Lab automation showcased in
MONTREAL – Roche
Diagnostics announced that the Roche Explorer, a customized transport
truck containing a full suite of automated lab equipment, has begun a
The customized vehicle will visit different Canadian cities to
demonstrate to lab professionals how laboratory workflow can be
dramatically improved, and quality raised, through the use of a new
generation of automated solutions.
The state-of-the-art Roche Explorer showcases the company’s new Cobas
analyzers, the modular pre-analytics system, middleware solutions, and
The Roche Explorer will feature the Roche Single Solution, which
includes pre-analytics, analytics, and IT solutions. These products work
as one integrated system to help maximize lab productivity and
“We understand how valuable time and resources can be in the lab, and
how difficult it is to leave the lab and travel to see new products,”
Christopher Parker, President and General Manager, Roche Diagnostics
Canada said. “Our goal is to make the most of our customers’ time by
bringing the lab solutions to them – to a location that is convenient
and close to home – enabling them to explore the next generation of lab
automation from Roche Diagnostics.”
The Roche Explorer Truck will be hosted by labs in each city.
Montreal June 18 & 19
Dr. Elizabeth MacNamara from Jewish General Hospital is hosting the
Roche Explorer Truck
Toronto June 24 & 25
Mr. Vince D’Mello from Mount Sinai Hospital and The Foundation of the
Estates at Sunnybrook are co-hosting the Roche Explorer Truck
Vancouver – July 8 & 9
Ms. Brenda Jackson and Dr. Heathcote from BC Bio are hosting the Roche
Calgary – July 15 & 16
The University of Calgary and Dr. Andrew Lyon from CLS are co-hosting
the Roche Explorer Truck
Roche Diagnostics, based in Laval,
Quebec, recently won a contract to supply Sunnybrook Health Sciences
Centre, in Toronto, with an automated pre-analytic and analytic system.
The solution is expected to boost productivity, quality and staff safety
at a time of increasing demand for tests and fast results.
Sunnybrook will invest $2 million in the pre-analytic and analytic
hardware and instruments. In addition, it will spend about $7 million
over the next five years on the reagents needed for testing.
The system can automatically un-cap tubes, split them into smaller
samples, conduct up to 140 different types of tests (for blood chemistry
and immune-chemistry – the types of tests which account for 80% of the
work done in the typical hospital lab) and archive the original samples.
Dan Zortman, Director of Sales and marketing for Roche Diagnostics, said
the company currently has installed four automated lab systems in
Canada. Five more are expected to be added by the end of 2008, and 10
more in 2009.
He commented that lab automation is helping not only large, urban
hospitals, but labs in smaller hospitals, too. “Automation gives smaller
labs the ability to perform more tests, and different types of tests,
with fewer people,” said Zortman.
He observed that the number of tests, or assays, is quickly growing, as
researchers and lab companies bring new solutions to market. Such tests
allow doctors to identify potential problems and conditions in their
patients and to start treatments at an earlier stage. For its part,
Roche will bring out 35 new tests over the next three years.
However, most labs are currently working with a shortage of skilled
technicians and technologists, and adding more tests is difficult for
them to do – especially when the prep work is being done manually.
Automated systems are seen as a cost-effective method of handling an
expanding workload, in both large and small laboratories.
“Automation lets smaller,
rural hospitals offer the same range of tests as large, urban
hospitals,” said Zortman. “That means the same quality of care for rural
patients as for those in large cities.”
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world’s leading
research-focused healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and
diagnostics. As the world’s biggest biotech company and an innovator of
products and services for the early detection, prevention, diagnosis and
treatment of diseases, the Group contributes on a broad range of fronts
to improving people’s health and quality of life. Roche is the world
leader in in-vitro diagnostics and drugs for cancer and transplantation,
and is a market leader in virology. It is also active in other major
therapeutic areas such as autoimmune diseases, inflammatory and
metabolic disorders and diseases of the central nervous system.
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