Beckman Coulter, a global clinical diagnostics leader, has announced a new partnership with Germany-based company Smart4Diagnostics to close the preanalytical data gap between blood collection and laboratory analysis due to errors that take place before the sample arrives in the laboratory, such as sample collection, patient identification, sample handling, sample transportation, sample loss, etc.
Clinical laboratories are well aware of the pain points encountered in the preanalytical phase of the sample journey, which is when the vast majority of errors take place. These include patient identification and sample collection, handling, and transportation. Up to 75% of the errors in the preanalytical phase take place outside of the lab, meaning that laboratories have very little, if any, control over this part of the process. In European and North American hospitals, a single pre-analytical error costs on average €200, with the estimated costs of such errors totalling approximately 0.7% of all operating costs.
“Beckman Coulter has been automating and digitising medical laboratories throughout the world for over 40 years, and has now turned its attention to digitising the part of the preanalytical phase that happens outside of the laboratory. Thanks to the partnership with Smart4Diagnostics, Beckman Coulter will be able to monitor not only what happens inside the laboratory but the entire sample process, filling the existing gap between sample collection and clinical laboratories,” said Tom Coulson, EU senior manager for workflow & IT solutions.
Requesting that patients provide new samples due to these errors may result in patient discomfort, reduced trust and, most notably, delayed treatments. Whereas for laboratories, errors mean extra work, increased operating costs and decreased productivity. Smart4Diagnostics created a data-driven preanalytical ecosystem. From sample ordering to sample arrival, Smart4Diagnostics collects all relevant data-points to completely monitor sample workflow and conditions. By doing so, it is able to reduce preanalytical errors in real time while also improving the preanalytical workflow and quality of treatment.
According to Dr Hans Maria Heyn, CEO & co-founder of Smart4Diagnostics: “As many as three in four medical decisions are based on diagnostic results – often blood samples. Currently, the first part of this process is being managed manually, which can lead to errors and cause issues, including slow diagnosis, repeated tests on the patient, and wasted resources. This partnership with Beckman Coulter seeks to revolutionise this crucial but underdeveloped area of the healthcare value chain to bring innovation where it can have an instant and substantial impact.”