With the year almost over, CLP Editor Chris Wolski spends some time looking back at the big events of 2022.
By Chris Wolski
As we head into the last month of 2022, I wanted to spend a moment looking back before you move onto this month’s cover story on “10 Clinical Laboratory Predictions for 2023.”
Since I make no claims of being a prognosticator, I thought I’d follow my strong suit and concentrate on looking back over the past year. And it has been another doozy—to use the technical term—of a year. In early January we started the year with big clinical laboratory news: the conviction of Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes for fraud (as of this writing she is set to be sentenced in late November). Following her conviction, Theranos COO Sunny Belwani was also found guilty of fraud in July. These cases, I think will likely have an impact on the clinical laboratory industry for some time, as they were likely among the catalysts driving the regulatory push to increase oversight and regulation of laboratory-developed tests (the Theranos device was created as an LDT), which is still playing out in the halls of Washington, D.C.
With COVID-19 seemingly entering endemicity, testing began taking a back seat as masking and other pandemic-era restrictions were lifted, and the public got used to the idea that COVID is here to stay. President Joe Biden even declared the pandemic “over” (See editorial in CLP’s Oct/Nov 2022 issue), which was met with new cries of “twindemic” or even “tripledemic” as flu and RSV cases started to rise as a consequence.
And while the COVID-19 pandemic seemed to be winding down, a new threat emerged: monkeypox. The good news is that a combination of public awareness campaigns, testing, and vaccinations, seems to have kept this outbreak tamped down with numbers either holding steady or dropping. Lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic were put to good use, with diagnostic testing companies quickly developing tests to diagnose monkeypox, leading to faster treatment for the infected.
With the return to something approaching normalcy, there was again ongoing discussions about the chronic technician shortages affecting labs. While there have been no easy answers, the industry is stepping up in myriads of ways to address it.
Finally, looking back is also an opportunity to give thanks. First, I’d like to acknowledge my CLP team: Publisher Tim Owczarzak and Associate Editor Andy Lundin. Without them, there would be no CLP. And I’d like to thank you, the readers of CLP for supporting us over the past year. I’m going to break my prognosticating rule, and make a prediction I know that will come true: There’s more great content to come in 2023. I can’t wait to share it with you!