CASE STUDIES | LabAnswer Client Stories >

Reducing Turnaround Time & Increasing Throughput of Medical Device Testing through Instrument Interfacing

How can LabAnswer help you automate testing workflows, reduce testing turnaround times, and increase testing throughput through instrument Interfacing?

OVERVIEW

Medical device testing can offer some challenges versus typical Pharmaceutical testing.  In pharmaceutical analytical testing, a portion of a product lot is sampled and consumed during testing.  Medical devices cannot be consumed during testing and often a composite sample of the finished product cannot be used for testing purposes.  Sometimes, each and every manufactured item must be individually tested to verify that the product conforms to product specifications. 

This company performs very specific physical testing on each and every lens that is manufactured.  As a leading brand of contact lens, the volume of testing that is performed is substantial.  Normal Informatics systems must be streamlined in order to handle the complexity involved with such volumes.  In order to deal with the complexity of the testing, the client automates as much of the workflow as possible, including using automated instrument testers where possible. 

BUSINESS CHALLENGES

In a LIMS that automates much of the workflow, it can take a substantial amount of time to process test results from a suite of testing in order to determine if the testing fully meets regulatory requirements.  Any increase in the throughput of testing or reduction of the turnaround time for testing would require a novel approach to handling the typical workflow of LIMS testing data.  How can the results of physical tests be received faster and with more automation that currently available?

SOLUTION

The company recently unveiled a brand new robotic testing instrument to automate many physical tests required for QC release.  and asked LabAnswer to design, create, and deploy an interface from the robotic instrument to an existing LIMS.  The interface requires tight specifications for transmission of data, data receipt confirmation, and data processing on the LIMS side.  The solution provided required a substantial re-engineering of the processing algorithm for the result data in order to allow the testing outcomes to be known faster and published back to the instrument within transmission specifications that the instrument expected.

RESULTS DELIVERED

In the case of the automated testing robot, the throughput requirements of the robot require that the data from the instrument be sent to the LIMS, receipt acknowledged, calculations performed, and an overall evaluation of testing outcome be received back by the robot within a very tight window.  The window would require the design of a multi-threaded background service that can receive the requests and process the LIMS workflows automatically.

Implementation of the automated testing instrument and the interface to the LIMS platform is expected to save approximately $2M per year in real labor costs and in reduction of testing backlog.

PRODUCTS & SERVICES USED

  • Instrument Interfacing
  • Requirements Gathering
  • Computer System Validation
  • Project Management