News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel

News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel
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Innovative mHealth Devices Enable Smartphone Users to Self-Test and Share Results in Real Time

New mHealth devices open the door for clinical laboratories and pathologists to offer continuous monitoring services to patients which incorporate the patient’s self-test results with that patient’s cumulative medical lab test data

In today’s age of mobile computing, healthcare applications are hot. Now comes news that a Swiss company has launched what it calls the world’s first medical smartphone! Of note to clinical laboratory managers and pathologists is the fact that this medical smartphone is designed to capture and analyze several health measures that are often the subject of medical laboratory clinical laboratory tests, including blood gases and blood glucose.

This medical smartphone is manufactured by LifeWatch AG (LIFE:SW), based in Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Switzerland. The LifeWatch V lets users self-test their health.

“The…smartphone allows [users] to self-operate a wide range of highly valuable embedded medical sensors, wellness-related applications, cloud-based services, and 24/7 call center support,” the company stated in a news release. The device operates on an Android operating system. (more…)

Quest Diagnostics Opens the New Year by Acquiring S.E.D. Laboratories

In the first significant clinical laboratory acquisition of 2012, Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX) acquired S.E.D. Medical Laboratories of Albuquerque, New Mexico, from Lovelace Health System. The transaction was announced on January 3, 2012, and the sale was completed just days later, on January 7.

Along with acquiring a 50,000 square foot lab facility in Albuquerque, Quest Diagnostics picks up nine patient service centers (PSCs) in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, plus six additional PSCs throughout the state. S.E.D. Medical Labs employees 450 people and performs about 7.5 million tests per year.

Quest Diagnostics Will Manage Four Inpatient Clinical Laboratories

One interesting aspect to the sale is the fact that Quest Diagnostics will manage the inpatient laboratories at four hospitals owned by Lovelace Health System. It will also provide medical laboratory testing services to members of the Lovelace Health Plan. (more…)

Pharma Companies Lay Off Sales Reps and Use More Digital Tools to Market to Office-Based Physicians

Clinical laboratories and pathology groups may benefit from the attractive economics of digital marketing

For more than two decades, pharmaceutical sales representatives have been ubiquitous in doctors’ offices. But in a surprise development, many of the nation’s largest pharma companies are dramatically downsizing their sales forces and opting to promote their products through digital media.

This is an important new trend which has consequences for those clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups which send their own medical laboratory sales reps into doctors’ offices. It is evidence that the economics of sending sales reps into offices to educate and persuade physicians to prescribe new drugs for patients may be less favorable when compared to the economics of reaching physicians via the growing number of new digital sales and marketing channels.

In a recent story published by The Wall Street Journal, it was noted that pharmaceutical companies, as they reduce the number of sales reps who make calls on office-based physicians, increasingly make greater use of digital sales and marketing programs that include the Internet, smart phones, tablet technology and even iTunes.

Pathology Groups and Clinical Laboratories Should Prepare for Medicare RAC Auditors

2011 is the year that Medicare expands its Recovery Audit Program to include providers such as medical laboratories and pathology groups

During the next 12 months, many pathology groups and clinical laboratories will undergo their first audit as part of Medicare’s recently-expanded RAC (Recovery Audit Contractor) program. This is a big-dollar audit program. When Congress passed the enabling legislation, it was estimated that RAC would generate $10 billion in recoveries from hospitals, physicians, medical laboratories and other providers.

World’s Largest Food Company Spends $567 Million to Buy into Pathology Laboratory Testing and Pharmaceuticals

Nestlé says its Prometheus Laboratory acquisition will help it develop products for patients with metabolic conditions and to promote brain health

When it comes to the brave new world of genetics in pathology and clinical laboratory testing, such terms as pharmacogenomics, companion diagnostics, and personalized medicine have been coined to describe the intersection of genetic testing and molecular diagnostics with emerging medical practice. Now the world’s largest food company is putting forth a vision of how genetic testing can inform decisions about the patient’s nutrition.

It was last May when the health-science unit of Nestlé SA, (VTX:NESN) the giant foods company in Vevey, Switzerland, announced its purchase of Prometheus Laboratories Inc., of San Diego, California. The price was $567 million.