by Lauren Dubinsky
, Senior Reporter | October 06, 2014
On Thursday, Siemens Healthcare, Inpeco and Quest Diagnostic announced that they are collaborating to automate one of Quest's new clinical laboratories in Marlborough, Mass.
It will combine Siemens' clinical and workflow skills, Inpeco's laboratory automation expertise and Quest's laboratory testing knowledge.
The Quest laboratory will be 200,000 square-feet and it will include a customized automation solution, which will upgrade Quest's current manual workflow. The new solution will enable Quest to process several thousand patient blood samples in an hour.
The laboratory will also have a 200 meter high-speed track, which is one of the largest automation tracks ever created. The track will transport blood samples to different instruments for testing, such as immunoassay and chemistry analyzers.
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"This multidisciplinary approach helps to enhance laboratory workflow so that laboratories are better able to meet the growing demand for IVD testing with limited resources," Franz Walt, CEO of the chemistry, immunoassay, automation and diagnostic IT business unit at Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, wrote to DOTmed News.
Automated mega-labs are going to play a big role in solving today's cost pressure and labor shortages in health care, wrote Walt. Automation standardizes the IVD testing process, which allows for quick testing turnaround times and reduces the amount of potential errors.
Since the medical technologists don't have to spend time on the manual processes such as transporting samples between analyzers, they can focus more on interpreting lab results.
The lab is expected to be completed and fully operational in the second quarter of 2015. If Quest decides to deploy automation solutions in its other clinical laboratories going forward, then Siemens and Inpeco will be the preferred providers.