Beckman Coulter is First Diagnostics Company to Offer Workflow Automation Specifically for Mid-volume Laboratories


Beckman Coulter, a clinical diagnostics leader, announced the global launch of the DxA 5000 Fit, a workflow-automation solution designed to fit into medium-sized labs that run fewer than 5,000 tests a day.

The clinical laboratory has gone through trial by fire in 2020, where total testing was 245% of baseline volumes, with ~55% being SARS-CoV-2 molecular tests.i According to the CDC, an estimated 41% of U.S. adults delayed or avoided medical careii. Despite vaccines, many industry players suggest SARS-CoV-2 testing volumes won’t be impacted in the near term, and the demand for COVID-19-related testing will continue through 2021 and potentially into 2022iii. This means that testing-volume pressure on labs is going to continue.

Labs of all sizes are facing the same challenges: shortage of laboratory technologists and techniciansiv, historic financial pressures on hospitals and health systemsv, and physically and mentally exhausted laboratory professionalsvi – a pre-pandemic problem that has since been exacerbated. However, the TLA solutions that cater to labs processing high-sample volumes are out of reach for smaller volume labs due to space requirements and infrastructure constraints.

The Right Fit for Mid-sized Labs

“When we look at automation for our labs it’s a balancing act between system throughput capacity, test menu and footprint of the system,” said Afruj Ruf, managing director at Integrated Pathology Solutions LLP, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust. “At the Harrogate District Hospital site, we knew that a large automated system will be too large and excessive and a standalone system doesn’t give us the streamlined workflow we want. What we needed was a compact automation system that reduced the number of steps, requiring minimum human intervention and generated a valid result at first pass so that our lab professionals are not moving samples around but performing the valuable scientific tasks they are trained for. From its compact footprint and minimizing manual work by 80%, to intelligent routing that makes sure our acute patients get their results faster than routine ones, the DxA 5000 Fit was just the right fit for us.”

In a survey, lab directors and managers were asked to identify the key challenges hospital labs are facing. The results found that staffing (26 percent) and turnaround time (23 percent) were identified as top prioritiesvii. Automation plays a key role in helping to address many of these issues while enabling precious resources to focus on high-value, clinical tasks – this has proven particularly true during the COVID-19 pandemicviii.

“For large laboratories, TLA is a reality today. However, for medium-volume labs like ours that process fewer than 4,000 tests per day, comprehensive workflow-automation solutions haven’t been an option,” said Susan Enciso, System Supervisor of Chemistry, Excela Health. “Beckman Coulter’s DxA 5000 Fit solution is the right fit for us. It has a flexible design which is important in a lab like ours where space is a precious commodity; and reduces our manual process steps by up to 80%, helping us meet today’s unprecedented need for COVID-19 and routine tests.”

With the DxA 5000 Fit, mid-sized labs can enjoy the same benefits as larger-volume labs:

  • Comprehensive workflow automation to reduce up to 80% of manual steps through pre-analytical, analytical and post-analytical automationix, conserving precious human resources to do higher-value clinical work
  • Intelligent routing with dynamically calculated route planning for rapid and consistent TAT, with STATs always prioritized to deliver results faster
  • Flexible design that can be adapted to meet a mid-volume lab’s space and infrastructure constraints

“We chose the DxA 5000 Fit because it offers us end-to-end automation and will automate a lot of the pre- and post-analytical routine work our skilled technologists spend their time doing,” said Dr. Hervé Vermeulen, lab director at Centre Hospitalier de Calais. “We look forward to lower, more consistent TATs and significant efficiency gains from the industry’s most comprehensive pre-analytical sample-quality assessment combined with automated pre-analytical sample processing and connected chemistry and immunoassay analyzers.”

The DxA 5000 Fit is authorized for sale in the United States and most European and Asian countries.

“At Beckman Coulter, we believe that medium-size labs should be able to leverage the benefits of automation to address their challenges. Just because your lab is not processing a higher number of samples, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the benefits of intelligent laboratory automation and settle for a marginally automated workcell-plus solution,” said Dr. Peter Soltani, senior vice president & general manager, hematology, urinalysis & workflow information technology solutions at Beckman Coulter. “This is why we have launched DxA 5000 Fit, the first compact workflow automation solution that’s the right fit for mid-volume labs because automation should be for all labs.”

About Beckman Coulter
Beckman Coulter is committed to advancing healthcare for every person by applying the power of science, technology and the passion and creativity of our teams to enhance the diagnostic laboratory’s role in improving healthcare outcomes. Our diagnostic systems are used in complex biomedical testing, and are found in hospitals, reference laboratories and physician office settings around the globe. Beckman Coulter offers a unique combination of people, processes and solutions designed to elevate the performance of clinical laboratories and healthcare networks. We do this by accelerating care with a menu that matters, bringing the benefit of automation to all, delivering greater insights through clinical informatics and unlocking hidden value through performance partnership. An operating company of Danaher Corporation since 2011, Beckman Coulter is headquartered in Brea, Calif., and has more than 11,000 global associates working diligently to make the world a healthier place.