Roche Diagnostics Integrated Hematology Analyzer

Integrated system to optimize workflow

Farm collaborated with Constitution Medical, Inc. (CMI), later acquired by Roche Diagnostics, to launch the world’s first all-in-one, integrated hematology system for blood analysis that can count, identify, isolate and categorize white and red blood cells, platelets and reticulocytes. The system performs a comprehensive array of analyses using fewer reagents than the typical flow-based hematology analyzers found on the market today, and offers the unique capability of making and staining its own slides. The system is designed to provide faster and more accurate diagnosis of blood-related diseases, thereby improving patient care.

In order to ensure that the development process behind the integrated hematology system was based on rigorous, user focused-design, our research team visited several clinical facilities to understand use environments, analyze laboratory workflows, interview clinical staff and observe user interactions with existing hematology analyzers. This discovery phase helped our design and engineering team identify ways to optimize the user experience around sample tube rack loading, sample preparation, system access, data imaging, reagent storage, and waste management.

Farm built three full-size simulation prototypes for user preference testing that featured articulating doors, drawers and functional interaction features. Based on the feedback from this testing process, the team recognized the need to incorporate into the system a large standalone viewing station with a high resolution monitor and attached keyboard that would provide users with better imaging quality, full data input flexibility and enhanced analysis capability. Our Graphical User Interface developers then used advanced task analysis methods to match the display with a powerful, user-friendly GUI that effectively highlights the system’s ability to analyze each cell's morphology, and helps medical technologists focus their attention on particular cells of interest.

Farm was responsible for all subsystem design and engineering, including the component architecture, GUI, outer skins, material selection and the sourcing and final assembly of over 200 subcomponents. Our engineers performed tolerance and FEA analysis on all critical access features and created a custom fluidics drawer to optimize space for reagent storage. Farm then built high fidelity appearance models for CMI to introduce the system at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry’s annual meeting in 2011. Roche Diagnostics announced in 2013 that it had purchased CMI for $220 million.

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