Hematology instruments have become indispensable diagnostic tools and continue to sustain a strong position in the global healthcare industry. Increasing adoption of automated hematology instruments, rising technological advancements, and integration of basic flow cytometry techniques in modern hematology analyzers have driven the growth of the global hematology analyzer and reagents market. The rising demand for high-throughput hematology analyzers and development of high-sensitivity point-of-care hematology testing has fueled their utility in precise disease diagnosis at an early stage.

Hematology diagnostics is growing increasingly important as one of the most fundamental types of clinical testing. Continuous technological advancements in molecular diagnostics, lasers, monoclonal antibodies, and information technology, coupled with an increase in understanding of involvement of immune system in regulating systemic diseases, is expected to have an insightful impact on hematology analyzers market. Moreover, advancements in software may help in reduction of instrument manufacturing cost, and allow development of auto-calibration, innovative self-troubleshooting, and other such advanced features.

Workflow efficiency fueled by automation. One strong trend that outlines the high-end segment of hematology analyzers is the enhanced productivity for the laboratory. Automated analyzers have enabled faster processing of samples and generate results in less time and have proven to be more efficient and cost-effective. Accuracy of hematology analyzers has been enhanced by automation of systems and use of cell surface marker labels. Automated analyzers function by sampling the blood and classifying cell populations by quantification and description. This may be carried out using both electrical and optical techniques. Fully automated systems compacted in size, easy to use, providing networking solutions and efficient data management has been the latest drift in opting for hematology analyzers.

Standardized and predictable workflow management in new hematology analyzers has reduced potential for variability. Manufacturers are employing user-friendly analysis software to support efficient work of the specialists, and features such as integrated sample preparation and digital multi-spectral imaging have eliminated manual or incremental processes reducing hands-on time. Furthermore, with micro-sampling and quiet operation, these products have been designed for clinicians, keeping patient's quality of life in mind.

Digital imaging system. Usage of microfluidics technology in hematology analyzers and introduction of digital imaging system in hematology laboratories could open up opportunities for new players in the global market. Innovations in flow-based analyzers have propelled digital flow imaging to state-of-the-art status for microscopic analysis of urine and body fluids, and in the not-too-distant future the same technology will be applied to whole blood.

Innovations in data interpretation. Manufacturers have developed hematology analyzers that achieve good levels of precision and accuracy in cell counting through the examination and identification of thousands, not hundreds, of cells in each sample analyzed. Several technologies have been adapted to the automated analyzers, enabling them to analyze the physiological and chemical characteristics of cells. Nowadays most of the counters in the hematology laboratory utilize laser, impedance and flow cytometry. Technological advances being incorporated into hematology analyzers are now allowing access to more cellular information than was ever available before through a simple routine complete blood count.

This information also has great potential to identify cellular changes that typically occur in several important medical conditions - bringing us all one step closer to using hematology analyzers as more than just simple cell counters, but instead as powerful tools for the management of any medical condition that impacts the biology of blood cells.

10 Diagnostic Imaging Trends for 2018



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