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Why Mass Spectrometry for Your Clinical Lab?

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Aaron Hudson, VP/GM, Clinical Diagnostics, SCIEX

Aaron Hudson is Vice President and General Manager, Clinical Diagnostics at SCIEX. Aaron has been with SCIEX for over 17 years, beginning as a Sales Representative, and holding various roles including Director Global Marketing Strategy & Brand. Aaron holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Protein Chemistry from University of Sheffield, UK.

SCIEX pioneers innovative solutions in mass spectrometry to enable the accurate quantification of molecules in complex samples.  The clinical diagnostic portfolio includes an FDA-cleared assay for in vitro diagnostic use, medical device mass spectrometers and fully integrated LC-MS/MS systems with easy to learn, intuitive software.  As part of the Danaher family of global life science and technology innovators, SCIEX has led the field of mass spectrometry for nearly 50 years.

Question: What are the top 3 reasons labs should be considering LC-MS/MS (mass spec) for in-house testing?

Answer: In my mind, the first reason is the “3 S’s”; sensitivity, specificity, and selectivity to deliver more accurate quantification, and ultimately better patient care.  LC-MS/MS can overcome problems associated with interference, cross-reactivity, and lot-to-lot variability that can be observed with immunoassays.

The second is multiplexing.  You can combine dozens of analytes into a single, fast, assay.  Definitive drugs of abuse testing is a good example of this and typically you can analyze over 80 drugs in under five mins, but you can also multiplex proteins, lipids, and metabolites.

Third would be simpler development of LDT’s to bring more testing in-house to achieve cost reduction and decreased turnaround times – critical elements in today’s clinical environment.  This also enables the translation of novel biomarkers into clinical utility.

Question: How has mass spec evolved in the clinical arena?

Answer: My earliest memories of mass spec in clinical date back 20 years to my sales rep days when ‘tandem mass spec’ was emerging for neonatal screening.  Since then more and more assays have been adapted based on the figures of merits I outlined earlier and so now I don’t think there is any doubt that mass spec is seen as the gold standard for many assays.  The next era will see mass spec simplified to be a more integrated part of the core clinical chemistry lab.

Question: LC-MS/MS in the clinical lab isn’t just about the technology anymore. What other benefits are vital to the end-user experience?

Answer: At SCIEX we believe that customer experience is just as important as the instrument hardware.  From installation, method setup, to results production and information management, a robust standard work process is needed.  SCIEX has numerous resources needed to provide an end-to-end solution: The SCIEX clinical applications team is full of experts familiar with clinical applications; SCIEX Now provides responsive support, and online resources like SCIEX University is a great platform for further education for our end-users for all things Mass Spec.  SCIEX is your partner.

Learn More About SCIEX Systems for Your Clinical Lab >

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