In Denmark, each year, approx. 21 million blood samples are transported from general practitioners or other clinics to a hospital laboratory for analysis. The samples are unpacked and handled manually. This requires many human resources, repetitive work tasks and introduces risks and errors related to manual handling. Therefore, the Danish company Intelligent Systems entered into close collaboration with Aalborg University Hospital in North Denmark Region and the robot company LT Automation to develop an innovative fully automated solution that handles, unpacks and sorts samples at the laboratory and ensures traceability and monitoring of temperature conditions all the way through the value chain.
Traceability, temperature monitoring and automatic handling and sortation allows for automated and data-driven quality control of the sample materials, which reduces the number of errors in pre-analytics and increases the quality of test material as well as the patient safety.
The automated monitoring has helped to improve workflows at Aalborg University Hospital. The number of temperature deviations registered has been reduced from 100% of the samples received, when the hospital started to use the solution, to less than 4% today. At the same time, the working environment at the laboratory has improved significantly through automation of repetitive work and thus preventing repetitive strain injuries (RSI).
The solution won the Danish Automation Award in 2019 and has been nominated for the Industry 4.0 Award in 2020.
The article was published in Healthcare Denmark newsletter March 2020.