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Simplified Workflow by miLab

 

Why is blood test important?

When you come to the hospital, there are mainly two tests done with your blood sample: a blood test and a blood chemistry test. A blood test is an essential test that can provide the most extensive information about the state of your health. It can identify anemia, infections, leukemia, malaria, and many other diseases. 

I think miLab can replace a large part of the conventional blood testing process. For example, most blood testing instruments can measure hemoglobin level to assess anemia, but cannot perform blood cell differential counting. In cases of leukemia, malaria, and other parasitic diseases, additional manual microscopy is needed. miLab automates the conventional sample preparation and image acquisition process and allows experienced technicians to focus on reviewing the AI-analyzed results. For example, miLab will find cells with malaria parasites, abnormal white blood cells, and cells related to leukemia, etc. We will only have to review what it has found. miLab has high usability from a healthcare professional point of view. 

Currently, to confirm a case of blood cancer, a bone marrow sample must be acquired for diagnosis. But if miLab’s technology improves, we may be able to diagnose blood cancer with miLab’s blood cell morphology analysis without requiring bone marrow. Similar technology could extend to diseases related to platelets, thrombosis, sepsis, and others. To identify sepsis, we currently need information from both blood tests and blood chemistry tests, but with miLab’s BCMA, we may be able to identify sepsis much faster. 

 

Decentralized healthcare is becoming more prominent in the post-COVID world. How can miLab play a role in resource-limited settings such as emergency rooms, developing countries, and others?

Centralized labs in large hospitals have the advantage of processing a large number of samples quickly, but it requires large instruments, electrical and water facilities, and experienced professionals. 

Such resources may not be readily available in rural areas or developing countries, and proper diagnostic tests become difficult. Naturally, resource-limited settings are in need of an instrument like miLab. 

Recently, central labs show an increasing need for instruments like miLab. Pandemics like COVID-19, MERS, and Ebola pose a significant risk in bringing highly infectious samples into the central labs. To minimize contamination of the central lab, large hospitals are starting to look for point-of-care (POC) instruments that can be at a patient’s bedside. In the past, POC devices were thought to be needed only in resource-limited settings, but in recent years, large hospitals show an increasing demand too.

Our hospital is currently building a quarantine ward. In a quarantine ward, infected patients need to be isolated in special facilities such as intensive care units and negative pressure rooms. miLab could become an essential tool for quarantine wards. 

 

How can miLab improve workflows in clinical laboratories?

Essentially, every test involves some process of washing or dilution. Even with an automated instrument, washing is required between samples. Most instruments repeat the process of smearing, staining, and washing a blood sample on a glass slide. As a result, hospitals need a filtration system required for purified water used in the washing processes. 

One exceptional ability miLab has that no other instruments have, is producing expert-quality staining without using a single drop of water. I believe this technology will play a significant role in changing diagnostics during the pandemic era.