This technique transforms ordinary paper into a biofunctional medium that could support a variety of diagnostic tests and lower the cost of clinical laboratory testing
Is the clinical laboratory profession ready for a diagnostic technology that uses ordinary copy paper as the foundation for applying the reagents needed to run any number of fast, portable, accurate, and cheap medical laboratory assays? A recent technology breakthrough may make this possible in just a few years.
A bioengineering team at the University of Washington (UWA) has developed a method to stick medically interesting molecules to ordinary copy machine paper. This “chemical trick” opens the door to developing all sorts of paper-based diagnostic tests that are not just cheap, but virtually free, noted a report published by Fierce Medical Devices. (more…)
This Medical Laboratory Acquisition Positions Sonic in Nation’s Largest Lab Testing Market
Sonic Healthcare, Ltd. (ASX: SHL) acquired Physicians Automated Laboratory, Inc., (PAL) of Bakersfield, California, in a transaction that closed December 31, 2010. With this acquisition, Sonic Healthcare gains its first medical laboratory in California—the nation’s largest and most competitive market for clinical laboratory testing services.
Physicians Automated Laboratory was founded in 1967. It employs about 210 people and handles approximately 2,000 patient tests daily. One of the last of the pathologist-owned and operated local laboratory companies, PAL has two primary owners who are nearing retirement. Pathologist and Medical Director William Schmalhorst, M.D., is 80 years old. Chief Executive Officer C. Bruce Smith is 65 years old. (more…)
Clinical laboratories can provide that missing education about CDHPs to patients
Even as enrollment in Consumer-Directed Health Plans (CDHPs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) climbs steadily year after year, a new study reveals that most physicians are unprepared to help their patients understand and better use these forms of health insurance. This is a barrier to CDHP acceptance and an opportunity for clinical laboratories.
CDHPs—and their close cousins, HDHPs (high-deductible health plans_—are designed to shift more responsibility for healthcare decisions to patients. Many physicians, however, are unprepared to advise patients enrolled in CDHPs about cost-effective treatment options. This is the finding of a 2008 survey of 525 randomly selected doctors published in the American Journal of Managed Care . Nearly half, 43%, of doctors responding to the survey admitted knowing “a little” or “not at all” about CDHPs or HSAs. At least 33% of surveyed physicians said they are “somewhat” knowledgeable. Only 24% of physicians surveyed claimed “much” or “a great deal” of knowledge about CDHPs.
Public health lab training professionals expanding educational offerings for lab industry
It was inspired timing last week that brought together the nation’s public health laboratory training professionals in Orlando, Florida, just as the World Health Organization (WHO) announced its decision on Thursday to declare influenza A/H1N1 as the first influenza pandemic in 41 years.
This conference was organized by the National Laboratory Training Network (NLTN), in association with the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). Approximately 100 public laboratory professionals from across the United States were in attendance.
The first keynote speaker was May C. Chu, Ph.D., who works in the Directors Office of the World Health Organization and is involved in laboratory testing activities that include epidemic and pandemic alert and response. Chu discussed the Global Outbreak and Response Network that WHO established on a voluntary basis in 2000. It has 120 participating institutions. She described how improved collaboration among health authorities around the world is helping to accelerate the identification of outbreaks like SARS (in 2003) and influenza A/H1N1 (in 2009).
Officials in Mexico were criticized as being slow to respond to the spread of A/H1N1 swine flu on Tuesday, April 28. Mexico was reported to have failed to deliver medicine to the families of the dead, two weeks after the first confirmed death from the flu, the Associated Press reported. Also, the government had not determined where the outbreak began or how it spread, the AP said. In Mexico, 159 people may have died of swine flu, but only seven of these deaths have been verified as A/H1N1 by laboratory tests, the New York Times reported today (April 29).