quest Diagnostics
  • Wallonia Export-Investment Agency