Does Your QC Cover Clinically Relevant Ranges?
Following recommendations from recognized institutions such as ISO and CLIA, more laboratories are using third party controls than ever before. However, great care should be taken when choosing which third party control to use. A number of factors should be considered, and primarily among these is whether the control challenges the complete Clinical Range and the Medical Decision Levels. ISO 15189:2012 states that ‘The laboratory should choose concentrations of control materials wherever possible, especially at or near clinical decision values, which ensure the validity of decisions made’.
Measuring the Complete Clinical Range
It is important to assess the full clinical range of an assay i.e. the range between the lowest and highest results which can be reliably reported. In order to make sure a laboratory instrument is working across the full clinical range, a QC which covers low, normal and elevated concentrations must be used.
Question: “If the full clinical range isn’t covered by QC, how will we know whether patient results which fall outside the range of quality controls are accurately reported?”
What are Medical Decision Levels?
Medical Decision Levels (MDL) are the analyte values at which medical professionals can determine whether a patient may be suffering from a certain condition. The MDL is determined by a consensus of medical professionals and clinical research. Patients’ test results are compared to the MDL and appropriate diagnoses or medical interventions can be made.
For example, the MDL of Glucose can indicate a certain diabetic status:
|Analyte||Medical Decision Level||Diagnostic Status|
|Glucose (fasting)||<100 mg/dL||Non-Diabetic|
Many QC manufacturers ‘cut corners’ in an attempt to keep costs down, which often results in the sale of controls which do not cover the complete clinical range or vital medical decision levels. Below is an example of the Glucose concentrations present in a competitor control:
Competitor Chemistry Control Level 1 – 68 mg/dL
Competitor Chemistry Control Level 2 – 134 mg/dL
Competitor Chemistry Control Level 3 – 386 mg/dL
In the examples above, the competitor’s level 1 control covers the non-diabetic MDL, but the level 2 control is not within the ‘Pre-Diabetic’ decision range. The level 3 control is also much higher than can be expected for an elevated diabetic patient result (200 mg/dL or more).
Due to the superior manufacturing process used by Randox, QC target values are consistently within the MDL of tests. For example, the Glucose concentrations present in our Liquid Assayed Chemistry Premium Plus control are:
Level 1 – 57 mg/dL
Level 2 – 114 mg/dL
Level 3 – 236 mg/dL
The MDL for Glucose is covered by the Randox control, meaning laboratory professionals can be confident that patient results will be accurately interpreted.
Immunoassay Medical Decision Levels
Controls which cover the MDL can reduce the number of Quality Controls required by laboratories. For example, Randox Acusera Lyophilised Immunoassay Controls contain particularly low levels of TSH, Ferritin and Vitamin B12 in the Level 1 control, eliminating the need for an additional control at extra expense:
|Analyte||Medical Decision Level||Randox Level 1 IA Control||Competitor Level 1 IA Control|
|TSH||0.1 or 0.27 uU/mL||0.15uU/mL||0.37 uU/mL|
|Vitamin B12||190 pmol/L||174 pmol/L||327 pmol/L|
|Ferritin||12 ng/mL||11.1 ng/mL||49.6 ng/mL|
In this example the competitor offers an anaemia control with lower levels of TSH, Vitamin B12 and Ferritin at an additional cost. With Randox Acusera QC, only one control is required for anemia monitoring and detection.
Did you know that one of the reasons we entered into partnership with the Jockey Club is because we are experts in the field of Equine Health?
Well now you do!
Not only do we have a history of being involved in equestrian events, (we host the Randox Point-to-Point event for our local community every year, and International Polo Tournaments in both Scotland and Bushmills, on the Causeway Coast of Northern Ireland), but we also have over 34 years’ experience in the diagnostics industry, during which we have developed innovative and accurate diagnostic products for Equine Health.
That may sound complicated but vets, trainers and owners have been working with us for years so that we can help them better understand their horses’ health and wellbeing.
To recognise the importance of what we do, you must know that more than 70% of all medical decisions are based on an analysis of your blood.
Using our innovative blood-science technology we can obtain a comprehensive profile of not only your body’s current health, but also your future health. This is the same for horses!
In the development of our own dedicated Equine Health Programme, we’ve learnt a thing or two. We know that endurance racehorses require extra attention as a result of intense physical exercise, and therefore monitoring what’s going on in their blood is vitally important.
To give an example, monitoring the Total Antioxidant Status of your horse is a sure-fire way to detect whether he or she has suffered muscle cell injury or trauma.
A reduction in the overall antioxidant status of your horse inhibits its body’s defence and monitoring the TAS is therefore an efficient way to identify risk of injury, determine the levels of training required and establish appropriate recovery times to maintain their wellbeing.
If your horse is often transported between locations it’s also important to monitor his or her TAS. The Total Antioxidant Status of a horse may increase after long-haul road transportation, indicating that your horse is stressed.
So, as you can see, you can tell a lot about the health of your horse by looking at what’s going on in their blood. We’re the experts in this area so we can share our knowledge with you, explain the importance of particular biomarkers in observing the health of your horse, and advise you what areas of your horse’s health you should be monitoring if you have particular concerns.
Let’s say for example your horse is undergoing intense training.
We would recommend that you monitor their levels of Superoxide Dismutase. This enzyme can let you know whether they are suffering from any muscle pain, stiffness, joint weakness, loss of muscle strength, stamina and flexibility, amongst other issues. It is important to know whether their current training is regime is benefitting them, or encumbering them.
If injury is suspected, we then advise that you monitor your horse’s levels of Creatine Kinase.
Any damage to your horse’s heart, skeletal muscle or brain tissue will result in a spike of Creatine Kinase in the blood. By monitoring CK, you can determine any muscle trauma, bruising, wasting, abscesses, inflammation, infection and recurring muscle damage.
The importance in monitoring these biomarkers is of course that it enables early treatment, which greatly improves your horse’s prognosis and chances of recovery.
Swift treatment upon diagnosis of trauma ensures that your horse is kept healthy and happy, and our customers agree! We work with a number of key Veterinary Hospitals around the world, including Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, the Official Equine Hospital of the Breeders’ Cup in Lexington, Kentucky, (known as ‘The Horse Capital of the World!), and The Irish Equine Centre in Kildare, Ireland.
Jean Hearn, Biochemistry Lab Manager at The Irish Equine Centre, commented;
“As a long time customer of Randox Laboratories, over thirty years, I feel I am in a good position to offer an opinion on the company. Initially we dealt with Randox for Chemistry Reagents and ELISA kits, as they offered a very good range for us working in the veterinary field. However when they launched their Randox Daytona, we found it to be an essential additional analyser in our laboratory, due to the fact that it was capable of running tests that prior to that we were running with very labour intensive methods. eg various minerals and it also broadened the range of tests we could offer to our customers ,eg. acute phase proteins.
“Support has always been good from Randox and the staff always very pleasant and helpful.”
Of course what your horse eats plays a huge role in their health too.
High quality horse feed is paramount for race horses in particular whose speed, agility and most importantly, health, is dependent on them receiving all the nutrients they require.
Our Randox Food Diagnostics ensures the safety of horse feed by screening the food for harmful mycotoxins which can grow on a variety of different crops including cereals, grains and fruits, and can cause a number of health issues for horses, including problems with fertility, sports performance and malnutrition.
And our work in the racing industry doesn’t stop there.
Our Randox Toxicology division creates custom testing panels for the screening of drugs of abuse, on our patented Randox Biochip Array Technology, which has revolutionised the diagnostics industry by allowing multiple tests to be run simultaneously on a single, undivided patient sample.
Screening for drug abuse amongst jockeys in this way (we currently work with Jockey Clubs around the world including Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong) protects the safety of the horses and ensures races are won on the jockeys’ and the animals’ natural abilities.
Hopefully you now have a flavour for the work that we do in the racing and veterinary industries to ensure the health and wellbeing of horses. We hope that through our sponsorship of the Randox Health Grand National we can share our knowledge and expertise in the field of Equine Health, Horse Feed Screening and Jockey Toxicology with the racing fraternity.
Just as we promote a message of preventive health to racing fans, the same applies to the horses we love.
For further information on how we work to keep horses healthy, please contact our Randox PR Team.
T: 028 9445 1016
Here at Randox we are celebrating our creative and talented work force whose fresh perspectives and world experience help Randox operate on such a global scale.
Recently, Charlie Graham, a member of the Randox Food Diagnostics Marketing team told us about her time spent in Ethiopia, volunteering with Volunteer Service overseas (VSO) as part of the International Citizenship Service (ICS) Programme.
Charlie sat down with us to tell us her story.
“I first heard about the ICS program when I was studying at Glasgow Caledonian University. My friend who was also studying Business Management with Marketing alongside me, had pre-warned me about the intense application process, and although it seemed quite daunting at the time, I have always been interested in volunteer work and international travel so I felt up for the challenge.
To be considered for a place on the program I had to firstly complete an online application. Then if you passed this initial stage you were invited to attend a group interview that took place in London. Here I undertook both group and individual assessments throughout the day that tested my knowledge of international development, conflict resolution and team work skills. Surprisingly, I found the interview process extremely rewarding as there was a strong focus on personal development and feedback. It was also interesting to learn about the possible charities that we could be placed with based on our skill sets.
I was excited when I finally received the news eight weeks later that I been matched with VSO and would be placed in a livelihoods development programme in Addis Ababa. To finalise my place I had to raise £800 that would go towards the work that I would be doing when I arrived in Ethiopia. I decided to host a bake sale in the foyer of Caledonian University and also compete a 5KM run to help raise the money.
As a group, we underwent pre-departure training before our flight from London. Once I landed there was a week of in-country training where I met up with the Ethiopian volunteers that I would be working alongside for the next three months. We also met our new families that we would be staying with throughout the duration of the program.
One of the first projects that I worked on was with the Women’s Income Generating Activity Groups. This Government funded program provided both training and guidance for local women who had received a small loan which enabled them to start up their own business ideas. One memory that has stuck with me from working with this group was the power of knowledge. Almaz, the project leader, highlighted that for many of the women learning how to read and being able to sign their own names was truly empowering and allowed them to become financially independent for the first time in their lives. This really brought home to me how valuable the work of ISC is, and how much I as a volunteer was able to impact the lives of these women by teaching them this simple act.
I also organised community action days during my time in Ethiopia. I visited a rehabilitation centre called Mecadonia that housed 170 people aged between 10 – 94 who are bed ridden or elderly. As this centre runs solely on donations we provided meals and clothing for all the residents. I even got a local newspaper to come and write about the centre to help raise awareness and potentially generate new sponsorship for the future.
One of the residents of Mecadonia was called Addis, he was 26 and was in desperate need of a kidney transplant. He had been suffering from kidney problems for five years and his family could only afford to treat him with traditional remedies – nothing had worked. As his health deteriorated he was unable to live with his family as he needed to attend the hospital for weekly dialysis. The evening that I met him, he was trying to fundraise 1 million birr which is the equivalent of £25,000 to secure a kidney transplant. His story really opened my eyes and put into perspective how blessed we are in the UK to have the NHS. After meeting Addis I felt very fortunate for the health of my family and myself.
During the time I spent in Addis Ababa one of the other projects I worked on was capacity building for a charity called Redeem the Generation which focused on the potential of young people and women. I worked on developing and improving their facilities to ensure they were providing a good service for the local community. One of my biggest achievements during the project was organising ICT training programme for women which was attended by 15 women and several community elders.
The three months I spent in Addis Ababa were truly unforgettable: I learnt a new language, experienced a new culture and made life-long friends. What’s more I got the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of others.
Since my trip I have become a real advocate for international development and female entrepreneurship. My experience has not only helped cement the importance of being a team player but also developed my leadership skills – which has really helped me here at Randox.”
We hope Charlie’s story has inspired you to grab new international opportunities that will help improve the wellbeing of others. Randox is committed to revolutionising healthcare through its diverse and multi-talented team.
Key to Randox’s ongoing success is having a loyal and dedicated team.
Last week Environmental Manager and Land Steward, Susan Kinkead, retired from Randox after committing 31 years to Randox’s vision of revolutionising healthcare.
Susan was a dedicated member of the Randox team and will be sadly missed, so we sat down with her to hear a little bit about her time working here at Randox and what memories she will be taking home with her.
Hi Susan, when did you start your career with Randox?
I started working at Randox in 1985 when it was still situated on the Randox Road. I had just moved home from South Africa and my father had seen in the local paper that Randox were recruiting. The next day my husband rang up and spoke with Peter who told him to send me up the next day for an interview. So the next day I went down to meet Peter and he told me I could start in the morning.
Where did you work when you first started?
When I first started I did a bit of everything. My first job was centrifuging fetal calf serum believe it or not, but there weren’t very many of us at this point. I distinctively remember Mrs FitzGerald coming out to us with wheaten bread and cheese and chatting to all the workers. After a while we moved everything up in horseboxes to headquarters here in Ardmore. This is when I moved to Quantity Control and after a while I changed positions to Packaging and Dispense Manager. In between this I left for a few years, but I came back, worked in the Training Department and then into Quality Assurance. Peter moved me onto Environmental Manager and a few years later I was given the role of Land Steward.
What is your best memory from working at Randox?
My best memories is when I got the opportunity to travel with the company. Peter and I got to go to Karachi Lahore in Pakistan back when I was Packaging and Dispense Manager. If you are prepared to work and put the hard graft in then you will get fantastic opportunities. I got to develop systems and was given free rein to do what I thought was best. You don’t get those sort of opportunities these days in many companies.
What will you miss the most after you leave Randox?
I will miss the people that I worked with. I believe that if you have a good team behind you then anything is possible. It’s a lot of hard work but you don’t get things done unless you have a good team behind you. I always felt a sense of worth working here at Randox and I got to accomplish a lot of things so I think I will miss that feeling.
What plans do you have for your retirement?
I hope to spend time on my garden and my house I am also looking forward to taking time out to set up my beehives, making honey and maybe putting my feet up!
We wish Susan all the best for the future and a very happy and relaxing retirement!
For more information please contact Aisling in our PR team via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As a global company with over 1400 employees of 44 different nationalities, we know that the key to success is having a diverse and multi-talented team.
We’re passionate about celebrating the talent and creativity of our Randox employees who make Randox as great as it is today, and who each have their own unique and interesting story to tell.
This week, we had a quick Q&A session with our Lead Graphic Designer, Anne Smith, to hear about her role in Team Randox and what makes her job so exciting.
Spoiler Alert: She’s designed the logo for the world’s greatest race…
Anne, tell us a bit about your background and how you came to be Lead Graphic Designer at Randox.
I studied Art for GCSE and A-Level before choosing to study Graphic Design and Illustration at Ulster University’s Belfast Campus. My course was really interesting and it allowed me to get to grips with using digital design software, including the key Adobe software packages; Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. I particularly enjoyed studying the more niche design areas of Typography and Illustration, and learning these new skills instilled in me the ambition to work in a fast-paced, international company with a wide range of different design projects on offer. I wanted to not only utilise my current design skills, but also have the opportunity to learn new ones. So that’s what motivated me to apply for a job at Randox when I graduated!
How did you originally find out about roles in Graphic Design at Randox?
I found out about opportunities in Graphic Design at Randox through the Job Centre NI. Randox has always been a name that people in Northern Ireland know as a key business and employer, but I never really thought about there being Graphic Design jobs in a diagnostics company! I suppose most people think of Graphic Design jobs being in Design or Marketing Agencies, but it’s important to know that many major companies have their own in-house Design Teams. Randox is one such company and has provided me with an incredibly dynamic, exciting job because there’s always something new going on here.
What are the different Graphic Design roles across the company?
We currently have a team of seven Graphic Designers here at Randox and we work across a range of our product divisions. We each have a dedicated product group which we look after – so that could be Randox Quality Control, Randox Biosciences, Randox Health, Corporate Events, or anything in between. As the company grows and the demand for more design material increases, we will want to expand the Graphic Design Team even further.
What does being a designer at Randox involve on a daily basis?
Graphic Design is so varied – one minute I could be designing brochures for a new Randox product, and the next presenting a storyboard concept to our Marketing Managers for a new corporate video. Within each product group we work on producing promotional material such as brochures, pop-up stands, social media graphics, and newsletters. I also look after corporate design such as employee business cards and recruitment adverts.
What has been your proudest achievement while working with Randox?
That would definitely have to be when my design for the Randox Health Grand National logo was officially finalised and released to the public! A lot of hard work and creativity went in to designing the new logo for the world’s greatest race and I’m proud to say that it’s my design.
How did the opportunity come about to design the Randox Health Grand National logo?
We’re very proud of the fact that at Randox we have such fantastic talent in our Marketing teams, and as such we like to keep all elements of our Marketing in-house. When Randox Health and our partners at The Jockey Club decided to create a new logo to accompany the new sponsorship, our Graphic Design Team were given the opportunity to come up with our ideas for the new logo. The final decision was then a two-step process – we presented our logo ideas to our Randox Marketing Managers, and The Jockey Club Team, and we also let all Randox employees vote for their favourite logo. I was delighted when my design was chosen!
What’s the creative process involved in coming up with a new design?
Every piece of design is different but in this instance there were a lot of key messages we wanted to get across with the Randox Health Grand National logo. When we’re asked to produce a new design we’re usually given a brief with the key messages, and in this case it was the speed, agility and excitement of horse racing. So I went away and came up with a few different concepts that I felt portrayed this speed and excitement, and after much consideration chose my final design!
What does it feel like knowing your design will be seen by 600,000,000 people across the world during the Randox Health Grand National?
Really exciting! Our team went to the Grand National 2015 in April, and the site is incredible. The racecourse and the surrounding site is so expansive, and to think that my logo will be displayed across it, and therefore seen by the world, is just amazing.
Between now and April when the Randox Health Grand National takes place, what artwork will you be creating?
There’s a lot of branding that needs to be done – for the racecourse, the Aintree site, the Liverpool area, and additionally lots of adverts, editorials and online branding such as for our website and social media. We won’t be short of work to do!
Do you have any advice for people considering a job in Graphic Design?
There are many challenges that come with working in Graphic Design. Quite often the creation of a new design can be a lengthy process, as you will have to make several changes and amendments to a design before a final concept is chosen. However, it is important to appreciate the huge amount of thought and consideration put in to each and every element of a new design, and to know that all the hard work will be worth it in the end! There is no prouder feeling than seeing your hard work going to print. I never thought that I would be the Designer for the Official Randox Health Grand National logo, but here I am, and I couldn’t be prouder.
Today is World Heart Day. We all know someone close to us who has been affected by heart related disease despite extensive research being carried out to try and prevent it
According to the British Heart Foundation, today in the UK alone:
- 435 people will lose their lives to Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)
- More than 110 people will be younger than 75
- 515 people will go to hospital due to a heart attack
- 190 people will die from a heart attack
From 2011 to 2013 a study of men and women under the age of 75 recorded an annual loss of 41,786 people noted by British Heart Federation. In the United States of America around 1.5 million people suffer from heart attacks and strokes each year. CVD is currently the leading cause of death in United States.
However, the British Heart Foundation have revealed that the annual number of deaths from CVD in the UK has fallen by more than half, since their establishment. This is a great achievement, but more can be done in the race to beat heart disease.
Take control of your heart health today
Keeping a healthy heart is key to your well-being. Our healthy tips below give some examples of how you can start working towards a healthier heart today.
Smoking is still a major cause of CVD. Smoking causes your blood vessels to thicken and become narrower making your heart beat faster and increases blood pressure. This puts significant pressure on your heart and can result in a number of heart related diseases.
Smoking can cause blood clots to form, blocking your arteries which makes it extremely difficult for your heart to pump blood around your body. This is one of the leading cause of CVD and Strokes. According to the NHS, after one year of giving up smoking your risk of a heart attack falls by about half that of a smoker.
Even if you are not a smoker, you should try and avoid inhaling second hand smoke where possible.
Limit your alcohol intake
Drinking excess alcohol can result in considerable health implications.
According to the NHS guidelines, both men and women shouldn’t drink any more than 14 units per week. If you do drink 14 units per week this should be spread out over 3 days or more.
The British heart Foundation stated in their October 2010 statistical report ‘While moderate consumption (one or two drinks a day) does not increase the risk of CVD, it is estimated in men that 2% of CVD and 5% of strokes are due to excessive drinking.
Exercise not only releases endorphins which can have an extremely positive effect on our mental wellbeing, but it will also improve our physical health.
A study carried out by the World Heart Federation revealed that walking at least two hours a week reduced the incidence of premature death from cardiovascular disease by about 50%.
You should aim to do at least 30 minutes exercise 5 days a week to keep a healthy heart. Simple exercises such as walking to work instead of taking your car a few days a week, cycling for 30 minutes after work, or going swimming at the weekend can help to reduce your risk of CVD.
Cut down on saturated fat
Eating foods high in saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in your blood. Saturated fats include foods such as processed meats, fatty meats, whole milk and cream, butter and lard. Replacing these with healthier options such a coconut oil, lean cut meats, and skimmed milks can help improve your health and reduce your risk of heart disease greatly.
Randox is a leading provider of diagnostic reagents for the assessment of cardiovascular disease risk. Assessment of cardiac health and regular cardiac screening is vital so that risk factors can be detected in the earliest stages. Our dedicated test menu includes an extensive cardiac panel, including; CK-MB, Lipoprotein (a), TxB cardio, Myoglobin and H-FABP.
These tests can be run on our range of clinical chemistry analysers, the RX series, which will provide you with accurate and reliable results. The RX series combines robust hardware and intuitive software with the RX series dedicated test menu boasting innovation, ease-of-use, and superior technology for your laboratory.
You can view our complete test menu here http://www.randox.com/complete-rx-test-menu/.
Support World Heart Day 2016 by taking a healthy heart selfie and post it via twitter using the hashtag
Six Sigma is a method of process improvement which focuses on minimizing variability in process outputs. The Six Sigma model was developed by Motorola in 1986, and Motorola have reportedly saved over $17 Billion due to its successful implementation.
The model looks at the number of standard deviations (SD) or ‘sigmas’ that fit within the quality specifications of the process. In the laboratory, the quality specifications relate to the Total Allowable Error (TEa). The higher the number of standard deviations that fit between these limits, the higher the sigma score and the more robust the process or method is. As sources of error or variation are removed from a process, the SD becomes smaller and therefore the number of deviations that can fit between the allowable limits is greater; ultimately resulting in a higher sigma score.
A process with a sigma score of six is considered to be a high quality process, making six the target for many industries including the clinical laboratory.
In order to achieve Six Sigma, a process must not produce more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. In a Laboratory context, this would equate to 3.4 failed QC results per million QC runs.
Sigma is calculated using the following equation:
Sigma = (TEa – %Bias) / %CV
TEa – Total Allowable Error
%Bias – Deviation from the target or peer group mean
%CV – Imprecision of the data
Why is Six Sigma useful in the laboratory?
Six Sigma can be used to help answer one of the most commonly asked questions in laboratory quality control. How often should I run QC?
The Six Sigma model allows laboratories to evaluate the effectiveness of their current QC processes. Its most common use is to help implement a risk-based approach to QC, where an optimum QC frequency and multi-rule procedure can be based on the sigma score of the test in question. The performance of tests or methods with a high sigma score of six or more may be evaluated with one QC run (of each level) and a single 1:3s warning rule. On the other hand, tests or methods with a lower sigma score should be evaluated more frequently with multiple levels of QC and a multi-rule strategy designed to increase identification of errors and reduce false rejections.
The below table shows how multi-rules and QC frequency can be applied according to Sigma Metrics:
|Sigma Score||QC Frequency||Number of QC Samples||QC Rules|
|6 or more||Once per day||Each level of QC||1:3s|
|5||Once per day||Each level of QC||Multi-rule strategy|
|4||At least twice per day||Each level of QC||Multi-rule strategy|
|< 4||At least four times per day||Each level of QC||Multi-rule strategy|
It is important to note that this is just an example and it may be necessary to run QC samples more often than three times per day. Some high throughput laboratories prefer to run QC samples before and after a set number of patient samples, while others opt to run QC samples after a set period of time. Whatever frequency you choose it is vital that the frequency is appropriate for the test in use. Download our guide ‘How often is right for QC’ to find out more.
What can Randox offer?
Randox’s Acusera 24.7 Live Online is a peer group reporting software application designed to complement the Acusera QC range. The intuitive and user-friendly software boasts some of the most advanced features on the market, and Version 1.6 provides automatic calculation of sigma scores for individual assays, giving the user an at-a-glance overview of assay performance.
Peer group reporting software is an integral part of any modern laboratory seeking to streamline their QC processes and reduce costs. With Acusera 24.7 Live Online, there has never been a better time to implement, save and succeed.
Contact us today to find out how Randox can help your laboratory achieve its goals.
Do you want to have optimal brain function later in life? We do. The majority of people focus on keeping their bodies in optimal condition but often forget about the most important organ, the brain. With more of us living until we’re much older, reduced brain function and Alzheimer’s are becoming increasingly more common; it is one of the most feared consequences of aging. We expect our bodies to age due to wear and tear; however there are easy ways to slow it, you will be glad to hear. Here are some top tips to keep your brain health at its peak.
- Get physical exercise
It is becoming an increasingly well-known fact by scientists that regular exercise may be the single most important thing you can do to ensure optimum brain health. The reason for this is that exercise increases the blood supply to your brain so therefore increases your brain capacity. Experts advise 30 minutes of exercise every other day to ensure good mental health. Exercise also helps with cholesterol levels, mental stress and diabetes.
- Eat, eat, eat
Good nutrition is also essential for good brain health. Your brain is no different to any other organ: the better the fuel it receives; the better it works, simple. As with everything it is important to keep your calories in check as it has been proven to reduce mental illness. We aim to reduce the consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol as these can decrease brain function. No matter who you are, vitamins are also very important to ensure not only a healthy brain, but a healthy body. Vitamins of particular importance are folic acid, B6 and B12 which it is well-known can help lower your homocysteine levels. There is an ever-growing body of research which suggests that homocysteine levels have a strong correlation with Alzheimer’s and dementia. If you would like to read more about the link between homocysteine and Alzheimer’s, check out our previous blog post ‘How important is homocysteine research for Alzheimer’s disease?’
- Get enough sleep
Recent studies have suggested that a poor sleeping pattern is linked with cognitive decline in old age. A good night’s rest can actually double the chances of finding creative solutions to problems faced in everyday life! It has been proven that when we don’t sleep, proteins build up on the brain. These proteins build on the synapses, making it hard to think and learn new information; which is not conducive to good brain health.
Relaxation is key in a healthy lifestyle. Stress has a negative impact on the brain. It creates harmful chemicals to flow over areas of the brain that are in control of memory. Too much of these chemicals can lead to dementia and other memory loss related diseases, so maybe it’s not such a bad idea that you take that trip to the Bahamas you were thinking about!
- Improve you cholesterol
Cholesterol is commonly split up into good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). There are loads of ways to improve your cholesterol levels such as exercise, weight control, dieting and avoiding tobacco. It is very important to keep you levels of LDL down as high levels can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia and cardiac problems in old age. At Randox we are constantly coming up with new and exciting ways of monitoring your cholesterol and the launch of our new HDL3 test is coming soon. For more information on HDL3, check it out here!
- Brain exercises
Challenging your mind from time to time is important for good brain health; it keeps your brain active and uses cognitive thought to try and learn or solve a problem. It is thought that a lack of education is a strong influence in cognitive decline. Challenging your brain improves memory, develops critical thinking and stimulates the whole brain ensuring brain health is kept to a maximum. It can often be done in fun ways like brain teasers, puzzles and jigsaws. Check out our recent brain teaser here!
These are only some of the ways in which to keep your brain in peak condition. Aging will take a toll on everyone, it is impossible to avoid however these 6 techniques can help reduce the chances of Alzheimer’s, dementia and decreased cognitive ability. We have been keeping up to date with Alzheimer’s in celebration of World Alzheimer’s Month. Remember a healthy brain is the key to success!
For health professionals
Randox Laboratories manufacture a wide range of routine and niche biochemistry reagents suitable for both research and clinical use. These include an automated homocysteine test and our new HDL3 cholesterol assay. Please contact email@example.com for further information.
You may have read in the news this week that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative co-founded by Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to invest $3 billion over the next decade to help further and advance medical research. Investments will go towards a research facility, named the Biohub, which will focus on developing new tools to research, understand and treat diseases, and of particular interest to us here at Randox, on creating a chip to diagnose disease.
Here at Randox we fully support this drive to further research that is devoted to revolutionising healthcare. We commit up to 16% of turnover to research and development each year and currently over 20% of the world’s major laboratories are using Randox products.
In particular, we invested £220 million into the development of our Biochip Array Technology (BAT). The Randox biochip has revolutionised the diagnostics industry by facilitating the detection of a wide range of markers of disease from a single undivided sample. This not only enhances patient diagnosis but reduces the amount of time spent on individual tests and associated laboratory costs.
Our expertise, highly specialised scientists and world-class ISO accredited manufacturing facilities enables early, accurate, informed clinical decisions in the areas of veterinary testing, molecular research and diagnostics, drug development, food safety and forensic and clinical toxicology.
Our Randox Health clinics use our Biochip to allow people to avail of the complete portfolio of Randox routine and novel tests to empower their health decisions. This new and exciting service provides personalised and preventive health profiling for each individual.
Speaking about the biochip Dr. Peter FitzGerald, Founder and Managing Director of Randox said,
“Many years of development and the expertise of our highly qualified scientists have gone into the creation of Randox Biochip Array Technology. This scientific development will facilitate the simultaneous quantitative or qualitative detection of a wide range of analytes from a single undivided sample. This approach both proteomic and genomic enables an enhanced patient diagnosis, optimum efficiency and consolidation of cost. Our arrays are suitable for use in a wide range of settings including clinical and research laboratories, biopharmaceutical organisations, forensic and clinical toxicology, hospital laboratories, food testing and veterinary laboratories.”
We are delighted that Chan Zuckerberg’s interest in this area brings to the forefront the importance of improving healthcare through innovative diagnostics. It is clear that Randox and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative share a common goal to revolutionise healthcare worldwide and we believe that the Randox Biochip can play an important role in realising this vision.
For further information please contact our Randox Comms Team on 028 9445 1016 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Results of our Liquid vs Lyophilised Poll
Having conducted a recent poll on our Social Media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter) asking our customers what format they preferred their quality control material in – liquid or lyophilised – we seen a large one sided answer in favour of Liquid controls. 78% can only be called a one sided result yet there were still 22% of people who chose Lyophilised.
What does this poll result really tell us? That most people prefer Liquid controls? Yes. Lyophilised controls are not as popular amongst our social following? Yes. However, it also tells us that even though most people chose a liquid format there was still almost a quarter of people who prefer to use lyophilised controls!
Liquid and lyophilised controls both have their advantages and disadvantages, this blog is designed to help you decide which is the best fit for your lab.
Firstly, it is important to note that there are two (2) distinct types of liquid control available on the market;Liquid ready-to-use and Liquid for ease-of-use, better known as Liquid Frozen. Both types of liquid controls reduce the potential for reconstitution errors and prevent contamination from poor quality water.
Liquid frozen controls must be thawed in the fridge before use making them a little less convenient than the liquid ready-to-use alternative.They require no reconstitution so the errors associated with that are removed. Due to the frozen nature of these controls, they are often shipped on dry ice to prevent thawing in transit, as such transportation costs can sometimes be quite significant.
Liquid ready-to-use controls are arguably the most favoured of the three formats and it is easy to understand why. The controls are simple to use, they require no preparation and there is no need to thaw before use.– With zero preparation required, these controls really can be removed from the packaging and used right away! What’s more they can be conveniently stored at 2-8oC minimising expensive shipping costs.
Another major benefit of using a liquid ready-to-use control is the fact that they are ideal for the POCT (Point of Care Testing) market! Being able to use these controls on the spot is extremely beneficial to POC providers.
Lastly, the choice of 22% of respondents – lyophilised format. This is freeze dried material which requires the laboratory professional to reconstitute the sample using sterilised water and mixing before use. Although this format is not as easy to use as either liquid control it does come with many benefits to the laboratory. The enhanced stability of this control sees a shelf life of almost double the two years that is normal with a liquid control, however, the potential for reconstitution errors and the fact it is not as simple to use lead to the majority of people opting for a more convenient liquid control.
Randox Quality Control Range
With Randox QC there are a vast array of controls available in liquid ready-to-use and liquid frozen formats. Areas we have liquid frozen formats available in, include; Clinical Chemistry and Immunoassay.
Liquid ready-to-use controls can be found in the following; Liquid Cardiac, Blood Gas, Liquid Urine, Urinalysis, Specific Protein, Ammonia Ethanol, Haematology, Liquid HbA1c and Liquid Tumour Markers.
To register an interest in any of our controls simply contact us at acusera@Randox.com and let us know how we can help and support you or alternatively click here – where you will be redirected to our contact page.