Innovation: New cellular therapy labeling product
The International Council for Commonality in Blood Banking Automation Inc. (ICCBBA), released the first version of its ISBT 128 global standard for identifying, labeling and information processing of human blood in 1992. Since that time the standard has been redesigned and perfected to ensure the highest levels of accuracy for medical facilities and patients.
More recently, the standard has also been applied to the labeling and information processing of human cells, tissue and organs, internationally and across health systems.
Brookfield-based Niceware International recently released its LabelClinic CT for Cellular Therapy identification, using similar technology the company used to develop its line of blood identification and labeling products.
“We have a long history and are quite familiar with the ISBT 128 blood identification standard,” said Daniel Kaho, product manager for LabelClinicCT. “We took our experience and knowledge of the standard and its application to our line of blood labeling products and created a cellular therapy device that applies the standard in a similar way.”
According to Kaho, no law has been passed requiring health care facilities to identify and label cellular therapy items using the ISBT 128 standard, but the company expects one to be approved in the next year or two.
“Cellular therapy is actually really popular,” Kaho said. “Throughout the research we conducted we realized there were enough facilities collecting different cellular therapy techniques and the research found that we needed a way to utilize a barcode that indicates what the product is, who it came from, the date it was collected, where the information was processed and when it expires. There’s a really interesting medical backdrop to the uses of this technology.”
A common use for cellular therapy, according to Kaho, is the collection of stem cells from an umbilical cord after the birth of a baby.
“Some facilities will give the parents an option of collecting a child’s stem cells from the umbilical cord and storing them for the lifetime of the child,” Kaho said. “The cells could be used later on to develop different types of autoimmune cellular therapy if the child were to ever become seriously ill.”
There are many different applications for cellular therapy, Kaho said.
“We realized pretty early on that cellular therapy was something that was coming up and gaining interest in the medical community. We decided we’d talk to a number of different health care facilities and find out what they needed in a labeling product and design and modify our device based on that feedback.”
The first version of the LabelClinic CT was completed almost two years ago, Kaho said, but the product has been modified and redesigned based on customer feedback to the current version, which was released in the fall of 2010.
“It took us about six months to produce our first version,” he said. “We exposed the first device to more customer partners who were able to walk us through their own processes so we could get the flow and functionality right.”
The new LabelClinic CT is available in three versions: a stand-alone deployment; an integrated deployment that can be installed with current information systems in a facility; and a web-based platform, Kaho said.
“Our device, in any deployment, will be able to initiate the communication in a labeling system,” Kaho said. “And it can do it on a world-wide level. Similar to a situation where if you donate blood in Milwaukee it can be sent anywhere in the world and every facility will be able to scan the barcode that can explicitly tell them what it is, where it’s from and when it expires. It’s really a unique technology where even if the label is in English, you can scan the barcode and your system can interpret what the data means in a way that allows you to use it in your environment.”
The company has a lot of early adopters both on the reseller and the customer side and so far feedback has been positive, Kaho said.