CMS rejects Epi proColon payments, sets standards for cancer blood tests
January 21, 2021 -- The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on January 19 issued a national coverage determination rejecting coverage of the Epi proColon blood test for colon cancer screening. In the process, the agency also set standards for colon cancer blood tests going forward.  Discuss
FDA commissioner Hahn leaves agency
January 20, 2021 -- Dr. Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has left the agency. He is being replaced on an interim basis by longtime FDA regulator Dr. Janet Woodcock.  Discuss
Hexapod personal protective booths cut testing costs for COVID-19
January 19, 2021 -- As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, hospitals and labs have had to get creative, overcome hurdles, and adapt their practices to perform safer COVID-19 testing. One solution is the Hexapod, which is a personal protective booth that allows healthcare providers to undertake swab testing without physically contacting patients.  Discuss
Falling lung cancer rates drive cancer decline in U.S. over past 2 decades
January 12, 2021 -- The death rate for people who have lung cancer in the U.S. continued to drop in 2020, according to a January 12 report from the American Cancer Society. The drop has contributed to a decline in cancer mortality of almost one-third in the last 20 years.  Discuss
COVID-19 pandemic accelerates adoption of diagnostic testing at point of care
January 11, 2021 -- Out of a very bad year where the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to its knees has come some good, investors say. Point-of-care diagnostics tests are flourishing, according to panelists at the Biotech Showcase investor conference, held online from January 11-15.  Discuss
FDA warns labs that SARS-CoV-2 variant could cause false-negative test results
January 8, 2021 -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent an alert to clinical laboratory staff and healthcare providers regarding the potential effect of SARS-CoV-2 viral mutations causing false-negative results on diagnostic tests.  Discuss
AI opportunities abound in clinical labs -- but prep work is key
December 22, 2020 -- Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics are changing the delivery of healthcare for the better. But integrating AI and machine-learning technology into routine practice in the clinical laboratory is not a simple endeavor.  Discuss
The H&E stain: A lesson on consistency and reproducibility
December 21, 2020 -- Producing a hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained slide is a process that starts before the slide is loaded on a stainer or moved down through containers by hand.
Quick decisions, expertise kept Wash. lab afloat during 1st COVID-19 hotspot
December 18, 2020 -- Quick management decisions -- and a little bit of luck -- helped the University of Washington's clinical lab keep its head above water in the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lab professionals rapidly developed their diagnostic testing and informatics response as the state became the epicenter of the first U.S. hotspot of SARS-CoV-2 infection.  Discuss
Inflammatory biomarkers help quickly size up COVID-19 patients
December 17, 2020 -- Rapid blood tests for interferon gamma-induced protein 10 and calprotectin could help in the assessment and triage of COVID-19 patients, according to poster presentations reported by test developers at the annual American Association for Clinical Chemistry meeting.  Discuss