A new era in lab testing is tackling today’s challenges and tomorrow’s needs in a rapidly shifting global health landscape.
In almost every country of the world, the proportion of the population aged over 60 is growing faster than any other age group.1 Although this can be seen as a success story, an older population is also giving rise to new challenges. Rates of chronic illnesses and newly emergent diseases related to ageing – such as dementia – are on the rise.2
These trends are having a major impact on healthcare services around the globe, many of which are already facing enormous pressure from increasing costs, budgetary restrictions and staff workloads. Patient expectations are also on the rise – not only for faster testing and diagnosis at lower costs, but also for the personalised prevention and treatment solutions they need to live longer and healthier lives. Faced with intensifying financial strain and demand for diagnostics, laboratories are struggling to deliver the answers that are so central to modern medicine.
Future-proofing against emerging healthcare needs
With the rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, Roche’s commitment to diagnostic innovation has never been more vital. For nearly 50 years, we have provided hospitals and laboratories with the diagnostic tests and instruments they need to better understand disease and patient biology. Worldwide, our instruments are used to conduct more than 15 billion tests every year3.
The future is already becoming reality…. All of this connectivity brings enormous benefit to our lab customers and ultimately to patients.
As a global leader in diagnostics, we have recognised these unfolding challenges and are responding by developing innovative new systems designed to address the challenges of today and anticipate the needs of tomorrow. With our latest advances in diagnostics technology, we are offering a radical new vision for how to approach the increasingly complex healthcare environment: a revolution in simplicity.
Our vision is to empower laboratories to manage the future by streamlining how they are designed and by simplifying their equipment and processes. We have already pioneered the integration of clinical chemistry and immunochemistry, creating the concept of the ‘Serum Work Area’. The key now is to expand the core lab, consolidating and integrating further a wider range of platforms covering other diagnostic disciplines such as molecular diagnostics and point-of-care testing. Quite simply, we are enabling within a single automated system, a vast array of testing that gives answers to life’s critical challenges across the healthcare continuum.
A fully connected laboratory is the means to this end. One in which every component is designed to work together as one, vastly expanding the efficiency, scope and quality of diagnostic capabilities.
With the arrival of the fully automated system, less samples need to be taken from patients and these can simply be investigated in one place. This provides healthcare professionals with faster results.
As a key milestone towards this vision, we have developed state-of-the-art technology – as revolutionary to diagnostics as the smartphone was to mobile communications – that consolidates multiple systems in one easy-to-use and fully automated instrument and offers the broadest range of tests to date in areas as diverse as HIV, hepatitis, oncology, cardiology and tests specific to women’s health in pregnancy and beyond.
Greater efficiencies, fewer costs
The potential benefits to the healthcare system are enormous. The greater efficiency of a fully connected and automated laboratory holds the promise of substantially reducing the financial pressures on providers. With less staff time required to operate the system, laboratory staff will be free to perform more skilled roles and higher value work, enabling crucial cost savings, laboratory growth and better preparation for the future.
With all these samples being investigated in one place, we are now able to significantly reduce costs.
Providers will also be better equipped to meet the emerging needs of individual patients, even as populations continue to expand and age. A consolidated laboratory system offering a broader range of tests will generate a wealth of diagnostic data, allowing doctors to provide patients with holistic, accurate and precise diagnoses, as well as prevention and treatment solutions – all at a faster pace.
With our innovations in diagnostics, we are helping to remove uncertainty from healthcare, providing fast answers to patients’ most pressing questions, and saving providers' money without compromising environmental impact reduction goals. Our vision of connectivity is giving laboratories the tools to address the challenges of the future by making testing simpler, more cost-efficient and more insightful today.
1 World Health Organization, Ageing. Last accessed June 2016 at http://www.who.int/topics/ageing/en/
2 World Health Organization, Dementia. Last accessed June 2016 at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs362/en/
3 Roche Annual Report 2015