Meet the DxA 5000 Fit Workflow Automation System

Meet the new DxA 5000 Fit Workflow Automation System designed for medium-sized laboratories. With up to 75% of lab errors occurring pre-analytically, all laboratories could benefit from comprehensive workflow automation. That’s why we developed the DxA 5000 Fit, an automation solution that fundamentally improves laboratory workflow by making intelligent automation accessible to medium-sized labs that have not been able to enjoy such automation reserved for large laboratories in the past.

Watch our LinkedIn Live stream of the DxA 5000 Fit and learn how it can benefit your laboratory. Listen to our experts as they discuss automation for laboratories, the increased strain the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on diagnostic lab testing, as well as other pertinent topics.

Still have questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions  page to learn more or to contact a sales representative for a live demo.

Speaker Time Stamp Transcript
Chris Hagen 0:46 Good morning. My name is Chris Hagan, Vice President of Beckman Coulter's COVID-19 Task Force and Global Marketing. It's my pleasure to welcome you today to Beckman Coulter's LinkedIn live event launch of our DxA 5000 Fit, which is our midsize laboratory automation solution. Before we begin this morning, I'd like to say a special thank you to all of the clinicians and laboratorians who have joined us and who are helping to usher us through this pandemic. I've had the privilege of speaking with more than 100 health systems this past year, and to witness the dedication of all of the healthcare workers, but in particular, the hard work of laboratorians, as diagnostic testing has been at the forefront of the world's response to COVID-19. It's been inspiring to bear testament to. In 2020, clinical laboratory testing increased 245% with roughly half of the tests being SARS-CoV-2 related. And while the majority of COVID testing falls outside of the core laboratory, where all of the other routine lab tests occur, many core labs still felt the resource strain as staff was moved from the core lab into the molecular lab to help out with that increased testing demand.
Chris Hagen 01:58 And while the test volumes have begun to decrease from their highs, roughly 40% of adults either delayed or altogether avoided medical care in 2020, and that again is going to lead to an increased testing demand as patients begin returning for care. The continued testing demands for COVID-19 plus the higher test volumes for all of those returning patients will again place a heavy burden on top of what was already a difficult challenge for most laboratories when it comes to processing laboratory tests at the highest levels of quality and efficiency. And it's against this backdrop that small and mid-sized laboratories are now beginning to seek automated solutions to address the manual sample processing steps that their larger laboratory counterparts addressed long ago through total lab automation. With this need for an automation solution and mid-sized laboratories, I'd like to invite John Stejskal to share an exciting at the DxA 5000 Fit.
John Stejskal 03:07 Hello. Today I'm going to introduce you to Beckman Coulter's new connected automation solution for small to mid-sized laboratories, the DxA 5000 Fit. The Fit utilizes the core technology of Beckman Coulter's flagship total lab automation solution, the DxA 5000, and brings the benefits of automation to laboratories that traditionally did not have access to those benefits. First, to be able to deliver rapid and consistent turnaround time to the lab, doing that through workflow optimization, intelligent routing of specimens, and staff prioritization. Second, being able to utilize the pre-analytic sample characterization to catch the areas up front and be able to manage those areas up front while having the confidence in results downstream. And third, having the synchrony and communication of intelligent software and hardware that's going to enable your lab to manage their entire testing environment. The input/output multi-function input/output module allows for the lab to have a single point of entry and exit of all specimens into their laboratory regardless of tube type or tube size. The DxA Fit has a small footprint, but has many functions going on at the same time including sample loading, simple load and go for your workforce.
John Stejskal 04:50 Once the tube has been picked up, sample receiving, sample characterization, which is critical, and I'll speak to more. Sample prioritization. Then onto centrifugation if needed, de-capping if needed, post-analytic sorting, and post analytic archiving with the option as with the input, the output has the option for the small or large racks. Total sample characterization occurs within the first three seconds of a tube being picked up and with a tube that can be wrapped with up to three labels, fully wrapped around the tube. In that three seconds, it's going to tell you multiple bits of information, including can the barcode be read and if so received into the system? Secondly, do you have the right tube type for the test requested? Third, is it a short draw sample, which is especially critical and coagulation testing. Fourth, do you have enough sample to complete the testing required? And fifth, the spin status, whether it's spun or unspun. All is being done so that you can manage errors up front and have the confidence in results downstream.
John Stejskal 06:05 The sample distribution manager provides an area for tubes to be prioritized before being placed onto the track. Intelligent scheduling automatically calculates the most efficient route for any tube taken into account tube characterization, tube prioritization, analyze your status, and tests ordered. The DxA 5000 Fit and Remisol advance work in harmony to always ensure rapid and consistent turnaround time. Once a tube has completed in the pre-analytic module, if required it's going to move into centrifugation. The centrifugation connected to the input/output module provides efficient centrifugation, seamless operation with the rest of the automation system, and customization to your lab's needs. The centrifuge fully automates the loading, balancing, and unloading, and takes advantage of DxA Fit's four minute spin at 4,000 Gs. After centrifugation or processing through the sample distribution manager, tubes will be delivered automatically to connected instruments where there'll be aspirated and then returned to the input/output module for post analytic processing.
John Stejskal 07:25 If offline testing is required, samples can be placed into instrument-specific racks, or if they're ready for archiving into an archiving rack. If a sample requires additional testing, the system will automatically retrieve that specimen from the archive rack, send it back to the instruments, and retrieve it back to the... or return it back to the archive rack after that. So what will the DxA 5000 Fit do for you today? Let's remember back to the three things we spoke about at the beginning. First, the Fit will enable your laboratory to experience rapid and consistent turnaround time through workflow optimization and intelligent routing. Second pre-analytic sample characterization will help you identify errors up front and have confidence and results on the back end. And third, the synchronization between intelligent hardware and informatics enables you to take total control of your entire testing environment in your laboratory.
Chris Hagen 08:33 Thank you, John, for demonstrating how intuitive and intelligent the DxA 5000 Fit is. Now I'd like to introduce you to a group of panelists that I'll be speaking with today to unveil the new DxA 5000 Fit, which Beckman Coulter recently launched to help address mid-sized laboratory needs. Tony Barressi, Senior Manager of National Sales and Clinical Informatics. Nicolas Quoix, Senior Marketing Manager EU Commercial Strategy. Diane Mielnikowski, Senior Manager of Global Marketing Workflow Information Technology Solutions. And Efie Tsikou, Director of Product Management. Tony, I'd like to begin today's conversation with a question for yourself. Diagnostic labs have always faced unique difficulties. Can you speak a bit further to some of these unique challenges?
Tony Barressi 09:23 Absolutely, Chris. I'm happy to. Thank you for allowing me to be with you today. So when we look at the challenges that labs are facing today, I think many of these will sound familiar to folks out there because these challenges have been faced for a long time. We could just start with how hard it is to get the space you need to do your diagnostic work. Square footage in hospitals has always been and remains at a premium today. There's also the well-known labor shortage that we're dealing with in this industry. There are simply not enough laboratorians to go around. We also have the ever-present business pressures. We have lab managers and hospital managers and health network managers who expect lab work to be done efficiently and for low costs. And not to be outdone, we have very diligent, committed clinicians that we're partnering with in the lab.
Tony Barressi 10:15 They want consistent turnaround times and perfect quality. And increasingly, we're seeing that they want to partner with the lab to interpret results that the lab is giving to them. Another trend that we're witnessing today is the drive for standardization. As hospitals around the world consolidate into broader healthcare networks, we're seeing a real expectation for standard workflows across shifts within a single lab, and then across labs within a broader healthcare network. So the challenges go on and on, but suffice to say, Chris, today's diagnostic laboratory is a highly scrutinized incredibly demanding environment.
Chris Hagen 10:59 Thank you, Tony. And to Diane, I'd like to hear your thoughts as well regarding the impact that these challenges that Tony just laid out, that they have on the day-to-day lives of laboratory technicians.
Diane Mielnikowski 11:11 Sure, Chris. Well, laboratorians have been telling us that more than ever before, they have been working at full speed. Since COVID-19, they've started to take on greater responsibilities, and that means that they're taking on extra shifts, working longer days, and they're working across multiple labs to make sure that the volumes and the demands are being met. And as you mentioned earlier, they're really starting to feel that strain. During this period of COVID, AACC has been conducting surveys with the labs and they have listed staffing as one of their top concerns. What I do know is this, when we listened to our laboratorians, one thing is very clear. The fatigue is building up. They're spending more and more time away from their families, and as we know, for some of them, that's really starting to impact the morale. They're starting to feel burnt out.
Chris Hagen 12:05 Thank you, Diane. And what kind of solutions are hospitals and laboratory leadership looking at in order to solve these challenges you just laid out?
Diane Mielnikowski 12:16 Lab leaders are looking for a new way, a different way to work. The status quo, it's just not working for them anymore. And one solution that many of them are turning to and some are looking at is workflow automation. Let's think about that typical lab. They're trying to minimize the number of steps that it takes to move that test across the lab. They're trying to reduce those costly pre-analytical errors and improve their turnaround time so that they can meet those growing test volumes. For those reasons and many more, the DxA 5000 Fit is a great solution. It automates 70% of those manual workflow steps, and that means for the staff, they can focus their time and effort and energy on those higher value activities. It checks the most common pre-analytical errors automatically. So for the health system, that helps them to lower their overall expenditures because they are proactively checking for those pre-analytical errors up front. Stats are prioritized, which means you can be confident that the most critical and acute samples are handled first and you can count on rapid and consistent results.
Chris Hagen 13:30 Diane, for the purpose of this conversation, we've talked about mid-sized laboratories and we're defining that as laboratories which have perhaps 1,500 to 4,000 tests a day, or perhaps 600 to 1,500 samples a day. And these labs often have less space in which to work. So what are some of the other unique challenges in addition to space that these medium sized laboratories face?
Diane Mielnikowski 13:56 Thanks, Chris. What I can tell you is that there is a difference between the large lab and the mid volume lab. Today, the large volume lab has the advantage of total lab automation. That is their reality. Let's imagine, Chris, that you and I go to visit one of those large labs, the one with total lab automation, and we walk in, we arrive at the lab, we look across the room, and there we see a laboratorian loading tubes into the system, turning around, and walking away to work on other priorities. And at the same time, those samples are being automatically sorted, checked for pre-analytical errors, loaded to and unloaded from a connected centrifuge, they're ushered down the track, decapped taken to the appropriate analyzer, while stats are prioritized all along the process. Chris, it's like having an extra helping hand in the lab, like another team working with you.
Diane Mielnikowski 14:53 But I can say that for the mid-volume labs, their reality is very different today. All of those steps that I just mentioned are very manual for them. Now, some of them may have that integrated analyzer, and that will address six of the workflow steps, but not the pre-analytical ones in the process where most of the hospital errors will occur. Inevitably, the staff is spending precious time physically sorting, decapping, transporting tubes across the lab. A tech is forced to manually check and recheck for errors and there's no mechanism in place to fast track those samples along the way. And you mentioned earlier, Chris, about space constraints and these labs are definitely feeling space constraints. Up until now, they haven't had a solution. The large automations out there just were too big and too extensive for the labs. But now, comprehensive flexible workflow automation is available that has been designed to Fit into their lab.
Chris Hagen 15:58 Tony, we've used the word automation quite a bit here and there are several different definitions and perspectives on what that means and there are of course many processes that can be automated. So can you talk through the different areas of laboratory workflow that can be automated, and what would you say are the most critical areas to automate?
Tony Barressi 16:19 So this is a really important question, Chris, and I'm happy to answer. So when we look at bringing automation into diagnostic laboratories, we tend to look at their workflow in three distinct phases. We have the pre-analytical, the analytical, and the postanalytical workflows. Now doing this just allows us to understand where the lab is focusing its precious resources. We do this type of analysis with customers. We've done it many times. And what the data shows us is that on average, a typical lab will spend 60% of its labor hours doing pre-analytical work alone. So that's processes like accessioning samples, sorting them, prioritizing them, putting them into the centrifuge, decapping them and routing them between instruments. All this type of work consumes up to 60% of the lab's labor hours. So this is why we recommend that if you're going to be automating a process in the lab, it really should be focused first on the preanalytical workflow phases.
Tony Baressi 17:25 Of course we can automate across all three phases, but the data shows us we should be prioritizing pre-analytical workflow automation. This is why we tell our customers that if they're going to be making a significant capital equipment investment and trying to get enhanced performance out of their laboratory, they really should insist that that investment provides them preanalytical help, preferably in the form of automation. And one way I like to make this sink in is by using an analogy I think most of us can relate to. So imagine the work you're doing in the lab, producing results on time, was analogous to getting your kids to school on time in the morning, and say you came to me and you said, "Tony, I am just trying everything I can, but I cannot reliably get my kids to school on time in the morning. I need some help." And I said, "okay, no problem. What if I gave you a faster car?"
Tony Baressi 18:21 Okay. So a faster car is nice and that could help some, but I think we can all intuitively understand. That's not going to be the real difference maker in that process. But instead, what if I told you, "You know what? I have a proven system that will guarantee that every morning your kids are up on time, that they're showered, they're dressed, they're fed, and they're waiting for you to leave the house five minutes before you have to leave every morning?" Now I think most of us can intuitively understand that's a game changer. That's going to help me get my kids to school on time in the morning because that's like taking the most volatile, unpredictable time-consuming part of the morning process and making it automatic. Well, that is like what pre-analytical workflow automation is like. And the faster car, that's like automating the analytical workflow. It's helpful, but it's not the biggest difference maker. So this is why we recommend to our customers that pre-analytical workflow automation is what is really going to help them get the high quality, consistent, efficient results they're looking for.
Chris Hagan 19:31 Okay Nicolas, let's get you in here. Tony's used a great example of what I guess I'd refer to as thoughtful automation, and as he mentioned, we can automate a number of different areas, but automating the right areas that kind of reduce the manual workflow is key. So can you speak a bit about to why the DxA 5000 Fit's... its ability to provide thoughtful automation is so critical to a laboratory?
Nicolas Quoix 19:58 Sure. Chris. Thanks, great question. So you know we are visiting many labs in the world and we perform workflow analysis for our customer, and what we very often find is waste in the process. And this is the challenge, right? How do we minimize this waste? The most common answer when I see when we ask this question is let's automate. And indeed in many instances, automation would eliminate some waste. But in other situations, automation can create new problems or move the problem to another part of the process. So it's always very important to mindfully think about what really needs to be automated, to maintain a total control on the process. So what we do when we visit laboratories, we see that automation is perceived as a goal that will solve all the challenges, but we need to remember that automation is not the goal.
Nicolas Quoix 20:49 Automation is a tool to reach the goal. So we at Beckman Coulter, we first help laboratories understand and fully control the process. They can then mindfully implement automation in areas where it will definitely make an impact. So this is also the spirit of DxA 5000 Fit. Tony explained it very well. And the DxA 5000 Fit helps laboratory to automate both the analytical and the pre-analytical process not only because those are the most time consuming phases in the overall workflow, but also because those are where we usually find the most waste. So this is how the DxA 5000 Fit helps to maintain the control of the process.
Chris Hagan 21:32 Nicolas, you've introduced this idea of total process control and just how key that is. So, can you share some additional thoughts with me and touch on which other tools aside from what we'd stereotypically think of as automation are really essential to consider when we're talking about total process control in a mid-sized laboratory?
Nicolas Quoix 21:56 Well, in general, when we think about total process control concept or when we want to improve laboratory workflow, we should have a broader vision. I mentioned it before, automation is a tool to reach a goal, but there is another tool equally important that can help to improve the workflow. Our world today is driven by data. Laboratories generate hundreds of thousands of data points every day. Well, those data points are essential to control the process. So as they use the high clinical IT tools, the labs can now inform the decision taking by both the automation, but also by healthcare professionals.
Nicolas Quoix 22:29 So if we start to think about clinical IT as central point for laboratory operations, we start to uncover new ways to reduce waste, to streamline the workflow, and to maintain control over the process. So this is the reason why together with the DxA 5000 Fit we also provide the best in class middleware solutions that streamlines the data through. It can in one sense automate many things from tube receipting in the LIStube to auto validation and QC and region management while allowing full traceability of any sample entering in the lab. So together with DxA 5000 Fit and our Remisol Advance solution, we help laboratories to maintain the control of their process.
Chris Hagen 23:16 Efie, welcome in to our panel here. This question is for you. As a member of our Product Management team, I know when we're developing new products, human factor engineering is a big part of our formula. Can you share some of the ways in which Beckman Coulter incorporated that human factor engineering into the design of DxA 5000 Fit and how we're trying to get... how we're trying to use that to kind of get at the automation of laboratory workflow?
Efie Tsikou 23:44 Sure, and thank you much, Chris, for the opportunity to talk and give a little bit of insights around how we develop products in Beckman Coulter. So you're very correct. Human factor engineering has a very active role throughout the development process, and in simple terms, they are the people behind the scenes. And what they do is ensure robust performance and optimal user experience. And we do so through rigorous application of usability best practices and direct feedback from various users during that usability testing. The feedback then is collected, analyzed, and communicated back to our R&D team with required or recommended improvements during the development.
Efie Tsikou 24:25 For the DxA 5000 Fit in specific, even subtle changes like differentiating the color of the input area that John showed earlier relative to other areas can make a big difference in ensuring samples are loaded properly and safely. Once core elements of usability and safety have been addressed, then the remaining bandwidth and future efforts can be focused around what we call surprise and delight elements. How can we make the product not just usable, but essentially a desired and useful tool in the lab that is playing a valuable role in the diagnosis and monitoring of patient health.
Chris Hagan 25:02 I think we've covered here pretty extensively how the DxA 5000 family has been a breakthrough in pre-analytical technology, intelligence, productivity. What makes it unique in terms of supporting customers' kind of day to day needs?
Efie Tsikou 25:18 Well undoubtedly, the DxA 5000 unveiled a new era in medical laboratory automation and with DxA 5000 Fit, the benefits of integrated automation are now accessible to smaller labs. We've mentioned that several times. The DxA 5000 family's modular flexible design enables us both in terms of hardware and software to expand our automation offering too match customer needs, which is something that we were unable to cater to into the past. And DxA 5000 Fit is a Testament to that. And Chris, you mentioned earlier that in 2020 due to COVID, the laboratory testing increased over 200%. That didn't impact only larger labs. It impacted all lab sizes, right?
Efie Tsikou 26:02 So let's think of tube sorting, label confirmation, entering to the LIS, automated loading and unloading to the centrifugation, decapping and then automated loading to the chemistry or immunoassay analyzer, the automated reflex testing, unloading from archive racks, right? These are just some of the manual steps a laboratory technician goes through thousands of times a day that are now automated with 5000 Fit. And we recognize that increasing challenges regarding workforce, lab space, and of course the costs will require a rapid response that includes innovation in informatics in addition to hardware. And what is most important to us is that we keep designing and providing solutions that are scalable, adjustable to user needs, reinforced by the beneFits that informatics solution, machine learning, and AI bring.
Chris Hagen 27:02 Thank you very much, Efie, and to all of our other panel members as well. Thank you for your great insights. Now, our guests have been able to submit questions throughout the event and we've gathered some of those questions from the audience, and I'd like to kind of share some of those at this time and I would ask that you would provide a response to them. Diane, I think this first one would be for you. Are there health systems that are using the DxA 5000 Fit today?
Diane 27:31 Chris, yes there are. In fact, we've had tremendous interest and we're installing systems across the globe. And some of the more common reasons why our early adopting customers are choosing the DxA 5000 Fit are achieving those time-savings that we talked about earlier for their staff in the lab, addressing labor shortages so that they can face the demand and handle it today, and then lowering overall expenditures. And they do that by proactively reducing those pre-analytical errors and those post-analytical errors.
Chris Hagen 28:06 Thank you. And Efie, I think this one would be for you. The word compact is being used, so can you speak to how big the DxA 5000 Fit is?
Efie Tsikou 28:16 Sure. Thanks, Chris. So let's think about it this way. The DxA 5000 Fit is about the footprint of a large desk, and our R&D team has worked diligently around the clock to ensure that Fit has developed to be an automation system that Fits a small to medium size lab, right? And if you compare it to your traditional automation systems, that DxA 5000 Fit is considerably smaller. However, if anyone from the audience or out there has specific questions about how the system Fits in their set up, one of our expert sales representatives can review your space and provide a formal recommendation.
Chris Hagan 28:58 Thank you, Efie. Tony, this one I'll send to you. What laboratory analyzers can be connected to the DxA 5000 Fit?
Tony Barressi 29:08 All right, Chris. So the answer to this question is actually really exciting. So we are happy to say that the DxA 5000 Fit can connect to Beckman Coulter Clinical Chemistry, Immunoassay, and Hematology analyzers. And importantly, the 5000 Fit can connect to these three core disciplines all at once. You can have up to four connections when you have the DxA 5000 Fit in your space. So this is really important because it's never been available before, not to medium-sized labs where you can have one consolidated platform with one front end process, one input, deliver samples in an integrated way to clinical chemistry, immunoassay, and hematology. It's going to change how work is done in the labs and we're really excited to bring this functionality to markets out there.
Chris Hagen 30:01 That is exciting, so thank you for bringing that point up. Nicolas, this one's for you. The questioner asked how easy will it be for them to implement the DxA 5000 Fit in their laboratory?
Nicolas Quoix 30:15 It takes about two to three weeks to set up everything from installation to training. That's what our early customers have found. So what we do is that our team works in a strong partnership with our customers to really ensure the soonest deployment of the solution and always make sure that every question is answered before they handle the product. So if you decide to order the DxA 5000 Fit tomorrow, one can expect a dedicated team of experts that we stay with them all along the project and make sure that one goal is to have minimal disruption in the organization.
Chris Hagen 30:51 Thank you. And I love this next question. Tony, I'll give this one to you. They ask where they can request a demonstration of the DxA 5000 Fit and learn more information.
Tony Barressi 31:03 Oh, well that's easy, Chris. You can go to to find more information about this amazing system, and of course, you can always reach out to your local sales representative to get more information and to schedule a demo as well.
Chris Hagen 31:22 Thank you, Tony, and thank you to the rest of our panel members as well. And I'd also like to say a big thank you to John Stejskal for his introduction to the DxA 5000 Fit a little bit earlier today. So since we aren't able to get to all of the questions during today's live event, I invite you to visit our frequently asked questions and you can also request a representative to contact you and discuss kind of your unique lab laboratory needs. You can visit us online as a part of this event at And that's forward slash 5-0-0-0 F-I-T. I want to thank you for your time and for joining us today for our DxA 5000 Fit LinkedIn live event. I wish all of you a great day and goodbye.