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DARK Daily Laboratory and Pathology News

DARK Daily is an e-briefing service providing up-to-the minute news of relevance for anyone working in diagnostic medicine, from clinical laboratories and pathology groups to lab industry suppliers and diagnostic technology companies. DARK Daily is part of The Dark Intelligence Group, Inc. and is dedicated to bringing useful business and management intelligence to laboratory managers, pathologists and diagnostic executives. Our recognized expertise in the strategic direction of laboratory medicine and the management of laboratories is available through DARK Daily, The Dark Report, free White Papers, Lab Resource Directory, the Executive War College on Laboratory and Pathology Management, Lab Quality Confab, and strategic consulting services.

Latest E-Briefings

Pathologist Michael LaPosata, M.D., Delivers the Message about Diagnostic Management Teams and Clinical Laboratory Testing to Attendees at Arizona Meeting

Conducted by Sunquest, the meeting introduced medical laboratory professionals to  ideas and improved patient outcomes that result when pathologists actively help physicians select the right lab tests and understand how to act upon the results

PHOENIX, ARIZONA—Most pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists are quick to agree that overutilization of medical laboratory tests is a major problem in healthcare. But underutilization of medical lab tests is an equally significant problem. That’s the message delivered here last Monday by pathologist Michael Laposata, M.D., Ph.D., during a presentation he delivered at the Sunquest Executive Summit.

Laposata, who recently assumed new duties as the Chair of Pathology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, was speaking about the value of what he calls “diagnostic management teams,” or DMTs. In recent years, while at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Laposata and his colleagues introduced DMTs in support of several medical specialties. These DMTs proved quite successful at improving patient outcomes, while reducing the overall cost per healthcare encounter for these patients.
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To Help Physicians and Patients, Medical Laboratories with BRCA Breast Cancer Tests Are Posting Mutation Data into ClinVar’s BRCA Database

Innovative use of crowdsourcing allows pathologists and genetic scientists to create a sizeable database of BRCA mutations that is accessible to clinicians and patients

There’s a new development in the longstanding battle over proprietary healthcare data versus public sharing of such information. Pathologists and clinical laboratory managers will be interested to learn that, when it comes to genetic testing of the BRCA mutation involved in breast cancer, a public data base of mutations is growing so rapidly that it may become the world’s largest repository of such information.

It was last year when the Supreme Court ruled in the gene patent case of Association of Molecular Pathology versus Myriad Genetics that human genes were not patentable. Following that decision, some financial analysts stated that Myriad Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:MYGN) retained a competitive advantage over other medical laboratories due to its huge database of mutations in the BRCA genes. (See Dark Daily, “Supreme Court Strikes down Myriad Gene Patents in Unanimous Vote; Decision Is Expected to Benefit Clinical Pathology Laboratories,”  July 1, 2013.) continue reading

Pathologists Could Have DNA Sequencing Device That Connects to a Smartphone and Can Produce Immediate Results from Several Types of Medical Laboratory Samples

At the proposed $1,000 price tag, Biomeme’ mobile clinical laboratory device has the potential to challenge diagnostic systems used in central laboratories

Another smartphone gadget capable of performing diagnostic laboratory tests is headed for the marketplace, and only time will tell if it proves to be a threat to the in vitro diagnostics industry.

Developers say that, when paired with a smartphone, this diagnostic device is similar to traditional medical laboratory technology 10 times its size. Called Biomeme, it is a system that  diagnoses diseases like a clinical laboratory—but is just the size of a can of cola. It can identify DNA signatures of bacteria or viruses in a sample of saliva, blood or urine, according to a story that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer. continue reading

New Plastic Artificial Cell with Working Organelles Could Be Adapted to Deliver Diagnostic Biomarkers Directly into Living Cells

Advances in artificial cell architecture and complex function may make it possible to develop a way for pathologists to deliver biomarkers into living cells to diagnosis diseases and monitor patient response to therapies

For the first time, researchers have used polymers to produce an artificial eukaryotic cell with working organelles. Like a living cell, it successfully performed multiple chemical reactions. The importance for pathologists and clinical laboratory professionals is that the same technology could allow scientists to develop different ways to deliver biomarkers into cells to reveal diagnostic information—and perhaps even track a patient’s progress in therapy.

Dutch Researchers Get Closer to Unlocking the Complexity of a Living Cell
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HIE Use Rises along with Adoption of EHRs, but Full Interoperability Remains Elusive for Hospitals, Physicians, Clinical Labs, and Pathology Groups

The majority of the nation’s hospitals and physicians now use electronic health records and most of these EHR users are already exchanging clinical data with regional HIEs

Pathologists tracking the adoption of EHR systems by hospitals and physicians will be interested to learn that, according to the federal government, more than 80% of hospitals and 50% of physicians now use these products. It is also reported that growing numbers of providers are exchanging data with health information exchanges.

Clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups have a big stake in these developments. Medical laboratory test data is an essential component to every patient’s permanent health record, which is why it is important for every lab to have interfaces with the HIEs serving their communities and regions.
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DARK Daily is a free e-briefing service that provides one short, easy-to-read news item every weekday, highlighting noteworthy developments in the clinical laboratory industry. First alerts to important news events, incisive assessment of best-practice breakthroughs, and strategic insights on important trends make these e-briefings timely and invaluable. Sign up for the DARK Daily today and receive the special report Trends In Clinical Pathology Laboratory Management free.

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Energize your next public meeting, strategic retreat, or corporate event. Widely-recognized and often asked back for a second and third year, Robert Michel has a recognized ability to help audiences get more from the speakers and advance their knowledge and understanding about key trends and management innovations. One- and two-day management retreats are a specialty.

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