Key questions about the future of laboratory medicine in the next decade of the 21st century: A report from the IFCC-Emerging Technologies Division

Ronda F. Greaves, Sergio Bernardini, Maurizio Ferrari, Paolo Fortina, Bernard Gouget, Damien Gruson, Tim Lang, Tze Ping Loh, Howard A. Morris, Jason Y. Park, Markus Roessler, Peng Yin, Larry J. Kricka

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Abstract

This review advances the discussion about the future of laboratory medicine in the 2020s. In five major topic areas: 1. the “big picture” of healthcare; 2. pre-analytical factors; 3. Analytical factors; 4. post-analytical factors; and 5. relationships, which explores a next decade perspective on laboratory medicine and the likely impact of the predicted changes by means of a number of carefully focused questions that draw upon predictions made since 2013. The “big picture” of healthcare explores the effects of changing patient populations, the brain-to-brain loop, direct access testing, robots and total laboratory automation, and green technologies and sustainability. The pre-analytical section considers the role of different sample types, drones, and biobanks. The analytical section examines advances in point-of-care testing, mass spectrometry, genomics, gene and immunotherapy, 3D-printing, and total laboratory quality. The post-analytical section discusses the value of laboratory medicine, the emerging role of artificial intelligence, the management and interpretation of omics data, and common reference intervals and decision limits. Finally, the relationships section explores the role of laboratory medicine scientific societies, the educational needs of laboratory professionals, communication, the relationship between laboratory professionals and clinicians, laboratory medicine financing, and the anticipated economic opportunities and outcomes in the 2020's.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-589
Number of pages20
JournalClinica Chimica Acta
Volume495
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

Keywords

  • Disruptive technologies
  • Emerging technologies
  • Laboratory medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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    Greaves, R. F., Bernardini, S., Ferrari, M., Fortina, P., Gouget, B., Gruson, D., Lang, T., Loh, T. P., Morris, H. A., Park, J. Y., Roessler, M., Yin, P., & Kricka, L. J. (2019). Key questions about the future of laboratory medicine in the next decade of the 21st century: A report from the IFCC-Emerging Technologies Division. Clinica Chimica Acta, 495, 570-589. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cca.2019.05.021