As we were putting the April issue to press, the news came across the wire that CLMA, which was to be held in Atlanta, had been cancelled due to the tornadoes that wreaked havoc on the area. Our regards go out to everyone in the city affected by this disaster, and we send our hopes for a rapid recovery.
Personally, I regret missing the opportunity to meet with many of our readers and the vendors pushing the boundary forward in developing new laboratory products. I invite those of you who were planning to stop by the CLP booth to instead pick up the phone or send an e-mail and introduce yourselves. The magazine will be represented at the annual meeting of the AACC in July, but I’m hoping I will not need to wait until then to make your acquaintance and become familiar with your needs and products. In particular, I hope to meet with those of you located in Southern California in the coming months.
Recently, I had an opportunity to visit the facilities and meet the team at Quidel® Corp. Headquartered in San Diego since 1979, the company is among those covered in this month’s Technology Review, which surveys the rapidly evolving point-of-care (POC) industry. Innovations in POC testing formats are leading to new ways of doing business, for both clinical labs and the companies providing the tests.
For example, several years ago, Quidel introduced its QuickVue® iFOB (immunochemical Fecal Occult Blood) test, a rapid assay for colorectal cancer that is intended to replace or supplement conventional guaiac-based tests. In addition to the hurdles faced by most tests trying to find a niche in the lab market, adoption of this assay faces a challenge from a new standpoint—that of patient compliance. Although the iFOB test allows patients to take and submit a sample from home, which could be viewed as a benefit, failure to submit the test equals lost dollars to the physician and, therefore, a reluctance to prescribe.
In an effort to increase patient compliance, Quidel is testing the waters of direct-to-consumer marketing, partnering with advocacy groups with expertise in reaching consumers, in an effort to educate members of the public about the benefits of cancer screening. Its experiment—and other direct-to-consumer outreach, such as that undertaken by a number of genetic testing companies—will help shape the industry and determine which tests labs are requested to perform.
As always, I welcome your thoughts on trends in the industry, both in POC and consumer marketing, as well as in other issues. Please contact me at , and continue to send news releases to . Thanks for your input.