December 24, 2018 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News

Pathologists at the Houston Methodist health system created a website that tracks confirmed flu cases in real time. It is located at: and uses epidemiology data from the eight hospitals in the health system. The system updates every morning by polling the previous day’s data in the laboratory information system. Wesley Long, MD, an Assistant Professor of Pathology and Genomic Medicine at the Houston Methodist Research Institute, told Health Data Management that one primary goal of the system during a flu epidemic was to provide physicians with access to accurate regional laboratory observation data to help them develop a diagnostic and therapeutic strategy for their patients.

MORE ON: Flu Tracking Website

The Houston Methodist pathologists used an open-source library called framework to plot the data into HTML5-based JavaScript charts for web applications. They initiated the project during the 2017 flu season, at a time when the Houston Metro was experiencing  a steep rise in flu cases. This flu-tracking website demonstrates how it is feasible for clinical laboratories to extract information from their laboratory information systems and present it to clinicians and others in different and useful forms.


Earlier this fall, ACT for Better Diagnosis was formed as a coalition of 41 major health systems. It is participating with the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine. The shared goal is twofold. First is to identify the main sources of diagnostic errors. Second is to develop solutions to reduce and eliminate those diagnostic errors. Paul Epner, formerly of Abbott Laboratories, is the CEO of the Society. Epner points out that research indicates that errors in diagnosis are involved in about 10% of patient deaths and between 6% and 17% of adverse events in hospitals.


  • Glympse Bio of Cambridge, Mass., appointed Stanley Lapidus as its Chairman. Lapidus was the founding CEO of Exact Sciences, Helicos, and SynapDx Neogenomics, Inc.,
  • PerkinElmer named Prahlad Singh, PhD, as President and COO. He had been President of Diagnostics at PerkinElmer and previously held positions at GE Healthcare, Philips Healthcare, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, and DuPont Pharmaceuticals.

That’s all the insider intelligence for this report.
Look for the next briefing on Monday, January 14, 2018.

dark_daily_logoHave you caught the latest e-briefings from DARK Daily? If so, then you’d know about …

…how the Gates Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Fund are creating an open-source global disease tracker and database that may prove to be a useful resource for microbiology labs and clinical laboratories.

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