An interview with Keith Chaitoff, Divisional Vice President, US Marketing

Q: Does Abbott have a theme for AACC 2009?

Chaitoff: Abbott’s new program, “Put Science on Your Side,” will be the theme. In diagnostics, Abbott has close to 700 scientists and engineers focused on developing solutions to improve laboratory operations, service to physicians, and patient outcomes.

There are countless examples of how Abbott puts science on your side, from developing a test to screen blood for HIV to a PSA test for prostate cancer. Today, Abbott is developing a diagnostic test for early detection of acute kidney injury—a critical unmet medical need.

With the ARCHITECT family, Abbott is the first company to bring customers a portfolio of solutions for small-, medium-, and large-volume laboratories that need stand-alone or integrated solutions for their immunoassay and clinical chemistry testing needs.

Q: Which products are you featuring, and why?

Chaitoff: With the introduction of our new c4000 and ci4100 integrated instruments, Abbott will be the first company to bring customers a complete family of instruments for small- to large-volume IA/CC testing needs. Abbott’s family of ARCHITECT products will allow labs to standardize their results and operations across their laboratory networks.

From Lean and Six Sigma consulting services to new instruments and automation, Abbott is “putting science on your side.” Abbott will feature 16 in-booth stage presentations, 29 scientific posters, and five scientific industry workshops.


Q: Are you introducing any products or new versions/upgrades/updates of existing products?

Chaitoff: The ARCHITECT ci4100 integrated system and the ARCHITECT c4000 clinical chemistry system are the newest members of the ARCHITECT family and complete the first family of fully automated and stand-alone immunoassay and clinical chemistry systems.

Abbott’s CELL-DYN High Efficiency Hematology will take cell counting to the next level by offering a broader, more adaptable solution to enhance laboratory efficiency.

In molecular diagnostics, Abbott will be featuring its new Ibis technology, based on polymerase chain reaction and mass spectrometry technologies, and designed for broad detection and characterization of a wide array of microorganisms. The system is currently intended for research use only.

Q: Tell us about these products you’re featuring. What are the competitive advantages, and/or how do they represent advances over previous versions?

Chaitoff: Laboratory solutions continue to be commoditized. Our goal is to help customers put science on their side by introducing products that are innovative and clinically relevant, while improving the operational efficiency of their labs.

The Architect c4000 provides low-to-mid-volume customers with the same technology typically reserved for larger, higher-volume facilities.

Additionally, many of these new products look at not only the analytical aspects of the system, but also the information that is generated and how to get that information back to the clinician quickly and accurately.

Q: Will Abbott be making presentations or demos in the booth during exhibit hours?

Chaitoff: There will be 16 stage presentations in the Abbott booth (#2031).

Q: Will Abbott be presenting posters or scientific presentations during the meeting?

Chaitoff: Abbott will be presenting 29 posters. Topics include the sensitivity of our troponin assay on the Abbott ARCHITECT systems, the ARCHITECT HE4 assay for ovarian cancer, and the Abbott NGAL assay for early detection of acute kidney injury.

The five workshops will cover Six Sigma metrics for laboratory automation, developments in oncology testing, existing and emerging biomarkers in diagnosing and managing complex patients, patient safety practices in point-of-care blood glucose monitoring, and detecting acute HIV infection using combination antigen-antibody assays.

Customers can register for any of these workshops by logging onto

Q: Any other special events or booth attractions?

Chaitoff: Abbott’s booth (#2031) will be a flurry of activity throughout the show. Stage presentations will start each day at 10 am and continue every hour while the exhibit hall is open. Product demos will be offered continuously on Abbott’s ARCHITECT systems, as well as on our hematology analyzers and Abbott’s m2000 molecular diagnostics instrument.

In addition, Abbott’s presence is “carbon neutral,” meaning we are offsetting the power we use in our booth by supporting wind power projects throughout the United States.

Customers also can stop by the Labs Are Vital booth, adjacent to the Abbott booth, to get an updated annual report and to sign up for the Labs Are Vital community.

Q: Looking beyond AACC, what can laboratories expect to see from Abbott in the future?

Chaitoff: Abbott has been bringing innovative science to the health care community for more than 100 years, and we continue to do so with new advances. We recently created the Abbott Diagnostics New Technology Group, which is exploring and developing the diagnostic technologies labs will need 10 to 15 years from now.