Giving doctors a head start in the fight against cancer

Giving doctors a head start in the fight against cancer

A strong and unique collaboration, between key lab personnel and Dako, resulted in the development of Agilent´s newest pathology staining solution- Dako Omnis. The solution, designed with the needs of pathology customers in mind, was developed as a response to the daily challenges voiced by lab staff from around the world.

Every pathology lab is unique; however the issues they face are quite similar. Labs in every country are being asked to manage increasing slide volumes with limited personnel and financial resources. In addition, increasing demands to meet stringent turnaround times means slides have to be processed more efficiently decreasing the time to patient diagnosis.

Giving doctors a head start in the fight against cancer

Each day is also unique and there are significant differences in the number of slides that have to be processed during a given day. Fluctuations in slide volumes mean that the lab has to be flexible enough to respond to peaks in workflow, without sacrificing turnaround times or slide quality.

Common for all labs however, is the importance of securing the right patient diagnosis. For pathology labs, improving quality, introducing robust processes and having full traceability of patient slides becomes increasingly important to meet accreditation demands and crucially supporting an accurate diagnosis.

Developed by the lab for the lab

Knowing these challenges, Dako got together with pathologists, lab manager and lab technicians from around the world. This ensured, throughout the whole development process, the needs of the pathology lab were kept very much in focus. The partnership and ongoing conversation with key lab personnel, “from bread board to beta site,” secured that Dako developed an automated advanced staining solution which took into account the challenges and Dako Omnis emerged, which built on both Dako´s unrivalled reputation for delivering quality reagents and Agilent´s reputation for providing unparalleled technology to give doctors a head start in patient diagnosis.

“This solution provides a breakthrough in addressing some of the hitherto unmet needs in the anatomic pathology lab” said Dr. Pedro L. Fernandez of the University Clinic Barcelona Spain: He continued; “Dako has adopted a collaborative approach to bring this solution to market and cooperated with a global panel of independent key laboratory personnel. For over three years, we have been involved in everything from the design, to the development and commercialization of this solution: Dako has really listened and responded to the needs of the customer”.

Dr. Pedro L. Fernandez of the University Clinic Barcelona Spain Dr. Pedro L. Fernandez of the University Clinic Barcelona Spain.

Dako Omnis has been received enthusiastically by the market. Customers appreciate the involvement of their peers in the development process and are in agreement that the solution provides customers with a truly automated solution which offers unmatched throughput and overnight processing.  Especially popular is the functionality which allows IHC and ISH slides to be processed simultaneously to provide a more complete patient case approach.

Based on the input, that too much time is often spent by the lab staff, exchanging, sorting and storing reagents, Dako Omnis addresses this, by providing an unparalleled onboard capacity of temperature controlled reagents — this means that reagents can remain on the instrument without sacrificing their stability. The time to train staff to operate new systems was also raised as an issue and for this reason the intuitive on board software has been especially popular. Feedback from new customer sites has highlighted that software allows operators to be trained quickly, supporting more efficient use of staff time, limiting the time needed to spend running the instrument and instead allowing staff to spend time on performing less routine lab operations.

Dako Omnis is designed to meet the needs of the high volume pathology lab Dako Omnis is designed to meet the needs of the high volume pathology lab.

This collaboration has reminded us all of the importance of having an ongoing conversation and involvement of customers during the development process of new solutions. Ultimately what makes the biggest difference is how we support our customers in achieving the right diagnosis to the right patient as quickly as possible. Everyone agreed that cutting down the anxious waiting time and if necessary reducing the time to therapy initiation is the key to achieve better overall patient care. Dako Omnis continues to impress customers with its ability to achieve just that- One university hospital account in the US could hardly believe they could get diagnostic slides so quickly: “With new orders logged before the noon cut off, we are now able to deliver them the same afternoon for diagnosis. It´s definitely not something we are used to in our current clinical setup!”

Due to the modularity of the solution, we will continue to work with labs around the world to add functionality as a response to their changing needs. The main immediate focus will be to continuously bring Agilent´s molecular portfolio onto the solution, making Dako Omnis a good investment for labs who want to increase the number of molecular and IHC tests processed together.

As well as our customers, the engineering community is also impressed with the innovation Dako Omnis represents - Recently Dako Omnis was awarded a prestigious Danish engineering prize. The prize, from the Danish publishing house for engineers, Medihusets Ingeniørens product prize 2013, recognizes excellence in innovation from a development perspective.

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