Hematology analyzers have seen tremendous transformation in the last decade; the new technology, data sciences, and integration have opened up many avenues. From increasing amount of information available from hematology analyzers to AI and software tools have enhanced accessibility, flexibility, and advantages offered by integrated systems.
The plethora of information and the features available make the job of selecting the right analyzer quite daunting. One of the parameters, which can assist a laboratory in making the correct decision is efficiency. Mathematically, the quantity of output generated to the amount of input is generally referred to as efficiency, though in this context the trick is to define the right inputs and the desired output from hematology analyzer, as per the laboratory.
The key considerations in the form of output from hematology analyzers, relevant for a high-workload lab, are throughput of the analyzer, number of reportable parameters (normal+abnormal), number of relevant research parameters, sensitivity and specificity of flagging algorithm, visual patterns to assist interpretation, and a decision-making software, which can integrate all this information at a single screen and make it accessible remotely.
As compared to outputs, inputs can more easily be defined in terms of cost-per-test or cost-per-test reportable, depending on the laboratory’s own practices. So, once you have defined the key outputs and inputs from the laboratory, the next step is to assign weights to the output, per unit input, and derive an evaluation factor to assist selection.
Additionally, several factors that are noteworthy in selecting the systems are: any extra/additional charges in terms of license fee for different modes, availability of dedicated body fluids mode, flexibility in terms of disabling unrequired modes, use of most modern technology like fluorescence, service and application expertise and availability, and overall presence of the system in setups of similar structure.
Mindray’s CAL system CAL 6000 and CAL 8000 are fully automated integrated systems that have gained popularity in recent times, where many modern laboratories have chosen CAL systems for up-gradation. CAL system provides the best-in-class efficiency, with the highest throughput of 200 samples per hour from a single system, which can be further increased to 800 samples per hour, 37 reportable, and 48 research parameters, utilizing unique 3D technology, providing better classification of normal and abnormal cells, availability of an automated slide stainer, dedicated body fluids mode, and the LabXpert software, which acts as the brain of the system, making all critical and relevant information available along with the analyzer, and remotely through its unique multi-installation capabilities, thus, providing a holistic solution to the laboratory looking for a high-efficiency hematology analyzer.