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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario

Ed. by Gillery, Philippe / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Payne, Deborah A. / Schlattmann, Peter / Tate, Jillian R.

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Miniaturization and globalization of clinical laboratory activities

1 / Samantha Clark2 / Daniel Barrio3

1Department of Physiology, Santa Casa de São Paulo Medical School, São Paulo, Brazil

2Amcare Labs, Johns Hopkins Medicine International, Baltimore, USA

3Technical Operations, Amcare Labs, Johns Hopkins Medicine International, Baltimore, USA

Corresponding author: Murilo R. Melo, R. Dr. Cesário Motta Jr, 61, Santa Cecília CEP 01221-020, São Paulo, SP, Brazil Phone: +55-11-32220628

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. Volume 49, Issue 4, Pages 581–586, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: 10.1515/CCLM.2011.092, December 2010

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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.

Keywords: health services; international cooperation; miniaturization; nanomedicine; telemedicine

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