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Industry Report States Molecular Diagnostics Driving LIMS Industry

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The market for laboratory information management systems will grow to nearly a 1.5 billion-dollar market in 2015, according to Kalorama Information. The healthcare market research firm said growth would be spurred on by the desire of clinical diagnostic laboratories to handle larger amounts of data from molecular testing and sequencing. The finding was made in Kalorama's latest report, Laboratory Information Systems (LIS/LIMS).

Laboratory information systems (LIS), also known as laboratory information management systems (LIMS), are data and information management systems designed for industrial and medical-related laboratories, including clinical and analytical laboratories. LIS and LIMS have evolved to become a necessity for both small and large diagnostic and drug company laboratories, to allow users to obtain, store, manage, retrieve and record laboratory data. But the data coming into the lab from patients regarding their medical history and previous tests through EMRs is becoming more complex and has to be merged with new data from current diagnostic tests. This is placing labs on the verge of experiencing a data tsunami.

"These systems are no longer merely convenient optional tools to be used in labs," said Joe Constance, analyst and author of the report. "They are a necessary component of all modern laboratories that desire the combination of processing efficiency, quality assurance, and data validation that are required to be competitive."

A LIMS traditionally processes data related to batches of samples from genetic, biology, drug development and clinical trial laboratories. A LIMS processes data involving anonymous research-specific laboratory data. Advances in DNA and RNA sequencing technologies and the commercialization of next-generation sequencing instrumentation in recent years has made it possible to automate several steps of laboratory processes, leading to an increased throughput. As a consequence, there has been an exponential growth of data generated, along with the evolution of more efficient and complicated procedures and processes in the lab.

The report also notes that some consolidation has occurred among LIS and LIMS vendors. For example, Accelrys, a lab informatics company, has essentially expanded into the LIMS market. Roper Industries acquired Sunquest Information Systems, which provides diagnostic and laboratory information systems to health care providers.