Tag: disruptive innovation examples

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A disruptive innovation is one that shakes up an entire market or industry. In the clinical laboratory industry, there are many disruptive innovation examples.

The most prominent disruptive innovation example recently has been Theranos, the testing company which claimed to have two proprietary technological advances that will allow testing without using traditional needlestick methods and will deliver tests at a fraction of the normal cost.

At the same time, Theranos’ partnership with Walgreen’s and Safeway supermarkets, offering clinical lab testing to their health services, also appeared poised to disrupt the status quo in the industry. However, a major exposé in the Wall Street Journal in October 2015 revealed not only that FDA had not approved Theranos’ technology, but also that many tests Theranos was performing were done with traditional technology, and even that some test results were badly inaccurate.

Theranos also claims it can use capillary blood rather than venous blood for certain tests, and researchers are working on discovering whether this is feasible, because the collection process would be simpler and cheaper for labs, and easier for consumers.

In addition to Theranos working in this space, Tasso Inc., is a start-up company in Seattle that uses a microfluidic blood-draw device called the HemoLink that it hopes can replace venipuncture.

Tasso President Ben Moga described the technology and the company’s plans to seek FDA approval for HemoLink. Developed by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the blood-collection device is about the size of a golf ball.

To collect capillary blood, the HemoLink device is simply placed on a patient’s upper arm and left on the arm for two minutes. In that time, the device uses a lance and then draws blood from capillaries beneath the skin via a slight vacuum. Tasso’s proprietary open microfluidic network next transports the blood into an attached collection tube. Then the patient or physician can mail the tube to a medical laboratory for analysis.

Another disruptive innovation example is gene sequencing, which has the potential to give labs new value in the evolving world of personalized medicine and driving the growth of new business models for labs. Gene sequencing is becoming so routine and inexpensive that genomic pathology will become a major part of disease diagnosis and management, disease prevention, risk mitigation and health maintenance.

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