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The Impact of Clinical Lab Automation on Healthcare Efficiency

   March 8, 2024

Clinical lab automation devices and systems are automated instruments that operate without manual intervention in completing procedures or processes. Supported by corresponding software for sample and patient data management, these devices are gaining traction due to the increasing prevalence of infectious diseases, prompting more laboratories and healthcare institutions to adopt clinical lab automation. Additionally, advancements in clinical laboratory instruments contribute to improved clinical testing capabilities.

This article delves into the rising demand for clinical lab automation instruments and devices in hospital and clinical settings. These instruments and devices help reduce human errors, minimize manual intervention, and reduce the need for proportional increases in staffing.

Streamlining Diagnostic Testing Through Clinical Lab Automation

The concept of clinical lab automation, or automation in general, was introduced in 1957 with the launch of the first clinical chemistry autoanalyzer, which used continuous flow analysis to measure certain parameters of the body, such as calcium levels, glucose levels, and urea levels, among others. The first fully automated laboratory was introduced in the early 1980s and included all aspects and procedures of laboratory medicine, such as preanalytical, analytical, and postanalytical processes. Automation of laboratories and instruments has revolutionized and is now available for all types of laboratories and of all sizes. To support this, governments in several countries have been launching initiatives to promote advanced healthcare infrastructure and instruments and also emphasizing educating people regarding its importance and advantages.

The increasing sample loads have driven the need for clinical lab automation to enhance accuracy, eliminate manual intervention, improve result quality, and also reduce repetitive errors. In May 2022, Molecular Devices LLC (U.S.), a subsidiary of Danaher Corporation (U.S.), launched five ready-made work cells that offer automation capabilities that reduce the amount of common, repetitive, hands-on steps for users. These work cells for ELISA are expected to increase walkaway time, throughput, and test reproducibility.

Overcoming Challenges in Adopting Clinical Lab Automation Solutions

Some of the challenges hindering the adoption of clinical lab automation solutions encompass high equipment maintenance and repair costs, as well as concerns over the security and privacy of patient data. The understanding of a specific automated instrument can vary among professionals, along with their understanding of the accompanying software. Professionals specifically trained to operate these automated instruments must initially identify the track of test orders, specimen routes, patient management, and quality control results, among other aspects.

To overcome these challenges, laboratories and institutions can take several measures, including effective communication with staff, to highlight the benefits of adopting these systems. Conducting training sessions to familiarize the staff with the operation of these devices is another crucial step. Additionally, automating and optimizing existing procedures or processes before implementing new automated systems can ensure efficiency and accuracy. Staff training on new processes should be phased, allowing for a gradual transition. Some companies, such as Agilent Technologies, Inc. (U.S.), have introduced training and resource centers to address challenges faced by healthcare professionals. For instance, Agilent's Instrument Training & Method Services provides courses tailored to specific education styles, aiming to enhance lab efficiency and improve instrument techniques, operations, and troubleshooting skills.

Similarly, Promega Corporation (U.S.), a company that develops technologies and instrumentation in collaboration with scientists and researchers, has a Lab Automation Resource Center that helps professionals learn from their peers regarding implementing, using, and maintaining an automated workstation. With these new standards and initiatives arising, the clinical lab automation market is well-positioned for optimal growth worldwide.

Advancements in Clinical Lab Automation Instruments for the Life Sciences and Healthcare Industries

Since the introduction of automation in laboratories has begun, there have been several technological advancements in the field. Initially, the first automated chemistry analyzer could run upto 20 samples per hour. This sample count gradually increased as the instruments developed and progressed. At present, there are hospital laboratories that process upto 30,000 tubes every day using sophisticated products and technologies.

The technological innovations happening in the clinical lab automation industry will change and evolve as per the needs of the laboratories. The latest innovation in this field is the use of robotics and sensors for automation. For instance, in January 2022, Bio Molecular Systems Pty Ltd (Australia), a biotechnology company that designs, manufactures, and distributes instrumentation in the life sciences industry, launched the Myra Liquid Handling System, which can handle liquids accurately and efficiently in laboratories. It enables the dispensing, mixing, and transferring of liquids, which reduces errors and increases productivity.

Another feature of the innovative clinical lab automation systems includes the size and portability of these systems. Since the incorporation of larger automation instruments is not possible for certain small- and medium-sized laboratories, improved and scalable portable automated instruments can help such laboratories. For instance, Bio Molecular Systems Pty Ltd (Australia) provides the Mic qPCR Cycler, which is a portable and low-weight Magnetic Induction Cycler that provides rapid and accurate heating and cooling with around 35 cycles in under 25 minutes.

These advancements in clinical lab automation enable laboratories to operate with greater speed, flexibility, and portability than ever before, contributing to the continued growth of the market.

Unlocking the Clinical Lab Automation Market: Insights from the Clinical Lab Automation Market Analysis

Recent insights from Meticulous Research® provide valuable insights into the future trajectory of the Clinical Lab Automation Market. Projections suggest a potential worth of $3.72 billion by 2030, driven by a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.8% from 2023 to 2030.

Significant trends are emerging due to the ongoing evolution of the clinical lab automation market. In 2023, the technologies being used for clinical lab automation have emerged as an important aspect, propelled by the increasing prevalence of infectious diseases and the increased burden of samples on hospitals and laboratories.

As the global landscape takes shape, the North American region is expected to hold a substantial market share in 2023. Notably, influential industry players, including Danaher Corporation (U.S.), Hamilton Company (U.S.), Abbott Laboratories (U.S.), and F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG (Switzerland), have established a broad presence across various regions, leading to the widespread adoption of their clinical lab automation worldwide. In essence, this comprehensive overview from Meticulous Research serves as a gateway into the clinical lab automation market.


The rising prevalence of infectious diseases and the increasing need for diagnostic tests have led to an increase in the use of clinical lab automation across several countries. Additionally, clinical lab automation, backed by advanced technologies and innovations, is making it more significant and recognized.

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