Industrial Automation



This year's AACC Clinical Lab Expo in San Diego, CA featured advances in diagnostic research and technology, drawing the largest audience in the events history! While there has been an enormous amount of superior groundbreaking research going on in various fields of clinical diagnostics, the overall industry is a technology-driven business. As we walked the floors of the exhibition, the realization of the importance of automation in diagnostic and clinical studies could hardly be overestimated. Under constant pressure to cut costs and improve quality of services, improve efficiency, minimize the risk of human errors, process tests faster and handle bigger volumes with the help of technology solutions, many companies are searching for solutions that can meet and exceed these challenges. In the next few years, how laboratories and diagnostic companies operate will lead the future of industry changes.

Among all trends that we are observing in the healthcare industry today, there are a few takeaways from the AACC Tradeshow I would like to share.


Embedded vision technology, which is already widely used in manufacturing, is one of the key laboratory automation trends. All of the major players in the medical imaging space, although not numerous yet,  provide solutions supporting embedded vision technology like MicroHAWK smart cameras. Due to their very small size, MicroHAWK smart cameras are easily embedded to automate processes such as specimen, reagent identification and fill level, tracking lab ware presence and absence, cap type and color identification, dimensional measurements such as tube height and diameter, and other applications. The reliability of Microscan’s smart cameras, and the ability of embedded technology to adjust to changing requirements through the entire life cycle of the equipment makes the MicroHAWK platform unique in the embedded vision field.

You can learn more about how miniature smart cameras improve automation and about practical experiences with embedded vision in life science and medical applications in a recorded presentation by Steven King, Product Manager for Machine Vision and Lighting at Microscan here.

Another useful resource of information on embedded vision is a presentation by Sadie Zeller, Microscan’s Manager Global Product Management & Clinical Vertical “Another Set of Eyes: Machine Vision Automation Solutions for In Vitro Diagnostics” available for your information here.


Barcode technology was first introduced in the early 1970s and since then, the healthcare industry has been successfully adopting it. Good old-fashioned linear barcodes have been relied upon for many years in the blood banking industry, clinical trials, drug discover, and many other areas. As the requirement for using less material increases in healthcare (smaller quantities of material mean smaller containers, less space and operation costs), the need for barcode readers that can decode both linear and 2D codes has increased.

MicroHAWK barcode readers, which were on display at our AACC booth, are already successfully used by many healthcare market players benefiting from high performing, reliable, miniature, and modular devices with selectable optics, sensors, lighting, and software. This year, we had the opportunity to demonstrate MicroHAWK barcode readers equipped with Autofocus technology: the ability to read symbols and codes at varying distances – a very useful capability in clinical application. Unlike other devices offered today in the market, MicroHAWK Autofocus has direct integration of the Autofocus lens technology in the MicroHAWK barcode reader. Advantages of such integration are reduced cost and the small size of the device, making it possible to be embedded in limited space environments.

Picture 1. Demonstration of capabilities of MicroHAWK barcode readers with the Autofocus technology reading symbols at varying distances in a simulated clinical application demo.

At AACC, we were offering visitors of  Microscan’s booth the chance to try MicroHAWK barcode readers for free by taking advantage of our FREE 30-day TRIAL at no cost or obligation. This offer is still available and you can request to test-drive a MicroHAWK barcode reader here.

True transformation of the industry is happening, and changes over the next few years will occur faster than they have over the last hundred. Data traceability and integrity are quickly becoming the backbone of the industry to support the progress of scientific research and diagnostics, while improving customer care. To learn more about Microscan solutions used in life science and medical, please visit here.

Watch our AACC 2017 video and get a glimpse of  Microscan's barcode and machine vision technologies here.

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