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AACC 2022 Review: International Meetings Rebound After Suffering Long COVID Hiatus

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 18 Aug 2022
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Image: AACC 2022 saw more than 700 exhibitors, 200 new product introductions and 40,000 visitors (Photo courtesy of AACC)
Image: AACC 2022 saw more than 700 exhibitors, 200 new product introductions and 40,000 visitors (Photo courtesy of AACC)

The 2022 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo showcased cutting-edge science and technology shaping the future of laboratory medicine. Hosted by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (Washington, DC, USA), this year the show took place at McCormick Place in Chicago from Sunday, July 24 through Thursday, July 28. The world’s premier event for laboratory medicine offered five days packed with opportunities to learn about exciting science. At the AACC Clinical Lab Expo, more than 700 exhibitors released their latest news and developments to an estimated audience of more than 40,000 visitors, with the aim to return to attendance figures prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The AACC Clinical Lab Expo had more than 200 new product introductions this year. Exhibitors filled the show floor with displays of the latest diagnostic technology, including but not limited to mobile health, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, point-of-care, and automation.

EKF Diagnostics (Penarth, Cardiff, UK) exhibited its range of laboratory and point-of-care diagnostics products, including the FDA cleared Lucica Glycated Albumin-L test kit, Hemo Control and DiaSpect Tm hemoglobin analyzer ranges, as well as Quo-Lab and Quo-Test HbA1c analyzers, alongside its newly-launched EKF Link digital connectivity solution.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (Waltham, MA; USA) was back in person this year at the event with demonstrations of its Phadia 250 laboratory system, Indiko and Indiko Plus clinical and specialty chemistry analyzers, Applied Biosystems QuantStudio 7 Pro Dx and QuantStudio 5 Dx Real-Time PCR Systems, and its latest LC-MS/MS medical devices for IVD use, including the Quantis MD and Altis MD systems.

Siemens Healthineers (Erlangen, Germany) showcased its “Continuous innovation for a lifetime of answers” at the event where the company demonstrated its Atellica Solution comprising flexible, scalable, automation-ready immunoassay and chemistry analyzers with integrated automation. Siemens also displayed the Atellica DCA Analyzer for fast, quality HbA1c and ACR results at the fingertips, Atellica 1500 Automated Urinalysis System, and the epoc Blood Analysis System that delivers critical testing results securely at patient-side in less than one minute.

Beckman Coulter, Inc. (Brea, CA, USA) highlighted its latest medical advancements in laboratory solutions at the event, including its new DxA 5000 Fit Workflow Automation System, the new DxONE Workflow Manager which is the industry’s first cloud-based middleware solution that allows users to amplify productivity and future-proof their lab, the DxC and AU series of clinical chemistry analyzers, and the DxH range of hematology analyzers.

CerTest Biotec (Zaragoza, Spain) presented its VIASURE Complete Solution for molecular diagnostic laboratories, alongside its new CLIA diagnostic equipment, new releases for Rapid Test, Turbilatex, bioSCIENCE or BioSynProbes, and its newly-launched Viasure Monkeypox Virus Real Time PCR Detection Kit.

Gold Standard Diagnostics (Davis, CA, USA) highlighted its comprehensive diagnostic solutions, with particular focus on the new version of its AIX1000 Automated RPR Test System with improved software and hardware features. The AIX1000 is an FDA cleared, CE marked, fully automated system for nontreponemal, rapid plasma reagin (RPR) testing.

Sysmex America, Inc. (Lincolnshire, IL, USA) exhibited virtually and live at the event where the company presented the XN-Series of automated hematology analyzers with new complimentary products, such as DI-60 Automated Digital Cell Morphology Analyzer that connects directly to the XN-9100 analyzer or can be configured with the SP-50 Slidemaker/Stainer. On display for the first time was the company’s BT-50 Barcode Terminal and Start yard with “touch-free” quality control (QC) workflow. Sysmex America also exhibited the UN-Series automated urinalysis solution with expanded chemistry functionality that offers the world’s first bi-directional urinalysis connection for Total Lab Automation (TLA).

Abbott Diagnostics (Lake Bluff, IL, USA) offered one-on-one and group demonstrations of its latest diagnostic offerings, including its next generation of Alinity systems that are designed to simplify diagnostics and help deliver results. In addition, Abbott provided demonstrations of its GLP systems Track that allows users to easily modify their track for future changes and maximize floor space while transforming the laboratory from 2D to 3D. Abbott also demonstrated how its AlinIQ Always On services can help labs achieve operational efficiency and increase productivity by avoiding unexpected downtime.

LumiraDx (London, UK) joined the global laboratory medicine community at the event with demonstrations of its transformative tests and technology, including the company’s next-generation diagnostics platform that supports a broad menu of tests on a single, portable diagnostic platform with lab comparable performance at the point of care. In addition, LumiraDx demonstrated its Fast Lab Solutions which enable laboratories to improve throughput by using current molecular infrastructure and eliminating the need for extraction and purification.

Jiangsu Bioperfectus Technologies Co., Ltd. (Shanghai, China) demonstrated its range of molecular diagnostic instruments and testing solutions for infectious diseases, including its SAW-96 and SMPE-960 nucleic acid extraction systems, alongside the STC-96A and STC-96A PLUS real-time PCR systems. Bioperfectus also showcased its wide range of testing solutions for infectious diseases, including respiratory, sexually transmitted, vector-borne, gastrointestinal, and zoonotic.

Nova Biomedical (Waltham, MA, USA) presented its range of whole blood testing products that improve patient safety and care, including point-of-care, whole blood meters and critical care blood gas analyzers. These included the Allegro POC capillary blood chemistry analyzer that features a clinically important menu of 10 measured and individually selectable tests, plus seven calculated tests, as well as the Stat Profile Prime Plus comprehensive whole blood critical care analyzer that offers blood gases, electrolytes, metabolites, hematology, and co-oximetry testing in a simple, compact device.

Bio-Rad Laboratories (Hercules, CA, USA) exhibited its range of quality control solutions that help streamline workflows, reduce errors, maintain compliance, and facilitate accreditation—improving efficiency and saving money. These solutions included its InteliQ Load-and-Go Controls that can transform QC workflow with load-and-go-efficiency and its Unity QC Data Management Solutions that help achieve greater efficiency while reducing costs. Visitors at Bio-Rad’s booth experienced its D-100 hemoglobin testing system, a fully automated, best-in-class HbA1c analyzer featuring a highly evolved combination of hardware, software and chemistry for high-volume labs.

Technopath Clinical Diagnostics (Tipperary, Ireland) showcased the Multichem range of barcoded consolidated Quality Control (QC) materials combined with IAMQC informatics software that offer unique work-flow automation. Technopath also demonstrated the IAMQC Infinity open QC data management solution that can complement and support the Multichem QC product range, and provides laboratory managers and technologists with a range of QC software tools to analyze their QC results in real-time.

EUROIMMUN, a PerkinElmer, Inc. (Waltham, MA; USA) company, featured its latest automation solution in molecular diagnostics - the EUROArray Processor - that enables fully automated processing of EUROArray slides. The company also introduced the new UNIQO 160 IIFT system which provides full IIFT automation of the next generation – from the primary sample to the micros copy result with only one instrument.

Globe Scientific, Inc. (Mahwah, NJ, USA) exhibited its recently-launched Globe Glass premium quality laboratory glassware with superior GlassGuard packaging. Designed to meet the needs of both laboratory professionals and laboratory supply distributors, Globe Glass combines quality glassware and superior packaging at an affordable price point. The company also showcased its broad range of high-performance, innovative and affordable laboratory balances and accessories for precision and analytical weighing.

Awareness Technology, Inc. (Palm City, FL, USA) demonstrated its updated Stat Fax 4500 and 4700 microwell strip readers with a new interface that features a high resolution backlit display with a capacitive touch screen. A new feature of their improved memory capacity is the ability to not only store over 100 programmed tests but also store over 500 results. Awareness also displayed the ChemWell 2 Automated ELISA/Chemiluminescent analyzer that offers a two plate solution for running a variety of applications.

Hologic, Inc. (Marlborough, MA, USA) highlighted its Panther Scalable Solutions that allow laboratories to expand their testing menu while adding on flexibility, capacity and walkaway time. Also featured at the event were Hologic’s ThinPrep processors which are intuitive, versatile, and scalable solutions for laboratories of all volumes. The company’s ThinPrep Pap test is the first FDA-approved, liquid-based cytology option in cervical disease screening and remains the preferred choice in Pap testing in the US.

Getein Biotech, Inc. (Nanjing, China) presented its range of POCT immunofluorescence quantitative analyzers, including the Getein1160, Getein1180, Getein1200 and Getein1600 which automate the detection and quantification of markers for cardiovascular diseases, renal diseases, inflammation, fertility, diabetes mellitus, bone metabolism, tumor, and thyroid in biological samples. In addition, Getein exhibited the fully automated CM-400 clinical chemistry analyzer, alongside the BHA-3000 and BHA-5000 automatic hematology analyzers and the XN06 semi-automated blood coagulation analyzer.

Cepheid (Sunnyvale, CA, USA) demonstrated the advantages of its PCRplus Solution comprising one platform and 22 IVD tests that combine accuracy, speed, flexibility, quality, and simplicity. PCRplus is an elevated PCR test category reserved for molecular diagnostic testing solutions that deliver uncompromised accuracy, speed, flexibility, simplicity, and exceptional test design expertise. Cepheid offers a growing portfolio of PCRplus respiratory tests that run on its 40,000 GeneXpert systems placed worldwide to deliver rapid, accurate, and actionable respiratory results.

Wondfo (Guangzhou, China) exhibited its automatic bench-top chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA) analyzers with advanced features for point of care testing, including its compact and automatic Accre 8 and Accre 90 CLIA bench-top analyzers which are 70% smaller than ordinary CLIA analyzers. With a single-dose reagent cartridge, these analyzers allow 600 days MTBF, requiring no extra consumables.

Sebia (Lisses, France) showcased its wide portfolio of instruments and tests designed to address clinical needs and improve laboratory efficiency and safety. These included the CAPILLARYS 3 TERA MC high throughput capillary electrophoresis system that allows the combination of one to three CAPILLARYS 3 TERA instruments to a Sebia loader, with a loading capacity of 528 samples in one row. In addition, Sebia showcased its fully automated, random access Alegria 2 ELISA platform with its comprehensive menu of antigen assays & panels utilizing a unique Monotest strip technology that allows serum, plasma, and fecal sample testing in the same run.

DiaSys Diagnostic Systems (Holzheim, Germany) showcased its expanding product portfolio of analyzers and POCT instruments with a special focus on its reagents, such as HDL-c direct FS, LDL-c direct FS, Cystatin C FS, Procalcitonin FS and CRP FS. Additionally, DiaSys demonstrated the respons 940 fully automatic random access analyzer (RAM) with a sample throughput of 400 (640 incl. ISE) tests/hour. Due to durable quartz cuvettes, low reaction volume, maintenance free photometer and intuitively operated software, respons 940 offers the economic use and reliability required in small to medium sized labs.

Roche Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland) provided demonstrations of 18 innovative systems, including the cobas pro and cobas pure serum work area solutions, the cobas 5800 molecular system and the cobas pulse point-of-care professional glucose management solution. To address current laboratory challenges, Roche also introduced the Roche Idea Lab, where experts in areas critical to laboratory success provided key insights. Roche presented 11 interactive workshops as part of the Idea Lab to share best practices and provide answers on topics that matter most in today’s evolving lab environment.

PerkinElmer, Inc. (Waltham, MA; USA) demonstrated its high-throughput Vanadis NIPT solution that takes all the complexity out of noninvasive prenatal testing, making it accessible to more women – and more cost-effective for laboratories. This breakthrough cell-free DNA (cfDNA) technology eliminates PCR amplification and gene sequencing, making it so easy to use that one laboratory technician can handle 2000 to 20 000 samples per year. Vanadis is the only NIPT screening platform to enable targeted cfDNA analysis without PCR, instead directly capturing target fragments and labeling them for counting.

Werfen (Barcelona, Spain) introduced key innovations for the cardiovascular operating room, including the new ROTEM sigma Thromboelastometry System that delivers real-time, rapid and actionable results, now at the point of care, to guide bleeding management. Werfen also introduced the new GEM Hemochron 100 whole blood hemostasis system which leverages leading Hemochron technology to deliver fast, actionable activated clotting time (ACT) results in minutes, informing patient-management decisions and helping improve workflow at the POC. In addition, Werfen introduced the new GEMweb Live, a real-time viewer of comprehensive, rapid test results for cardiac surgical procedures, at the POC, all in one screen.

Seegene, Inc. (Seoul, Korea) introduced its In-Life PCR campaign, a global initiative that seeks to encourage regular testing of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, flu, and colds, to stay protected from infectious diseases. Seegene’s EU-Approved Allplex SARS-CoV-2/FluA/FluB/RSV Assay is expected to help small hospitals, local clinics, and public health centers effectively identify COVID-19, influenza A and B and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The assay is compatible with the company's 'AIOS' (All-in-One System), the first fully automated high throughput MDx system for syndromic testing, that supports "hands-free" PCR workflows – from nucleic acid extraction to PCR setup, gene amplification and results analysis. Seegene has also received CE-IVD marking for the saliva-based testing application for Allplex SARS-CoV-2 Assay and Allplex SARS-CoV-2/FluA/FluB/RSV Assay, and both the products with the feature are now available in Europe.

Nikon Instruments (Melville, NY, USA) displayed its latest clinical pathology products, including the ECLIPSE Ci-E upright microscope with Digital Sight 10 camera alongside the ECLIPSE Ci-L plus upright microscope with DS-Fi3 camera and NIS-Elements L tablet. Nikon also showcased the NIS-Elements D imaging software and NIS-Elements BR imaging software, alongside the D-LEDI Fluorescence LED Illumination System, a long-lasting, multi-color light source for fluorescence observation.

Meridian Bioscience Inc. (Cincinnati, OH, USA) displayed its state-of-the-art BreathID Hp Lab urea breath test system for H. pylori detection that intuitively combines market-leading diagnostic accuracy with efficient automation and fast batch-test analysis for maximizing large lab testing throughput. Meridian also exhibited the Curian fluorescent immunoassay platform focused on gastrointestinal testing that is packaged in a small footprint to improve hospital operational efficiencies. Also on display at Meridian’s booth was the company’s Revogene flexible molecular platform capable of single analyte and multiplex testing that is packaged in a small footprint, and can help standardize testing throughout the health system.

Rhinostics, Inc. (Boston, MA, USA) introduced the patent-pending VERIstic Collection Device which is ideal for use in at-home and clinician-assisted collection methods and is a highly efficient, high-throughput replacement for antibody, hormone and protein detection, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), dried blood spot (DBS) cards, genetic testing, clinical trials, and other applications enabled by a simple finger prick collection. This first of its kind collection device combines tried-and-true capillary blood collection with an integrated, automation-ready cap to save time, money, and hassles in a hands-free workflow when the sample reaches the laboratory.

RBC Bioscience Corp. (New Taipei City, Taiwan) released its new MagCore EDA instrument that combines DNA/RNA extraction and Smart PCR Setup provides a complete solution for lab workflow optimization. The new MagCore EDA has three modes of operation: NA extraction, PCR setup and NA extraction with PCR setup. MagCore EDA presents a set of unique features such as HEPA filters, cooling plate for idling eluates, spectrophotometer for automatic OD measurements at the end of extraction, safety locks that ensure the ease of use and safety of the system.

Cytovale (San Francisco, CA, USA) launched its 510(k) pending Cytovale system and 10-minute IntelliSep sepsis risk stratification test, and also shared new data featuring the test. The Cytovale system directly analyzes white blood cells using rapid techniques that look at cell structure, which may make it faster and less expensive than other approaches. The IntelliSep test aims to simply and clearly determine the risk of a patient having sepsis using a biomechanical evaluation of white blood cells from a standard blood draw at presentation, generating results in under 10 minutes.

Advanced Instruments, LLC (Norwood, MA, USA) introduced a new osmometer that delivers the automation and data management capabilities modern clinical labs require to free up tech time, improve result turnaround times, reduce errors, and ensure effortless compliance. The company’s newest addition to its clinical line of freezing point osmometers, the OsmoPRO MAX automated osmometer, has been designed for clinical laboratories of all sizes seeking higher productivity through automation. The instrument's innovative flow-through technology eliminates manual pipetting and consumables, allowing testing to begin with the push of a button.

CellaVision (Lund, Sweden) announced the launch of DIFF-Line by CellaVision, a new workflow solution for low-volume hematology laboratories. DIFF-Line by CellaVision consists of three instruments for smearing, staining, and analyzing peripheral blood smears: CellaVision DC-1, RAL SmearBox, and RAL StainBox. DIFF-Line by CellaVision is available on the European market and will be rolled out in more markets in 2022.

Tianlong Science and Technology (Shaanxi, China) showcased its GeneMix Pro automatic sample processing system that is designed for automating laboratory workflow and maintain sample integrity. Tianlong also displayed its PANA9600S automatic nucleic acid workstation which is designed according to the principles of magnetic beads method and rotary nucleic acid extraction technology. In addition, Tianlong showcased its Gentier 96R real-time PCR system which is designed to meet the experimental needs of high-end laboratories.

Scientists from the University of Washington (Seattle, WA, USA) presented their research demonstrating a cheap, convenient smartphone test for monitoring patients at risk for dangerous blood clots. The test quickly and inexpensively determines PT/INR using a smartphone's built-in vibration motor and camera to track movement of a copper particle in a drop of blood. Separately, researchers at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN, USA) presented their research on a group of AI-trained algorithms that analyze FTIR kidney stone composition results, in an effort to improve diagnosis and better guide treatment. In a 12-month study, these AI-trained algorithms reviewed manual analyses of 81,517 kidney stones, and the researchers found the technologist's and AI's interpretations agreed 90% of the time.

In addition, researchers at Sabin Medicina Diagnostica (Brasilia, Brazil) presented their findings on a first-of-its-kind NGS panel that detects a mutation in that small spot on the SMN1 gene that causes spinal muscular atrophy, a common genetic disease that is life-threatening but treatable if caught in time. Separately, a team of researchers at the Nationwide Children's Hospital (Columbus, OH, USA) became the first to show that a faster method for diagnosing UTIs in adults could also work in children. Known as UTOPIA, this method uses urinalysis results and other variables to predict UTIs, and delivers answers well before the 2-3 days needed for culture results.

AACC’s Disruptive Technology Award recognizes innovative testing and disruptive technology solutions that improve patient care through diagnostic performance or access to high quality testing. Biological Dynamics (San Diego, CA, USA), Nanopath (Cambridge, MA, USA) and Visby Medical (San Jose, CA, USA) were the finalists for AACC’s 2022 Disruptive Technology Award. Biological Dynamics presented its Verita Isolation Platform, which will become the basis of an annual screening blood test for multiple cancers, according to the company. Nanopath presented its Nanopath Platform, a solid-state biosensing platform with ultrasensitive optical detection, while Visby Medical’s PRC Point-of-Care Tests run on an instrument and cartridge-free, single-use PCR platform that fits in the palm of the hand and delivers accurate results about causes of serious infections in under 30 minutes. Nanopath was named winner of the 2022 AACC Disruptive Technology Award.

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