New lab automation solutions from Roche driving innovation in core lab and point-of-care settings

Market responds positively to strategic investments in workflow and IT portfolio

The latest innovations in Roche’s portfolio of workflow and IT solutions for laboratories and point-of-care settings are enjoying a strong market response. Strategic investments in developing new instruments and software for totally automated lab workflows and information management translated into major business gains for the company in the first half of 2013. These include recent customer acquisitions in emerging markets in Asia, EMEA and Latin America.

Roche continues to expand its workflow automation and IT portfolio in response to the challenges of ever-larger volumes of laboratory data and an increasingly regulated laboratory environment. “Roche’s workflow optimisation lineup now covers every customer segment, from small to large laboratories and all hospital point-of-care settings. With more than 20 years of industry experience and over 4000 cobas® IT solutions installed globally Roche Diagnostics has a strong commitment to automation and IT,” states Georgios Spitadakis, Global Head of Workflow & IT at Roche Professional Diagnostics.

Strong customer response to cobas 8100 automated workflow solution

The new cobas 8100 automated workflow solution, unveiled at this year’s EuroMedLab conference in Milan/Italy in May, is already generating a strong customer response and initial preorders. It is the result of 35 years of partnership between Roche and Hitachi High Technologies. The system made its U.S. debut at the annual meeting of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) in Houston, Texas. cobas 8100 combined with Roche’s cobas IT solutions gives labs full and transparent control over their operational and clinical processes in both single as multisite set-ups.

"The cobas 8100 impressed us in terms of improved workflow management. To add value to our patients we need a flexible and reliable system to become highly predictable in quality and turn-around-time. The solution will help us simplify operations and minimize manual handling resulting in improved laboratory processes and reduced costs. Its connectivity and expandability features will enable us to run fully automated workflows with our existing array of cobas testing and storage systems,” states Robert de Jonge, Specialist in Laboratory Medicine, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Combined with Roche’s sample archiving solutions, cobas 8100 provides unprecedented flexibility and connectivity, simplifying and speeding up routines for analysis, archiving and on-demand retrieval of blood samples. Its industry-leading design helps high-throughput laboratories to consolidate processes. cobas 8100 is expected to be available this autumn in all regions outside the US, while its market availability in the North American Region is estimated for 2015.

First large laboratories managing sample flows with cobas connection modules

In yet another show of innovation, Roche has introduced a fully automated cobas sample flow management solution based on a modular conveyor system. Designed for laboratories in the high throughput segment, the cobas connection modules reduce time-consuming manual intervention and enable laboratory professionals to increase the predictability of patient result turnaround times by up to 90 per cent. Among the first large laboratory customers is Eone Laboratories based in Songdo, Korea. Eone switched its whole automation array to cobas connection modules which connect nine lines of cobas 8000 analyzers. Compared to the previous automation system, the turnaround time of the laboratory’s processes has substantially decreased with less manual steps.

cobas p 312 pre-analytical system now available for blood screening centres

Roche has installed more than 100 cobas p 312 pre-analytical systems since it launched the unit in March 2012, expanding its portfolio into the small to mid-sized laboratory segment. Now also available for blood screening centres worldwide, the cobas p 312 is specifically designed to improve a laboratory’s workflow efficiency and minimise manual handling of blood samples when workspace is limited. Benefits include reductions in error-prone routine manual processes, time-consuming hands-on sample preparation and a significantly reduced risk of exposure to bio-hazardous materials.

Successful global launch of cobas IT middleware

cobas IT middleware is Roche’s latest advance in customised IT applications for totally automated laboratory workflows. Designed to take over the coordination of routine laboratory processes, this solution makes it easy to link multiple laboratory systems and software applications to a facility’s IT infrastructure. “cobas IT middleware helps us with a fast and reliable connectivity solution. This translates into more effective use of the increasing amount of information that needs to be processed. For this reason we needed a highly configurable and easy to use software. The transition to cobas IT middleware was very easy to do and very little training was needed,” comments Ake Akerbloom, clinical biologist at Oestersund Hospital in Oestersund/Sweden. cobas IT middleware has enjoyed rapid uptake since its launch in January 2013.

cobas IT 1000 nears 1000 installations in 50 countries mark

Roche introduced its latest advance in point-of-care (POC) IT with the launch of a new version of the cobas IT 1000 application to meet the need for seamless management of users, automatic re-certification and monitoring of test results at the point of care. This software suite is the core module of the cobas POC IT solution. cobas POC IT is a fully open connectivity solution that provides access to Roche and non-Roche POC devices, including the laboratory and hospital information systems. This enables patient data from remote, handheld bedside testing devices to be managed and controlled from a single point.

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, infectious diseases, inflammation, metabolism and neuroscience. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2012 Roche had over 82,000 employees worldwide and invested over 8 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 45.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit www.roche.com.

All trademarks used or mentioned in this release are protected by law.