Advances in clinical chemistry: an interview with Trevor McCarthy

insights from industryTrevor McCarthyBusiness Segment Manager,
​Central Laboratory EMEA/APAC, EKF Diagnostics.

Interview conducted by April Cashin-Garbutt, MA (Cantab)

Please can you give a brief introduction to the Altair™ 240 bench-top clinical chemistry analyzer?

The new Altair™ 240 analyzer is a compact, fully automated random access chemistry analyzer and is fully supported by a full range of barcoded, liquid stable, ready to use reagents.

The Altair™ 240 is capable of running up to 400 tests per hour, with the optional ISE Module and it fits easily into most laboratory benches, making it the ideal solution for labs, doctors’ offices and clinics in need of a benchtop analyzer solution.

Features such as Dual reagent probes for reliability and speed, on-board refrigeration for reagents, reusable cuvettes all add to a really state of the art analyzer, and as at EKF Diagnostics we manufacture all our own reagents, our customers can benefit from very competitive pricing.

The Altair™ 240 is perfect for all workloads and batch loading, it has all the benefits of much larger systems with but a far smaller footprint.  Feedback from our customers is that “it’s a winner!”  

Why has the analyzer been developed?

The Altair™ 240 has specifically been developed for Laboratories requiring a compact, powerful and reliable benchtop analyzer, EKF Diagnostics realized that there is a need in labs around the world for a versatile yet cost effective biochemistry analyzer.

Altair 240 Close Up

Our mission is to reduce the risk and cost for our customers, we can do this by using tried and tested components as well as control and manufacture of reagents.

How and why was the Altair™ 240 designed with Stanbio Chemistry products in mind?

Because we can keep the quality of a full range of reagents and manufacturing directed to the Altair™ 240 - it also means we can now develop new analytes in barcoded liquid stable ready-to-use format for our customer’s ease of use.

How many tests can the system perform per hour and how does this compare to previous systems?

Up to 465 tests per hour with the optional ISE module.

Altair 240 zoom in

It has many benefits over previous systems in terms of higher throughput, lower operating costs, lower maintenance and ease of use.

What impact will the system have on productivity in hospitals, clinical trial labs, vet labs, universities, the private sector and so forth?

A great deal as today’s labs require high specification, low maintenance, variable throughput testing; using the new Altair™ 240 will allow all of these lab types to increase productivity with the flexibility and matching workload throughput to individual needs.

How much of learning curve is there for operators using the Altair™ 240?

The Altair™ 240 uses very intuitive technology and Windows®-based software, therefore most staff will find the analyzer very easy to use. Online technical support and training is included.

What feedback have you received on Altair™ 240 so far?

We have received comments like the ones below….

“The Altair looks great and easy to use”

“It looks very straight forward to use and the QC reporting looks fine”

“I like the fact it has dual probes for speed”

“The throughput flexibility would work well for our lab”

“Can we run some of the new assays from EKF like Procalcitonin, Glycated Serum Protein or Beta- Hydroxybutarate? Yes and that’s great”

In what ways is the analyzer currently limited and do you have any plans to modify the system moving forwards?

We feel the new Altair™ 240 will be the perfect match for many lab requirements, we have designed it around the needs of modern labs. We know that constant research and development is needed to keep pace with today’s labs that are under pressure with challenging staffing and cost reduction targets.

At EKF Diagnostics we are committed always to improving our technologies and to listening to our customers. We are dedicated to delivering to our customers’ needs and enable our customers to not only to succeed, but to thrive.

In what countries is Altair™ 240 available?

EKF Diagnostics has a worldwide distributor network and in the many countries where we have aftersales support for the Altair™ 240, we will be actively marketing in these countries.

What do you think the future holds for advances in clinical chemistry and how do EKF Diagnostics plan to contribute?

I think the future for Clinical Chemistry labs is a challenging one with today’s constant need to cut costs, staffing levels, changing experience levels and consolidation. We believe that EKF Diagnostics’ role is to provide reliable, cost effective solutions and deliver on our promise - we need to work in partnership, as our customers’ win is our win.

Where can readers find more information?

From our website, marketing materials, product and sales managers, and of course me.

We also have a number of new marketing sales promotions and R&D projects published in leading journals and magazines.

Our team are always pleased to receive questions and enquiries.  In fact we will be giving live demonstrations of Altair™ 240 at Medica 2015, on Stand C70 in Hall 3 and would be very pleased to welcome interested parties there.

Ffurther information on the Altair™ 240

About Trevor McCarthyTrevor McCarthy

Business Segment Manager, Central Laboratory EMEA/APAC, EKF Diagnostics.

At EKF Diagnostics I am responsible for central lab products through EMEA and APAC regions, I originally trained as a Medical Lab Scientific Officer (MLSO) in Guys and Lewisham Hospitals in London working in Biochemistry departments.

After a number of years I moved to the commercial sector and have held roles with DPC/ Siemens as the Private sector national sales manager and later with Beckman Coulter, I have over 30 years’ experience working in medical diagnostics.

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