Positive and negative. Two words that profoundly influenced everyone in the past years, offering concern or relief. The magnitude of test samples to be collected and processed, combined with errors in sample management made inaccurate diagnoses and false results a possibility. This had the potential to undermine the positive effects of Covid-19 tracing and control.

The pandemic led the world to perceive the terms ‘swab’ and ‘test’ as interchangeable. Nothing could be further from the truth. Testing is a process of many steps, heterogeneous laboratory workflows, and a range of distinct analytical platforms. Of this process, preanalytics – the activities inside and outside of the lab that result in samples processable by diagnostics platforms – are what all subsequent analyses rely on. No diagnostic platform can retrieve what is lost during poor sample collection, transportation or processing.

Simple solutions to crucial problems

Since its beginnings, Copan has created a new comprehensive approach to preanalytics. Starting with the simple improvement of a swab, it has now grown to become the only company offering a total preanalytics solution. It embraces ‘vertical’ evolution in everything from sample collection to sample transport, and from sample processing to image analysis and interpretation. It has also undergone a horizontal expansion from microbiology to forensics, genetics, and molecular biology preanalytics, along with other fields of analysis and research. Copan is moving towards its future achievements with a consistent vision: working together with healthcare professionals to provide the best results for patients.

Copan strongly believes in self-collection, researching and perfecting safe and reliable devices designed to allow sampling to be performed by anyone, anywhere. “Covid-19 made clear the necessity of sampling alternatives that allow patients to collect their samples at home, autonomously or supervised by a professional, and ship them to the lab,” says Copan CEO Stefania Triva. “Self-collection is something we have been working on for years now and will remain one of our main focuses for the near future.” Despite logistic and cultural obstacles, self-collection can boost patient confidence and enable hospitals and laboratories to provide timely and efficient service while reducing operational costs and risks.

But specimen collection and preservation are only a fraction of Copan’s total preanalytics solution; a complete ecosystem of automation can be paired with sampling devices, offering data interpretation with ease.

The key to easy sample processing and data interpretation

Total lab automation (TLA) is now dogma in multidisciplinary laboratories worldwide, as it is undoubtedly seen as a solution to the surge in sample volumes; a way to empower the microbiology community to provide high-quality results ever more rapidly. As reported by numerous studies, Copan’s TLA can almost double microbiology labs’ productivity and halve the cost per specimen – regardless of lab size, load or location – enabling a 24/7 processing. In addition, the most advanced AI interpretative algorithms allow today’s technologists to review images, release negative cultures or interpret chromogenic plates and antibiotic sensitivity results quickly and effectively.

In its most advanced form, Copan’s automation ecosystem envisions the connection of multiple lab instruments, speciality labs, and even general labs in a network, leading to better data handling and efficient sample processing.

From sampling to sample transport and processing, from image analysis to interpretation, Copan’s total solution aims to perfect each step of the preanalytic process, to offer laboratories unbiased diagnostics and improve patient care.