Laboratory automation system is undoubtedly one of the goals of the development of some medical testing laboratories. One important step is to automate a series of steps before and after analysis, such as identification, packaging, decapping, centrifugation, classification, loading, capping, and storage. The automation system generally consists of the sample entrance area, automatic recognition of the sample tube barcode, automatic centrifuge, automatic decapper, automatic sample level detector, automatic sample packaging device, automatic classification device, transmission system, and sample storage area.
In today's laboratories, lab automation equipment offers various automated analyzers, including fully automated biochemical analyzers, fully automated blood cell analyzers, fully automated coagulation analyzers, fully automated urine analyzers, fully automated chemiluminescence immunoassay analyzers, fully automated enzyme-linked immunoassay analyzers, fully automated blood gas analyzers, and fully automated microbial identification analyzers for different testing projects. Automated analyzers are connected to the laboratory information management system (LIS) to form a working area management system. Currently, fully automated biochemical immunoassay analyzers, blood cell analysis slide lines, and urine sediment analysis production lines have been launched, integrating some testing projects. The automation of the analysis system of the laboratory automation system can be relatively easily achieved by most laboratories and has a fast return on investment, but automation before and after specimen processing has not yet been involved.
Supported by work management system software, specimens are managed through manual work processes. By reading the specimen barcode, the information system can tell you the project situation, such as the number of cups, detection instrument, professional team, archiving, etc., and then sent to the corresponding professional team and instrument for automated detection. The test results are then transmitted back to the information system for result analysis and post-processing. Virtual automation is suitable for small and medium-sized hospitals, only need to install management software, and use existing automated analyzers to manage specimen processes through software.
By using independent specimen analysis before and after processing systems, it is possible to selectively solve various sample racks, barcode labeling, capping, archiving, sample querying, and other work for centrifuges, decappers, classifiers, pipettors, loading, and all types of analyzers. The flexible laboratory automation system can be used in large and medium-sized laboratories, and is suitable for all analysis systems in the laboratory. Its classification function is powerful, and it can be finely divided into sample cups for sample management using software, data review, and automatic processing of 80% of the specimen results of the testing department. However, automated laboratory systems lack a track for transporting specimens and require manual transport of various specimen racks to the various testing and analysis instruments for testing. After testing, the specimen racks are sent back to the system for post-processing and archiving.
70% of all specimens in the testing laboratory are serum specimens, mainly biochemical and immunological samples. SWA is suitable for the full automation of serum sample processing and is a local automation. Laboratory automation system can process serum specimens in a production line manner, from centrifugation, classification to analysis and archiving, with a high degree of automation. However, the classification, testing, and other work of non-serum specimens cannot be performed, and the space occupied is relatively large. It can generally only be connected to the manufacturer's provided analysis instruments and cannot fully utilize the existing analysis and detection systems in the laboratory.