Beckman Coulter's DxA 5000 Fit has been praised by medium-sized laboratories for adding automation to their operations, as well as granting other benefits

Beckman Coulter's DxA 5000 Fit device (Credit: Beckman Coulter)

Beckman Coulter has announced the European 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.

In 2020, total testing was 245% of baseline volumes, with more than 55% being SARS-CoV-2 molecular tests.

Despite vaccines, many industry players believe 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 2022, meaning the added pressure on labs is likely to continue.

Beckman Coulter senior vice president and general manager of haematology, urinalysis and workflow information technology Dr Peter Soltani said: “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.

“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.”

In a survey ran by Accumen prior to its National Health System Crisis Readiness Report 2020, lab directors and managers were asked to identify the key challenges hospital labs are facing.

The results found that staffing (26%) and turnaround time (23%) were identified as top priorities.

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 pandemic.

The DxA 5000 Fit is an automation system comprising an integrated input/output module – which can be combined with a centrifuge – connected to up to four Beckman Coulter clinical chemistry or immunoassay instruments.


Medium-sized labs say DxA 5000 Fit automation improved efficiency

Afruj Ruf, managing director at Integrated Pathology Solutions LLP, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust believes the DxA 5000 Fit was important for triaging patient samples and speeding up processing.

“When we look at automation for our labs it’s a balancing act between system throughput capacity, test menu and footprint of the system.

“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 minimising 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.”

Ruf wasn’t the only one to praise the efficiency gains of Beckman Coulter’s system, as Dr Hervé Vermeulen, lab director at Centre Hospitalier de Calais, made similar comments.

“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,” he said.

“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 analysers.”