Now, more than ever, clinical laboratories are turning toward robotic automation to step up operations. From expanding services in unique ways to improving patient care, to fighting the current COVID-19 pandemic, the use of robots and peripheral tools is helping to create a pathway for success where these issues and more are concerned.
The Benefits of Robotic Automation
Due to the increasing burden of chronic disease and the current global pandemic, the volumes of diagnostic tests are expected to increase rapidly through 20251. How can robotic automation help to meet this challenge?
Higher Processing Speed
Rising specimen volumes are putting a strain on laboratory testing capability. The use of high-speed robots and/or robust robotic workcells help to provide various functions including sorting, centrifugation, decapping, aliquoting and post-analytic archive rack loading/logging.
Greater Test Accuracy
Errors in the lab may have drastic consequences. The utilization of robotic automation is far less prone to error than human workers, making robots an appealing option.
Safer Work Environment
Not only does robotic usage aid in consistent workflow, it can also relieve staff of repetitive and often stressful tasks. Historically, high labor turnover has been an unwelcome by-product of laboratory operations – as most labs operate overnight. Robots that can operate 24/7, alleviate worker shortages and boost productivity.
Consistent Labor Availability
The perpetual handling of hazardous biological materials can cause worker burnout or deter qualified individuals from wanting to work in the clinical laboratory in the first place. As the need for testing increases, the skilled technician pool is drastically shrinking. Robots are the logical next step for those operations faced with labor challenges.
The Future of Laboratory Automation
Cutting-edge robots and workcells – like Yaskawa’s Tube Type Inspection (TTI) system that expertly captures extensive vision-based information about each specimen at high speed while it passes through the pre-analytic sequence – will continue to optimize clinical lab operations.
Join Yaskawa at AACC
For those looking to discover more on how to handle rising specimen volumes, skilled technician shortages, inefficient workflows, rigorous accreditation requirements and more, register to join me and other Yaskawa experts virtually at the Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo (AACC). The world’s largest exposition for clinical laboratory products and services, AACC will be December 13-17, 2020.
Craig Rubenstein is a Life Science Technology Leader at Yaskawa America, Inc. Motoman Robotics Division