Miniaturization and globalization of clinical laboratory activities

Murilo R. Melo, Samantha Clark, Daniel Barrio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Clinical laboratories provide an invaluable service to millions of people around the world in the form of quality diagnostic care. Within the clinical laboratory industry the impetus for change has come from technological development (miniaturization, nanotechnology, and their collective effect on point-of-care testing; POCT) and the increasingly global nature of laboratory services. Potential technological gains in POCT include: the development of bio-sensors, microarrays, genetics and proteomics testing, and enhanced web connectivity. In globalization, prospective opportunities lie in: medical tourism, the migration of healthcare workers, cross-border delivery of testing, and the establishment of accredited laboratories in previously unexplored markets. Accompanying these impressive opportunities are equally imposing challenges. Difficulty transitioning from research to clinical use, poor infrastructure in developing countries, cultural differences and national barriers to global trade are only a few examples. Dealing with the issues presented by globalization and the impact of developing technology on POCT, and on the clinical laboratory services industry in general, will be a daunting task. Despite such concerns, with appropriate countermeasures it will be possible to address the challenges posed. Future laboratory success will be largely dependent on one's ability to adapt in this perpetually shifting landscape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-586
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
Volume49
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011

Keywords

  • health services
  • international cooperation
  • miniaturization
  • nanomedicine
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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