Testing is fundamental to identify and prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, but how can laboratories access automation technologies to respond to increased demand? Penny Pinnock explores how smart finance can help laboratories enhance testing capacity.
As the impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow, laboratories play a key role in the practice of testing, which can help prevent the spread of the virus. Since the start of the pandemic, the NHS has rapidly expanded testing capacity with the NHS Test and Trace network now processing around two million tests per week.1 As well as partnering with other laboratories and establishing the new network of testing sites, this swift acceleration of testing relies on automation technologies.
New equipment and technology are essential components to scaling response to the coronavirus pandemic. Automated processes and making use of robotic technologies can limit human exposure while ensuring more efficient, more effective testing. In the case of the NHS network, the government has mobilised new liquid-handling robots that can dispense and sample liquids with greater speed and accuracy than manual applications.2 But this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to laboratory solutions. Using automation, diagnostic laboratories can make workflow more efficient and flexible while improving turnaround times, reducing errors, and cutting costs.
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