Welcome to the AACC History Division Clinical Laboratory Analyzer Archive.
The pace of technological progress in clinical laboratory testing has been rapid and the working life of most analyzers is less than 10 years. In order to document and capture an aspect of the history of clinical laboratory testing, the AACC History Division has initiated a long-term project with the objective of collecting and archiving images of clinical laboratory and point-of-care analyzers (1) This archive is modeled after similar digital archives for television and computer history (see tvhistory ; blinkenlights; pc-history; or vintage-computer).
Initially, we will collect images of clinical chemistry, immunoassay, and point of care analyzers as well as automation (track) systems. Subsequently, the scope of the archive will be expanded to include analyzers used in hematology, coagulation, microbiology, virology, blood banking, etc. The archive will also contain bibliographic information on each analyzer that will compliment general reviews on clinical analyzers (2-5).
The next phase of this project will be to assemble a collection of representative examples of hand-held POC test devices (meters, test strips, etc). This task is made difficult by the fact that most hand-held POC test devices are disposable and so preserving examples of such devices is necessarily difficult. A grander objective would be to have the collection of selected hand-held POC test devices accepted as part of a permanent collection in an appropriate museum.
How Can You Help?
We welcome the submission of images of clinical laboratory analyzers and associated materials. As well as images of the analyzers we also intend to include images of prototypes and disposables, and electronic versions of instrument manuals, advertisements, and brochures.
We also hope that you will look through the archive and provide missing information, confirm dates and the identity of analyzers, and send in new or better images (slides, photographs) of analyzers (please contact: - Kricka@mail.med.upenn.edu).
We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Carl Burtis, Francesco Dati, Helen Free, Neil Greenberg, Charles Hawker, Kenta Imai, Jack Levine, David Ledden, Paul D’Orazio, Christopher Price, Donald Young, Jack Zakowski, and the following companies for supplying images of their products: LabX (Midland, ON, Canada), Instrumentation Laboratory (Bedford, MA), Beckman Coulter Inc. (Brea, CA).
Archive Development Team
- Kricka LJ, Imai K, Wilding P. Don’t throw it away – send it to me!! Clin Chem 2010, 56: 1778-80.
- Alpert NL. Automated instruments for clinical chemistry: Review and preview. Clin Chem 1969:15:1198-1209.
- Midyett R. Ten instruments that changed the lab. MLO 2005;May:30-33.
- Skeggs Jr LT. Persistence … and prayer: From the artificial kidney to the AutoAnalyzer. Clin Chem 2000;46:1425-36.
- College of American Pathologists Survey of Instruments. http://www.cap.org/apps/cap.portal (Accessed February 2011).