Integrated Core Lab: The Lab of the Future
The future of diagnostics is the Integrated Core Lab and it’s already a reality today, according to Roche CEO Severin Schwan. “Right now we are bringing together the Serum Work Area with the molecular lab and connecting to the point of care. All of this integration brings enormous benefits for our lab customers, and ultimately for patients.”
What will the fully Integrated Core Lab of the future look like? It will be significantly more simplified: lab technicians will no longer have to run from one lab to another to have tests performed. It will also have multidisciplinary connectivity. No longer will certain lab disciplines be relegated to a dark corner, they will all be part of the central lab, whether it’s molecular, urinalysis or mass spec. Everything will be achievable through the centralized, automated system, which will include a single user interface that can run the entire system.
In essence, we are aiming for a pure automation solution where lab technicians no longer need to touch the sample from start to end - a system that reduces errors, improves efficiency and delivers predictable wait times.
We are already well on the path to an Integrated Core Lab, helping laboratories manage critical workflow processes and providing uninterrupted service. The cobas® connection modules (CCM) are automation solutions that connect across all lab areas and are specifically designed for high-throughput laboratories to help everything work together as one. CCM combined with Roche’s cobas IT solutions, give laboratories full and transparent control over their operational processes, whether at single or multi-site operations. It can easily be integrated with Roche’s existing cobas analyzers, which offer fully harmonized end-to-end solutions covering everything from sample entry to result reporting and archiving. CCM also has a flexible, modular design that allows labs to expand their systems over time as demand increases, while monitoring laboratory performance and increasing both quality and confidence.
“This vision of the Integrated Core Lab will clearly change laboratory testing over the next few years,” says Ahmed Qader, Head of Diagnostics Kuwait, where the Roche Integrated Core Lab technology is being utilized. “It will allow highly automated, broader testing with better quality for the benefit of the patient. By reducing the turnaround time and minimizing human error, we are able to build additional trust between patient and physician.”
Combining our Serum Work Area with molecular diagnostics already brings together our product offering with automation and IT, catering to every customer segment, from small to large laboratories and all hospital point-of-care settings. Whether it’s a hospital network needing fully connected transportation and integration in a centralized core laboratory, or a smaller lab that needs work area connectivity, every customer will be able to find the right combination of services to meet their needs.
The cobas 6800/8800 systems are recent examples of how we are creating multidisciplinary connectivity in molecular diagnostics through automation and IT. These molecular testing platforms are available in medium and high throughput models for donor screening, viral load monitoring, women’s health and microbiology testing. The cobas 6800 system and the higher throughput cobas 8800 system are designed to be readily integrated into laboratory workflow from pre-analytic to post-analytic solutions.
A fully Integrated Core Laboratory means every component is designed to work together as one, expanding the efficiency, scope and quality of diagnostic capabilities. Roche is pioneering this approach to connectivity, integration and automation giving laboratories the tools to address the challenges of the future by making testing simpler, more cost-efficient and more insightful.