Teladoc Health’s Agreement to Acquire Livongo Is a Blockbuster Deal in the Telehealth Sector, But Is it Positive or Negative for Clinical Laboratories?

Physician acceptance of virtual visits with their patients is being accelerated by the pandemic and the pending merger would combine the nation’s two biggest telehealth companies Telehealth visits with virtual healthcare providers are increasing as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. This is forcing the entire healthcare industry—clinical laboratories in particular—to adapt to new methods of patient data exchange and communications. What is not clear is how independent clinical laboratories and...

New Artificial Intelligence Algorithm Uses Routine Clinical Laboratory Tests to Identify Patients Likely Infected with COVID-19

At hospitals where results of molecular COVID-19 testing can take up to several days to return, this new method for identifying potentially infected patients could improve triage Frustrated by shortages of essential COVID-19 tests and supplies—as well by lengthy coronavirus test turn-around times—researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine have created an Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm that can use routine clinical laboratory test data to determine if a patient is infected with SARS-CoV-2,...

Canada’s Early Response to COVID-19 Garnered Praise, But Critical Shortages of Clinical Lab Tests and Delays in Test Results Brought Criticism of the Government’s Actions. Sound Familiar?

Though coronavirus infections were detected nearly simultaneously in both Canada and the US, total cases and total deaths vary dramatically leading experts to question how differences in healthcare systems might have contributed Can clinical laboratories in the United States learn from Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic? While our northern neighbor won praise for its early response to the coronavirus, since then Canada has faced criticism over a lack of access to SARS-CoV-2 testing and...

CDC, HHS Create National Wastewater Surveillance System to Help Monitor and Track Spread of COVID-19

Though not a replacement for clinical laboratory testing, the CDC says the surveillance system will help slow spread of COVID-19 in vulnerable communities Clinical laboratory testing for COVID-19 is receiving an ally. In mid-August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced they were initiating a National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In collaboration with other...

Clinical Laboratories in Hospitals Continue to Experience Reductions in Test Orders as Emergency Department Visits for Common Conditions Slowly Climb Back to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Multiple recent studies reveal a substantial number of patients continue to delay needed healthcare in the months since the onset of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak Based on an analysis of hospital emergency department (ED) usage, federal researchers concluded that patients continue to be cautious when visiting healthcare providers, including clinical laboratories, and that people are altering how they seek and utilize emergency care due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This not only reduces the number of...

UPMC Researchers Develop Artificial Intelligence Algorithm That Detects Prostate Cancer with ‘Near Perfect Accuracy’ in Effort to Improve How Pathologists Diagnose Cancer

Working from tissue slides similar to those used by surgical pathologists, the algorithm accurately detects prostate cancer with an impressive 98% sensitivity It could be that a new milestone has been reached on the road to using artificial intelligence (AI) to help anatomic pathologists diagnose cancer and other diseases. A research collaboration between a major American university and an Israeli company recently published a study about the ability of an AI algorithm to correctly diagnose...