Martin Obermeier, Monia Pacenti, Robert Ehret, Francesco Onelia, Rory Gunson, Emily Goldstein, Stéphane Chevaliez, Alba Vilas, Allison Glass, Leana Maree, Maria Krügel, Heribert Knechten, Patrick Braun, Gudrun Naeth, Francesca Azzato, Danijela Lucic, Natalia Marlowe, Michael John Palm, Karin Pfeifer, Birgit Reinhardt, Jens Dhein, Ajith Mathew Joseph, Laura Martínez-García, Juan-Carlos Galán
November 9, 2020
Objectives Automated molecular analyzers have accelerated diagnosis, allowing earlier intervention and better patient follow-up. A recently developed completely automated molecular analyzer, Alinity™ m (Abbott), offers consolidated, continuous, and random-access testing that may improve molecular laboratory workflow. Methods An international, multicenter study compared laboratory workflow metrics across various routine analyzers and Alinity m utilizing assays for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), high-risk human papillomavirus (HR HPV), and sexually transmitted infection (STI) ( Chlamydia trachomatis [CT]/ Neisseria gonorrhoeae [NG]/ Trichomonas vaginalis [TV]/ Mycoplasma genitalium [MG]). Three turnaround times (TATs) were assessed: total TAT (sample arrival to result), sample onboard TAT (sample loading and test starting to result), and processing TAT (sample aspiration to result). Results Total TAT was reduced from days with routine analyzers to hours with Alinity m, independent of requested assays. Sample onboard TATs for standard workflow using routine analyzers ranged from 7 to 32.5 h compared to 2.75–6 h for Alinity m. The mean sample onboard TAT for STAT samples on Alinity m was 2.36 h (±0.19 h). Processing TATs for Alinity m were independent of the combination of assays, with 100% of results reported within 117 min. Conclusions The consolidated, continuous, random-access workflow of Alinity m reduces TATs across various assays and is expected to improve both laboratory operational efficiency and patient care.