Just as a long-distance runner’s push to go farther can result in big payoffs, including weight loss, reduced stress, and greater endurance, so can manufacturers’ long-term efforts to turn out top-notch instruments help laboratorians cope with labor shortages and other stretched resources. And, if they are fortunate, laboratories’ payoffs are shorter turnaround times, better workflows, and ramped-up efficiencies.
It is only natural, then, that the companies whose hematology analyzers are profiled in this month’s product guide are continuing their quest to offer the best with respect to innovation, ease of use, and automation.
“We are seeing increased demand for total lab automation that combines hematology and hemostasis analyzers with other testing disciplines like chemistry and immunoassay systems—the next stage of the core lab concept,” says Fred Stelling, director of global marketing, hematology, for Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics.
Siemens’ latest offering for the hematology market is the Advia 2120i, a high-volume hematology analyzer with a full touchscreen user interface. Introduced in 2008, says Stelling, the analyzer performs CBCs (120 samples per hour), reticulocyte analysis, and two-dimensional platelet analysis, using a combination of laser light scatter and cytochemical staining. The touchscreen interface allows users to avoid the repetitive motions associated with using a mouse. Siemens also plans to add to its systems three body fluid testing capabilities; the company’s analyzers currently have the ability to test cerebrospinal fluid.
New at Beckman Coulter is the UniCel DxH 800 Coulter Cellular Analysis System. The analyzer, introduced in December 2008, features high-definition digital signal processing and multi-angle light scatter technology. The system, says the company’s global marketing manager Luis Tapanes, “takes decision criteria to the next level by reducing manual review rates and eliminating the need for reflex testing.” The product’s specimen transport module, a magnetically driven transport system that contains no exposed moving parts, automatically returns specimens to the sample aspiration module for repeat testing without operator intervention. The system’s data-fusion capability, says Tapanes, allows it to “correct for most of the common interferences in today’s laboratory, ensuring first-pass accuracy and efficiency.” In 2010, Beckman plans to expand the built-in automation capabilities of its UniCel DxH platform by introducing the UniCel DxH workcell solutions, including the UniCel DxH Slidemaker Stainer Coulter Cellular Analysis System.
Sysmex America’s XE-2100D automated hematology analyzer, released in 2004, was recently FDA cleared for blood processing center quality control release testing of post-processed red blood cell and platelet components collected using a variety of anticoagulants. The XE-2100D has a throughput of 150 CBC samples per hour.
The company’s XT-4000i hematology analyzer is pending FDA clearance, says Ralph Taylor, vice president of marketing and medical affairs for Sysmex America. The XT-4000i, which has a throughput of 100 samples per hour, provides a CBC, six-part differential, and immature granulocyte and reticulocyte hemoglobin equivalent clinical parameters. It also has a body fluid-specific mode. The analyzer, Taylor says, will use fluorescent flow cytometry and advanced counting methods to deliver rapid, reliable results while providing advanced parameters that offer additional clinical information to support diagnosis and monitoring.
The goal at Abbott Hematology is to offer solutions with flexible automation “so it’s not a one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter sort of track in which everybody would get the same solution, when components such as advanced analytics, sorters, middleware, or other targeted solutions may offer more value for the customer,” says Keith Chaitoff, divisional vice president of U.S. marketing. Abbott’s latest offering is the Cell-Dyn Emerald hematology system, introduced early this year. Targeted to small to midsize laboratories, the Emerald is a compact tabletop/ benchtop instrument with a full touchscreen monitor, low reagent consumption, and automatic cleaning and shutdown features. It completes CBC results in 60 seconds.
In addition to launching high-efficiency hematology components such as the Pathfinder sorter, Abbott plans to introduce in 2010 an updated version of its Cell-Dyn Sapphire hematology analyzer, which will include a new software package with several improvements, says Bill Bailey, U.S. marketing manager. The software, called Sapphire 3.0, brings to the laboratory indices such as RBCs and allows the company to monitor and troubleshoot customers’ instruments remotely via its AbbottLink remote diagnostics product. Bailey also notes that the company has made an upgrade to software for its Ruby line of analyzers. The software, Ruby 2.0, provides rules-based annotations and standardized rulemaking and makes the analyzer more efficient.
CAP TODAY’s guide to hematology analyzers includes instruments from the aforementioned manufacturers and from Horiba Medical. Companies supplied the information listed. Readers interested in a particular product should confirm it has the stated features and capabilities.
Brendan Dabkowski is CAP TODAY associate editor.