High Tech Labs: Revolutionizing the Clinician’s ToolboxNovember 26, 2013
From mapping genomes to new software for monitoring trials, new technologies are revolutionizing the every-day business of clinical research. The emphasis is on efficiency and accuracy: innovators are looking for ways to minimize errors in diagnostics and trial management, while maintaining patient health as the highest priority. This week we profile two technological advancements in clinical laboratory tools that achieve that delicate balance. The first tool upgrades diagnostics from manual to molecular, while the second provides project teams with a full-service trial management system that is rapidly closing the gap on error and oversight during clinical trials.
Molecular Diagnostics: Minimizing Error, Maximizing Results
Molecular diagnostics refers to the sequencing and mapping of specific genomes and within the last decade, has found exciting applications in a number of sectors, including laboratory testing. From analyzing patient samples to indentifying genetic disorders, new tools for molecular diagnostics have revolutionized clinical research. According to John Osiecki and Chris Bird, managers at Roche Diagnostics Molecular Centers of Excellence, traditional laboratory diagnostic methods raised efficiency problems and demanded advanced expertise in manual methods. However, in recent years, the molecular diagnostics industry has expanded, facilitated by improvements in technology and an increase of products with FDA approval. High tech molecular diagnostic tools are becoming more widely available, helping to propel clinical testing into a new era of reliability. Recent graduates of pharmaceutical courses working as clinicians will encounter these new tools, which will enable them to:
- Target and map genome sequences
- Evaluate gene mutations associated with a range of diseases
- Customize patient therapies
- Develop targeted pharmaceuticals
Efficiency is the keyword when it comes to evaluating the advantages of molecular diagnostics. Ushering in sweeping changes in how clinical research is conceptualized and executed, the ground-breaking tools are changing how we identify diseases, develop treatments, and care for patients.
Iconik Labs: Advanced Analytics
Another recent innovation that has changed the landscape of laboratory testing and research comes from Icon Clinical Research Services. The new Iconik Labs is an interactive analytics tool that allows clinical and medical team members to:
- Visualize, analyse and report on large volumes of laboratory data in real time
- Interact with data and view trends at any level of detail, using a range of dynamic filters
Iconik Labs enhances a study’s quality by instantly identifying sites with an unusual number of lab values outside the normal range. The tool supports pharmaceutical quality assurance by supporting earlier, more informed decision making and more efficient trial management. Minimizing communications breakdowns, the new analytics tool is streamlining the testing process.
In what ways do you think new technology will impact clinical research most in the years to come?