The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) welcomed thousands of medical professionals and healthcare leaders at the 68th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in Philadelphia from July 31 – August 4. The meeting featured pioneering advances in medical testing research and technology that will help patients get accurate diagnoses and more effective treatment.
Key news and highlights from the conference include:
- Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes Introduces “miniLab”
Theranos CEO and founder Elizabeth Holmes, who was banned by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from owning or operating a lab due to discrepancies with her Company’s blood-testing technology, took the stage at AACC expected to present data in defense of the allegations. Holmes instead presented “miniLab”, a device that can run diagnostic tests, including for Zika, on small amounts of blood. Compared to similar devices offered by Quest and Siemens, the device is not revolutionary, yet it did raise more questions than answers at the conference. According to lawyers and medical device experts, it seems to skirt the CMS sanction. Rather than owning or operating the device which she is barred from doing, Theranos would sell it to hospitals and clinics.
- Thermo Fisher Scientific Introduces New Instruments
TMO exhibited its expanded offering of new assays, instruments and software at AACC including the Thermo Scientific DRI Hydrocodone assay which offers greater sensitivity to help clinicians obtain faster, more accurate test results. Next, to help prevent sepsis in hospital patients, a growing concern for clinicians, the company announced that its Thermo Scientific B·R·A·H·M·S Procalcitonin (PCT) assay can now be used in the emergency room or hospital ward to aid in risk assessment for patients prior to their admission to the intensive care unit. Lastly, for in vitro diagnostics, the company highlighted its new Thermo Scientific Prelude LX-4 MD HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography) multi-channel instrument, which is listed with the FDA as a class I medical device for general clinical use.
- The Great Cannabis Experiment: Medical Miracle?
In a plenary session, Marilyn A. Huestis, PhD, of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, presented the latest findings on the impact of cannabis use on driving and overall health, as well as the newest developments in testing for cannabinoids in blood and saliva. Recently, Professor Huestis and colleagues documented that CB1-cannabinoid receptors are significantly down regulated in specific brain regions in chronic daily cannabis smokers, but these receptors significantly increased with sustained cannabis abstinence.
- ITL BioMedical Features “Not Your Ordinary” Adapter Caps
A division of ITL Global, ITL BioMedical featured the SampLokTM Universal Adapter Cap and SampLokTM Adapter Cap 2 at AACC. A one-size-fits-all adapter cap for blood sample and blood culture collection, the SampLokTM Universal Adapter Cap features a self-adjusting cap and flexible and full-length design that allows for sampling with a wide variety of culture bottles and test tubes while reducing the risk of inadvertent needlestick injuries. SampLokTM Adapter Cap 2 is an all-in-one adapter cap that fits bottles and vacuum tubes to facilitate sampling with a variety of culture bottles and blood collection tubes. An overall smaller size to reduce biohazard waste, the device also features an improved integrated safety lid with snap fit closure and integrated tube guide.
- Increased Global Clinical Lab Competition is Driving Marketing Investment
AACC welcomed a total of 20,000 laboratory medicine professionals, which is a 14% increase over meeting attendance in 2015. As the highest number of attendees that have come to the meeting in the last four years, healthcare marketing professionals cannot help but examine the show’s marketing efforts, including booths on the exhibitor floor. With heightened global competition among early-stage clinical research companies, it appears the marketing efforts are elevating to include more professional tradeshow booths and pre-, during- and post-show marketing initiatives.
For more #AACC 2016 clinical lab news and highlights, visit www.aacc.org.