New At-Home CBC Device Enables Complete Blood Testing for Cancer Treatments and Biological/Viral Monitoring

Chronic disease monitoring at home has become a boon to patients as well as hospitals that are finding cost savings in programs designed to monitor/treat patients at external locations Many clinical pathologists and medical laboratory scientists will be wary about the news that a California company wants to have cancer patients do their own CBCs at home, and  that a device to enable such testing is being prepped to go through the FDA clearance process. Home-based medicine care and chronic...

Sales of Direct-to-Consumer Clinical Laboratory Genetic Tests Soar, as Members of Congress Debate How Patient Data Should be Handled, Secured, and Kept Private

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing has been much in the news of late and clinical laboratories, anatomic pathology groups, and biomedical researchers have a stake in how the controversy plays out. While healthcare consumers seem enamored with the idea of investigating their genomic ancestry in growing numbers, the question of how the data is collected, secured, and distributed when and to whom, is under increased scrutiny by federal lawmakers, bioethicists, and research scientists....

New FDA Regulations of Clinical Decision-Support/Digital Health Applications and Medical Software Has Consequences for Medical Laboratories

Softened FDA regulation of both clinical-decision-support and patient-decision-support software applications could present opportunities for clinical laboratory developers of such tools Late 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released guidelines on how the agency intends to regulate—or not regulate—digital health, clinical-decision-support (CDS), and patient-decision-support (PDS) software applications. The increased/decreased oversight of the development of these physicians’ tools...

Johns Hopkins University Study Finds Laboratory-Developed Liquid Biopsy Tests Can Give Different Results; Call for ‘Improved Certification’ of Medical Laboratories That Develop These LDTs

Liquid biopsy tests hold much promise. But inconsistencies in their findings provoke scrutiny and calls from researchers for further development before they can be considered reliable enough for diagnostic use Many commercial developers of liquid biopsy tests tout the accuracy and benefits of their diagnostic technology. However, there are an equal number of medical laboratory experts who believe that this technology is not yet reliable enough for clinical use. Critics also point out that...

State and Federal Agencies Throw Yellow Flag Delaying Free Genetic Tests at NFL Games in Baltimore—Are Clinical Laboratories on Notice about Free Testing?

Media coverage of a recent Orig3n promotion-and intervention from state and federal officials-reveals the level of discomfort public and policymakers have for handling the publics’ protected health information, including genetic test data Is it appropriate to offer free genetic tests to 70,000 fans attending a professional football game? Apparently not, say federal and state healthcare regulators who took steps to block a planned free genetic test giveaway that the Baltimore Ravens and...