"Lab Briefs"

DMetrix, Bio-Reference Labs, US Clinical Labs, Vidalia Laboratory Services

DMETRIX PREPARES TO INTRODUCE CHEAPER PATHOLOGY SCANNER

PATHOLOGISTS MAY SOON BE ABLE TO PURCHASE a smaller and less expensive digital scanning system that fits on a microscope. DMetrix, Inc., of Tucson, Arizona, is working to downsize its flagship digital pathology imaging system.

Pixuan “Joe” Zhou, Ph.D, is President of DMetrix. He recently told a reporter for the Arizona Daily Star that the company’s strategy is to downsize its imaging system. The goal is to develop a scanning platform, or stage, that fits on the standard microscope. This scanning platform would interface to DMetrix’s digital imaging software and will be priced at just a third of the $250,000 cost of the DMetrix DX-40, which he says is the fastest digital pathology scanning system in the marketplace today.

The technology used by DMetrix was developed by scientists at the University of Arizona. The team included Michael Descour, Ph.D., Professor of Optics Sciences, and Ronald Weinstein, M.D., Professor of Pathology and a founding director of the Arizona Telemedicine Program.

BIO-REFERENCE LABS ROLLING OUT NEW DESIGN FOR COLLECTION CENTERS

ALL 87 PATIENT SERVICE CENTERS (PSC) operated by Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. (BRLI), are slated to be upgraded to a new, patient-friendly design. The project will require $1 million and take five years.

Key elements of the new design include leather furniture in the reception areas, flat screen televisions, designated play areas for children, and softer lighting. There will also be a genetics consultation room at each PSC.

The genetics consultation room will be equipped with Skype, which allows video and voice calls over the Internet. This capability will permit BRLI’s patients to consult with genetics consultants. BRLI has a fast- growing business in genetic testing.

BRLI’s strategy to upgrade its patient service centers is notable for several rea- sons. First, it shows how one lab can raise the competitive bar. If BRLI improves the patient experience at its PSCs, it can enjoy greater loyalty from its patients and refer- ring physicians.

Second, the investment of more than $1 million to upgrade all its PSCs demon- strates BRLI’s willingness to maintain its public face. Just as a hotel needs to refresh its guest rooms and public areas every few years, so also do clinical laboratories need to refresh the facilities visited regularly by patients.

Third, the addition of a genetics consultation room in every BRLI patient service center is a noteworthy marker for the take-up of genetic testing by physicians and patients. BRLI wants to hold its first- mover advantage in the market by improving patient access to its genetic counselors, as well as to the pathologists and geneticists who perform these tests.

US CLINICAL LABS ACQUIRES VLS

US CLINICAL LABORATORIES OF HOUSTON, TEXAS, announced its acquisition of Vidalia Lab Services (VLS) of Vidalia, Georgia, a company that serves nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities (SNF).

Rod Proto, CEO of US Clinical Labs (USCL), noted that VLS provides lab testing services to 45 counties in Southern Georgia. US Clinical Laboratories has been in business for one year. The laboratory testing company operates four lab testing facilities. It has 12 patient service centers that are located in two states.

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