Flow Robotics takes sample traceability to the next level

Flow Robotics, the company behind the revolutionary pipetting robot flowbot® ONE, has added a new addition to their family: ScanID – a game-changing scanning device for tracking sample tubes. 

Ensuring full traceability with minimum effort 

ScanID’s patent-pending technology offers both 1D and 2D scanning on one device and can scan an entire rack of sample tubes in one go. After scanning, the racks are placed in the flowbot® ONE, which now holds all the sample IDs, for further processing. This solution is not only more efficient but will also help eliminate misplacement errors. 

Image Credit: Flow Robotics


“Our vision with ScanID is to optimize sample traceability. Most labs spend a lot of time and energy on tracking their samples. Whether they are doing the entire thing manually or using a handheld barcode scanner, ScanID will make the process more secure and ensure full traceability with minimum effort,” explains Kjetil Kræmer, CTO at Flow Robotics. 

70% of lab errors occur in the pre-analytical phase. 

The pre-analytical phase remains the most error-prone part of laboratory testing due to its complexity and heavy manual workload. In fact, it is estimated that pre-analytical errors account for up to 70% of all mistakes made in laboratory diagnostics. Manual tasks such as pipetting and tracking play a big part in this. 

On an even more serious note, studies show that between 24% and 30% of laboratory errors influence patient care, and that patient harm occurs in between 3% and 12% of cases.1 This is one of the real-life laboratory struggles that Flow Robotics wishes to amend. 

“Errors due to poor tracking can result in sample switching lead to false outcomes, which can obscure your research and be very difficult to trace. That’s one of the reasons why we believe it’s well worth the effort to automate the process in a secure scanning solution,” explains CTO Kjetil Kræmer. 

Image Credit: Flow Robotics 

Close customer collaborations are essential for creating great new products, and this is something which Flow Robotics is well known for valuing. With assistance from The Department of Clinical Microbiology at Herlev Hospital in Denmark, they have ensured that ScanID will meet the right needs in labs. From lab functionality to having a good fit for the dish washer – everything was tested and evaluated. 

“There is always a risk of sample switching and misplacement errors during a manual pre-analytical process, and we can see ScanID helping us eliminate that risk. That we don’t need to remove the tubes from the rack during scanning is very convenient and can save us valuable time. We believe that our sample tubes are in good hands with ScanID which also acts as an error-control  by warning us if two barcodes are identical,” says Microbiologist Thomas Sundelin from The Department of Clinical Microbiology who was among the beta testers of ScanID. 

Founded with the mission that lab automation shouldn’t be complicated, Flow Robotics is continuing down that road with ScanID – an easy solution to a complicated problem. 

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