by Dennis Ernst • April 05, 2018
Preanalytics is far from a sleepy industry. Between new technololgy, school scams, and phlebotomists in the news, there's plenty of headlines we thought our readers need to know about. This article summarizes how those who play in the preanalytic sandbox are creating a buzz.
Tech Startups Focusing on Phlebotomy Innovations
An article published on the Biospace web site listed the following six companies as high-tech darlings that could revolutionize clinical laboratory testing:
Genalyte---a blood-testing system using silicon photonic biosensors to perform multiple tests on a single drop of whole blood in about 15 minutes.
Athelas---has developed a technology that tells consumers what their cell counts are. Patients who've purchased the instrument collect a drop of fingerstick blood and insert it into an instrument. Within moments, they know their white and red blood cell counts. It's being marketed primarily to cancer patients who want to monitor their white blood cell counts for chemotherapy. [Editor's note: Phlebotomy Today wrote about this company in the November issue of Phlebotomy Today-STAT!.]
Karius---this San Francisco Bay Area company has developed a system capable of detecting more than 1,000 infectious diseases by analyzing DNA fragments from blood obtained by venipuncture.
Day Zero Diagnostics---this company is developing a rapid, whole genome sequencing-based diagnostic assay to identify the strain and antibiotic resistance profile of a bacterial infection from a blood draw.
Orphidia--developing portable single-drop blood-testing technology that runs 40 common tests within 20 minutes.
NOWDiagnostics---has developed an approved device for pregnancy testing the company claims is more accurate than urine tests and doesn't require a lab. Tests for cardiac and toxicology analytes are already available in Europe, and the company is developing tests for sexually transmitted disease, food intolerance and common infectious diseases such as pink eye.
Students claim school swindled them
Students attending a 10-week phlebotomy course at Moss Point Career and Technical Center in Moss Point, Mississippi claim they never took the certification exam promised to them as part of their tuition. According to a story broadcast on WLOX-Biloxi, students graduated and were given a certificate, but never took a certification exam that would make them marketable in the healthcare industry. Several students claim they never did any job shadowing or internship. Nor have they ever seen the inside of a laboratory. They were seeking complete reimbursement for their $350 tuition, but, according to WLOX, the school offered to refund only their $90 certification exam.
Another school facing scrutiny
Phlebotomy students enrolled in a program offered by Protrain claim they plunked down $2000 but had to fight for clinical rotations that turned out to be far from home and short in duration. ProTrain, a North Carolina-based company conducted the program on the campus of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond, Virginia under a contract with the Community College Workforce Alliance. According to an investigative report that aired on 8News, a former instructor admitted most students two years after graduation are still waiting for their clinical rotation assignment.
Phlebotomist-legislator identifies as a nurse
According to a report in North Carolina's Outer Banks Voice, a state representative campaigned and promoted herself last month as a struggling single mother who worked her way up to become a registered nurse. That is, until the North Carolina Board of Nursing notified her she wasn't. Beverly Boswell, who is actually a medical assistant and phlebotomist said a staffer made the claim on her campaign website and Facebook because she misunderstood the representative's job.
Boswell corrected her election material the next day, and her Facebook page a few days later.
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