Electronic tools in clinical laboratory diagnostics: Key examples, limitations, and value in laboratory medicine

In this 2021 paper by Bohn et al., a review of the utility and limitations of clinical laboratory electronic tools is given, along with a use case of the Canadian Laboratory Initiative on Pediatric Reference Intervals (CALIPER) online database. After a brief introduction, the authors examine both tools that are useful to the medical provider and tools useful to the patient, as well as a few caveats on their use. They then discuss CALIPER, a tool ” aimed to improve blood test result interpretation in children by establishing accurate and robust pediatric reference intervals for important biomarkers of health and disease.” They discuss the system in the framework of how such clinical electronic systems can assist doctors and patients through the laboratory. They conclude that “clinical laboratories should be leading and actively engaged in electronic diagnostic tool innovations that improve laboratory data communication and reduce post-analytical errors in test result reporting and interpretation,” while at the same time considering “[i]nherent biases to data-driven technologies.”

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