Health care supplier rolls out lab printers


The Thermo Scientific PrintMate AS prints lab cassettes for pathologists.

A health care supplier is rolling out a pair of lab printers to help anatomical pathologists reduce patient identification errors, inefficiencies and waste.

Thermo Scientific, a brand of Thermo Fisher Scientific in Kalamazoo, said this spring that it is introducing the lab printers for pathologists to print microscope slides and cassettes.

Lab printers

The Thermo Scientific SlideMate AS prints microscope slides and has a number of features: label-creation software; barcode scanner; and interface for integration with laboratory infrastructure. The printer has a five-by-nine-inch form factor. The SlideMate is designed for the histology lab when tissue is placed on slides.

The Thermo Scientific PrintMate AS prints cassettes in 10 seconds or less. The printer is also designed to save benchtop space and features an interface for integration with laboratory infrastructure. The PrintMate is desgined for the gross pathology process where pathologists prepare tissue to go into the histology lab.

Based on configuration and accessories purchased, the SlideMate AS is priced between $28,000 to $60,000, and the PrintMate AS is priced between $10,000 and $15,000.

ID samples

Greg Strader, global project manager at Thermo Fisher Scientific, said the printers' biggest benefit to pathologists is their small footprints and ability to fit into workspaces.

“They can print on-demand for a single case at a time — that reduces the chance for error and also means they reduce a lot of waste," Strader said. "They don’t have to print extra cassettes at a batch printing station to make sure they have enough when they are doing their grossing. There is another reduced step in the process. If used right at a work state, they can print a slide and put the tissue on it right after.”

Strader said the feedback from customers has been positive, with their citing the on-demand printers making work efficient and reducing human error.

He added that the printers are tools to "improve patient safety" and "make the lab run more efficiently, which is what laboratories really need today."

“These products are helping technicians to make sure the patient sample is always properly identified,” Strader said.

The brand

Thermo Scientific supplies analytical instruments, laboratory equipment, software and services.

The business is a brand of Thermo Fisher Scientific, which is a global company with annual revenue of roughly $17 billion and employing about 50,000 individuals in 50 countries.

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