Laboratory Equipment

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Laboratory equipment for clinical labs and pathology groups includes a wide range of devices and instruments, some of which are familiar to the general public and some of which are highly specialized to clinical lab work.

Laboratory equipment is generally used to either perform an experiment or to take measurements and gather data. Larger or more sophisticated equipment is generally called a scientific instrument.

Such equipment includes test tubes, Folin-Wu tubes for blood glucose determination, petri dishes, beakers, flasks, Pasteur pipettes, glass slides, syringes and needles, autoclave, disposable gloves, tourniquets, microscopes, Bunsen burners, ultracentrifuge, electrophoresis apparatus, chromatography system, hematology analyzer, chemistry analyzer, semiauto analyzer, reflotron, setup for radioimmunoassay, setup for enzyme linked immunosorbant assay, (ELISA, colorimeter, burette, induction coils, cathode ray oscilloscope, recording kymograph and surface plasmon resonance equipment and various reagents.)

Other laboratory equipment might include a skin analyzer, oxygen analyzer, flouresence microscope, spectrum analyzer, and a digital pathology scanner, among many others.

At the same time, technology is advancing to the point where the capabilities of an entire laboratory can now be contained in relatively small devices. One relatively new device the size of a cola can is paired with a smartphone and can diagnose diseases like a clinical laboratory.

Another such device, marketed largely to developing countries that lack a well-developed network of clinical laboratories, is a credit-card-size anthrax detector that also works like a portable medical laboratory in the field.

In addition, research organizations, including one in the United States, one in New Zealand, and two in the U.K., have unveiled several devices that will analyze DNA in the field. Again, this line of research is of particular interest in developing countries where resources such as electricity for refrigeration are scarce. Some of the DNA testing devices will produce results in minutes to hours, eliminating the need to return to a clinical laboratory to analyze samples.

Ranging in size from little more than a pack of gum to about the size of a large brick, these devices for DNA analysis have the potential to serve as mobile medical laboratories for pathologists in the field.

Putting Centrifuges Into Courier Cars For Mobile Processing

CEO SUMMARY: To improve the quality of lab services it provides to more than 300 skilled nursing facilities (SNF) while reducing costs, MuirLab of Concord, California, has created a “mobile specimen processing” solution. It operates a fleet of courier cars with centrifuges and refrigerated storage. Now specimens transported by these cars arrive at the core

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Cell Phones to be Used to Report Patient Self-Test Results

HOW ABOUT USING A CELL PHONE to monitor patient in-home laboratory test results? That’s about to happen with a new program introduced by CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maryland.

CareFirst will test whether monitoring devices in cell phones can help patients with diabetes manage their blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. CareFirst is working

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Healthcare Has First Standards for Use of Bar Codes and RFID

THREE ORGANIZATIONS have jointly developed information technology standards to be used in identifying patients, drugs, and medical devices. These standards use bar code, radio frequency identification (RFID), and two-dimensional symbol technologies.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recently approved the first part of this new data standard, which is called “Positive Identification for Patient Safety, Part

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Paperless at Bayou Path Generates Big Dividends

CEO SUMMARY: Over the past year, Bayou Pathology began eliminating its paper document records. Not only did efficiency improve dramatically, but the staff was able to deliver more professional service. Bayou’s document management system started paying for itself immediately and both pathologists and staff love how the paperless system contributes to greater accuracy and increased

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Technology Can Now Enable “Card Swipe” for Draw Sites

COLLECTING SMALL AMOUNTS of money from patients for deductible, co-pay, and self-pay fees has always bedeviled laboratories. However, new technology holds the promise of solving this long-standing problem.

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina (BCBC-SC) is currently offering a new “card-swipe” device to physicians in the state. The device lets insured beneficiaries see exactly how much their

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Nichols Diagnostics Stops Product Sales

CEO SUMMARY: It’s an odd story. One of the nation’s most respected names in diagnostics quietly ceases delivering products—and no one in the laboratory industry pays much attention. Last month, Nichols Institute Diagnostics, acknowledging production problems it has not yet resolved, announced to its laboratory customers throughout the United States that deliveries of its diagnostic

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