Dr Rajeev Gautam
Corporate Officer, Horiba Japan
President, Horiba India

Advancement in technology

With the growing need for healthcare delivery system in India, automation is a promising solution available to medical laboratories. Advancement in technologies have helped doctors, and allowed healthcare providers to extract information and process it further for monitoring, diagnosis, and treating patients. With the emerging technologies, humans are able to treat diseases that were previously fatal, and also find out new ways to enhance life quality.

In current scenario, the sample load of testing is quite high; with a less number of qualified healthcare technologists and pathologists, the only choice available to medical laboratories is automation. If the entire life cycle of a laboratory sample is automated, starting from sample collection to labelling and testing, it will undoubtedly lead to less TAT and precise reports.

Trends in technology
Hematology laboratories are heading toward reliable automation and are well equipped to enumerate clinical utility parameters, in addition to the existing ones with good accuracy. Current technology trends include optical, AIM, VCS, DHSS, flow cytometry, digital imaging, automated slide makers, and staining solutions.

In the past years, several new products and technologies have emerged in the market, all of which promise to change the traditional understanding of laboratory workflow and standards. New automated systems broaden capabilities beyond traditional methodologies that include cellular analysis combined with manual review. Globally, due to fast-moving product development, small entrepreneurial niche manufacturers and large multinational companies have launched products on the scene to provide unique solutions to evolving customer needs.

Horiba Medical continues its legacy of innovation to cater to the needs of the market. Our products are associated with a success story in the global market. However, I would like to introduce Horiba Evolutive Laboratory Organization (HELO) – a recently launched high-end automation technology in India. It is not just a product for sample testing, but a unique solution for the diagnostic industry.

Message for the diagnostic industry
I think automation would surely add to efficiency and performance of laboratories in terms of number of samples tested and patients cured by a healthcare facility. However, we cannot dissent that the real essence of patient care always lies in a caring human-touch that can be provided by a healthcare professional during sample collection, treatment, and other routine operations.

Automation runs hand-in-hand with the quality of work delivered by technicians. Hence, well-trained laboratory professionals are primary assets of every diagnostic center. Each second saved by a technician due to automation can be utilized to save a patient.

Horiba believes in constant learning along with selling its custom designed products with advanced technology. We have international training centers across the globe to impart training to our customers, and keep them updated around functioning and maintenance of our products.

Our training programs like Horiba Interpretation Training (HIT), Horiba Operational Training (HOT), and Hematology Analyzer Based Exchanges (HABX) workshops for hematology technologists and pathologists have been well identified across medical fraternity in India.

Road ahead
Automation is undoubtedly a growing trend in this market. Introduction of newer technology and digital imaging systems in laboratories will surely drive the market and provide good opportunities to the new players. The next-generation analyzers may be embedded with more information about various diseases, advanced parameters, clinical utility, and optimization to improve lab workflow. 

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