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What’s the buzz at AACC? Buzzwords like IDN, data analytics, and partnering

August 02, 2017
By Dennis Matricardi, MS, SM(ASCP)DLM
Clinical Analyst, MD Buyline

Scientists, professors, laboratory professionals, and vendors from a wide array of diagnostic specialties are gathering at the 69th American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC) Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in San Diego this week.

They’ll be presenting topics relating to ways of tackling current issues and showcasing innovations in laboratory automation, data analytics, and diagnostics. Diana Trinh and Dennis Matricardi, clinical analysts from MD Buyline, will be filing reports exclusive to HealthCare Business News from the meetings and expo.

There are many words that you hear at the AACC this year, and by and large the majority are not new. You hear about products of the major laboratory vendors like Abbott’s newest Alinity platform or Siemens’ newest Atellica Solution. These are innovative platforms that span the entire laboratory spectrum, and their introduction spans years of innovation and hard work. These new brands are certainly resonating and will define the future of these vendors. You will hear about them a lot.

But there are three words or terms that are transcending all of the talk, and they aren’t new. These frequently heard terms are clearly defining the show and the future of the laboratory. IDN, data analytics, and partnering are the words being spoken at each vendor booth on the exhibition floor, over and over and over again.

IDN (Integrated Delivery Network): When vendors begin their presentations about their new products, their new lines, or even their old products, the presentation starts with, “If you are an IDN…” To many in the laboratory, IDN is unknown terminology. At the end of the day you leave the AACC convention floor running to the Internet to search “IDN”. (Let me save you the trip: in most cases, an IDN is an organization or group of health care providers that, through ownership or formal agreements, aligns and manages health care facilities with a shared vision and mission of improving the efficacy and quality of patient care.)

Sometimes the vendor seems to no longer care about you — they care about the IDN. IDN rates as the number one word being thrust out of every booth.

The second most commonly used term at the booths is data analytics. (Time for another definition: Data analytics refers to qualitative and quantitative techniques and processes used to enhance productivity.) Not a new term by any means, but this year you get the idea that data analytics is what everyone is looking for, and the vendor is going to live by it. If they are using data analytics widely they are going to tell you about it; if they don’t have any, they are sure to ask you if you have any, or where they can get them. The future for the vendor and for the world is data analytics. We are not making any decisions and shifts in products or in future direction unless we have a lot of data analytics. The hunger that vendors seem to have for data analytics is huge. If you were data analytics, their booth would consume you, and you can tell they are wondering how they can turn you into a "data analytic".

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