Disruptive Forces Reshaping Australia’s Healthcare System, with Consequences for Hospitals, Physicians, and Clinical Pathology Laboratories, Outlined at First Annual ‘Disruption in Healthcare Conference’

Topics discussed ranged from ongoing cutbacks in funding for healthcare services, and integration of clinical care to growing use of genetic testing in support of precision medicine

DATELINE: Sydney, NSW, Australia—There were 200 leaders in healthcare, medicine, and pathology gathered here last Wednesday to explore a hot topic: the unfolding disruption to healthcare in Australia. The themes of the conference will be familiar to Dark Daily readers across the globe.

These themes included:

• Inadequate funding to pay hospitals, physicians, and medical laboratories, given the steady increase in demand for healthcare services throughout Australia.

• Expanded use of genetic testing and next-generation gene sequencing as medical laboratories acquire the instruments and expertise necessary to make such tests available to physicians.

• How primary care physicians are responding to the demands of an aging population, the increased incidence of chronic disease, and the potential to use information technologies to improve patient care. (more…)

IFCC WorldLab 2011 Conference in Berlin Provides Look at Developing Trends in Clinical Laboratory Testing Products

IVD manufacturers often introduce their newest technologies in Europe before the United States

DATELINE: BERLIN, GERMANY: With so many changes happening to clinical pathology laboratory testing in developed nations around the world, there is keen interest in evolving technologies, along with new medical laboratory instruments and automation products that clinical biochemists and pathologists will use, in the near future, to improve the quality of the clinical laboratory testing services they provide to physicians.

Here at the IFCC-WorldLab Berlin 2011 conference, pathologists and clinical chemists from the United States got an early peek at some of the latest and newest solutions developed by the world’s largest in vitro diagnostics (IVD) manufacturers. Many products on display at the IFCC WorldLab Exhibition have only been cleared for sale by the European Union. These products do not have clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States for sale and use in this country.


Clinical Laboratory Company Quest Diagnostics Agrees to Acquire Celera Corp. for $657 Million

Celera is not a medical laboratory, but develops biomarkers and molecular diagnostics tests

For the second time since the New Year, Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) has announced an acquisition. Last Friday, Quest Diagnostics said it had agreed to purchase Celera Corp. (NASDAQ:CRA) for a purchase price that Reuters reported to be $657 million.

What makes this acquisition different from those typically done by Quest Diagnostics and its major competitor, Laboratory Corporation of America (NYSE:LH), is that Celera is primarily not a provider of clinical laboratory tests. Rather, it specializes in identifying biomarkers that can be used to develop genetic tests. It is active in the fields of cardiovascular diseases, cancers and neurological disorders. Berkeley HeartLab is one clinical laboratory testing division owned by Celera.


Social Networking Can Help Clinical Labs Recruit More and Better Medical Technologists

Only two lab companies in the United States currently tap social networking to meet their med tech staffing needs

Everyone in the clinical laboratory testing industry knows that there is an acute shortage of medical technologists (MTs) and clinical laboratory scientists (CLSs). But laboratory professionals may be astonished to learn that their MT recruiting programs consistently fail to hire adequate numbers of MTs and CLSs because they nearly always advertise and recruit in the wrong places!

This is one of the best-kept secrets in med tech recruiting. That’s the opinion of Peggy McKee, CEO and Recruiter of PHC Consulting in Celina, Texas. She’s got surprising advice for clinical lab managers who struggle to recruit and retain enough med techs to keep their lab fully staffed at authorized levels.


FISH-Based Test to Diagnose Melanoma is Goal of Neogenomics

Deal with Abbott Labs gives Neogenomics access to proprietary probes

Diagnostic testing for melanoma generates a substantial number of tests annually, making it a lucrative target for any clinical laboratory or biotech company that can develop an assay that utilizes state-of-the-art molecular technologies and offers improved detection and accuracy.

Once company working to develop such a new diagnostic test for melanoma is Neogenomics, Inc. (OTC:NGNM.OB).  It announced an agreement with Abbott Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:ABT). on July 24, 2009. Abbott Laboratories will supply Neogenomics with proprietary probes to develop and commercialize its own FISH-based (Fluorescence in situ hyrbridization) test for melanoma.