December 01, 2008 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Having grown to over $1 billion in revenue, Inverness Medical Innovations, Inc. of Waltham, Massachusetts, is newest of the in vitro diagnostics (IVD) companies to achieve size and scale. One of its more interesting products is an in-home system that allows warfarin patients to test themselves and produce PT/INR results. Inverness’ INRatio2 PT/INR Monitoring System has FDA clearance. Inverness reports that some payers have agreed to reimburse for this testing system when a physician issues a prescription.

MORE ON: Inverness

In-home PT/INR testing is booming at Inverness. Recently Chairman, President, and CEO, Ron Zwanziger told investors that “Referral of patients by prescription from physicians has increased from an average of 700 per month in the second half of 2007, to over 1,800 per month on average for Q3 of 2008.” In-home patient self-testing for PT/INR shows how advances in diagnostic technology continue to give physicians and payers new options for performing laboratory tests.


While on the subject of point-of-care testing (POCT), a study published this summer in the Annals of Emergency Medicine reported favorably on the ability of POCT troponin to reduce turnaround times in the emergency department (ED) when used for patients with chest pain or acute coronary syndrome (ACS). The study was the first randomized controlled clinical trial to evaluate emergency department length of stay when troponin POCT was used. It involved 2,000 patients.

ADD TO: POC Testing

The study was led by Richard Ryan, M.D., Vice Chairman, Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. EDs at The Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati,William Beaumont Hospitals in Detroit, the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, and Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, participated in the study. Abbott Laboratories’ i-Stat instrument was used in the study, which determined that POCT troponin results took less than the 60-minute recommended turnaround time in 98% of the episodes, compared to 53% for results from the core laboratory. For the 30-minute turnaround time, POCT results met that goal 87% percent of the time, versus just 3% for troponin results from the core lab.

Dark Daily Update

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…the “Top Ten Germiest Jobs” as identified by a microbiologist from the University of Arizona. Lab scientists are fifth germiest on the list, behind doctors/nurses and ahead of police officers.

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