The challenges that covid-19 testing has placed on laboratories from the increased testing volumes is evident. There is also the added time pressure of releasing results promptly so those patients identified with covid-19 can receive timely treatment. However, it is the resultant impact on the well-being of lab workers that is not often considered. They are required to work extended hours to cope with the increased workload along with the added stress of being exposed to samples potentially containing the virus.

Today, labs processing high volumes of samples can benefit from total lab automation (TLA). However, TLA systems are out of reach for labs processing fewer than 4,000 tubes per day. These labs can now leverage the benefits of lab automation through the adoption of task targeted automation (TTA).

According to Aim Lab Automation Technologies, the company’s pre-analytical and post-analytical covid-19 PathFinder benchtop automation solutions can help overcome many of these covid-19-related challenges and reduce the risk of biohazards exposure to staff.

The pre-analytical phase in managing incoming samples can often be resource-intensive and prone to errors. The PathFinder 350D Decapper Sorter is used to automatically decap and sort incoming covid-19 VTM sample swab tubes into various destination racks ready for testing. This reduces errors from manually handled which increases productivity and safety of lab staff.

Post-analytical processing and sorting of covid-19 samples can be achieved through Aim Lab’s compact PathFinder 350A Archiver. Sampled tubes are capped with a laminated foil seal which prevents leakage during transportation or freezer storage. When archiving tubes, the PathFinder 350A records the date and time placed along with the rack id and well location so that tubes can easily retrieved for repeat testing.

For more information, visit Aim Lab

Featured image: Aim Lab’s PathFinder 350A Archiver is a bench top lab automation solution. (Courtesy Aim Lab)