December 2018—The companies whose analyzers are profiled in our urinalysis instrumentation product guide talked to CAP TODAY writer Valerie Neff Newitt about the laboratory needs their instruments meet. Here’s what they had to say.
What are you hearing from your laboratory customers about their needs and wants?
Jason Weshler, MSc, MBA, director of marketing and business development for end-to-end solutions, point-of-care diagnostics, Siemens Healthineers: Laboratories need consistency and standardization, and while that’s not a new need, the demand for consistency continues to grow. Our customers expect their semiautomated systems to provide accurate results in a timely manner that are consistent with the testing done in the laboratory setting.
The other key need is around workflow. We know that staffing is becoming increasingly difficult with a shrinking labor force for the lab and our customers expect their urinalysis, and in fact all of their lab solutions, to be easy to use, require minimal user intervention, and provide high uptime.
Delena Carite, group marketing manager, systems, Roche Diagnostics: Many mid- and high-volume labs are interested in automating their urinalysis testing. This can be as simple as testing on an integrated platform that will perform the initial screen and the required confirmatory testing with microscopy. Many of the higher-volume labs are also interested in connecting an integrated urinalysis platform to preanalytics through automated track systems.
Michelle D. Dumonceaux, MBA, CPPM, senior manager, product management and global marketing, Beckman Coulter: Customers are requesting scalable urinalysis solutions to meet their growing needs within their network. They want solutions that minimize manual testing either in the form of manual urinalysis dipstick testing or manual microscopic review for urine microscopy. They’re reducing manual microscopic review rates with technology such as Digital Flow Morphology that captures an image of a urine particle.
Jessica Donlan, MLS(ASCP)CM, marketing and application manager, Arkray: To deliver continuity within a laboratory network, our customers are requesting scalable urine chemistry solutions that have standardized strips that pair with urine sediment solution. This need is being met by pairing the Aution urine chemistry analyzers and strips with the Beckman Coulter Digital Flow Morphology analyzer.
What are the most important things labs should know about your urinalysis system?
Weshler (Siemens): If there is one thing to remember about Siemens Healthineers’ urinalysis systems it is that we use the same dry pad urine chemistry across all our platforms. This means that whether it is a Multistix urine strip, Clinitek Atlas roll, or Clinitek Novus cassette, the results will correlate for our end users. This remains a unique offering that enables consistent patient results no matter where the test is conducted.
Carite (Roche): In addition to offering labs the benefits of integration and automation, the Cobas 6500 urine analyzer series uses Roche’s Chemstrip technology, which has been available for more than 50 years. The most important thing about the Chemstrip technology is that it virtually eliminates the possibility of false-negative test results due to interference from vitamin C, or ascorbic acid.
Dumonceaux (Beckman Coulter): Beckman Coulter offers a full range of urinalysis analyzers to meet a laboratory’s growing needs. Our iQ200 Urine Microscopy Analyzer uses Digital Flow Morphology technology with auto-particle recognition to auto classify 12 particles and subclassify 27 more on screen to reduce manual microscopic review rates and sample handling. We have partnered with Arkray to offer its urine chemistry solutions and thereby deliver a wide range of analyzers to the customer.
Donlan (Arkray): The Aution urine chemistry analyzers are robust and reliable. The Aution strips have wide reporting ranges providing clinically relevant data and standardized results across analyzers.
Is there anything new labs can expect from your company?
Carite (Roche): Roche launched its integrated urinalysis system—the Cobas 6500 urine analyzer series—outside the United States in 2014. It includes the Cobas u 601 automated strip reader and the Cobas u 701 automated microscopy module. This automated system can be connected to Roche’s automated track system. Roche recently submitted the strip reader for FDA clearance, and it is planning to submit the microscopy module at a later date.
Weshler (Siemens): As we’ve done for the past 75 years in North America, Siemens Healthineers will continue to provide an array of urinalysis options for the laboratory, point of care, and any other setting where accurate urine testing is needed. For point-of-care settings, we will focus on connecting point-of-care urinalysis with the lab to help increase efficiency and oversight of this popular testing.
Sysmex elected not to complete our questionnaire for this year’s product guide. We expect to see Sysmex return in the 2019 guide. Donlan was with Arkray at the time of the interview but CAP TODAY learned at press time she is no longer with the company.