We Are Randox | Tech Trailblazer Margaret Le Roux
Tech Trailblazers: Margaret Le Roux
Sync NI, in celebration of Women in Tech, recently spoke with our IT Operations Team Leader Margaret.
Read on as Margaret share’s her typical day, the favourite thing about her job, and how her specialist role at Randox combines a degree in Biomedical Science with a passion for software development.
Name: Margaret Le Roux
Role: IT Operations Team Leader, Randox Laboratories
I graduated from the University of Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe), as a Biomedical Scientist in 1980. My career in South Africa was then predominantly in the clinical laboratory medicine field, and I qualified as a Technical Assessor for clinical laboratories through the South African National Accreditation System. I moved to Belfast in 2014 and started work with Randox.
What does your typical day look like?
I work in an IT Operations role bridging our science and quality control software, which assesses the accuracy and reliability of blood tests, and the machines they are run on, in the likes of hospitals, laboratories, and veterinary clinics. On a typical day, I deal with customer queries about this software, troubleshoot the issues, and drive new developments to improve our systems and applications. I also spend time training Randox staff, mentoring some of my junior colleagues, and speaking at Biomedical Science Conferences to educate others in the industry about the importance of quality control software.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on the specification for our external quality assessment software, which involves a mock blood sample being run in a laboratory’s analyser, and the result being sent back to Randox so that we can independently check that it is performing correctly.
I have also been working on the software project that saw Randox win ‘Project Team of the Year’ at the 2019 Belfast Telegraph IT Awards. This cloud-based quality control technology was specifically designed for ‘Point of Care’ machines which provide finger prick blood tests for conditions like heart disease and diabetes, in pharmacies, GP surgeries and A&E departments.
Did you always want to work in the tech industry?
I have been very lucky that my specialist role at Randox combines my degree in Biomedical Science, and my experience in QC, with my passion for software development. In South Africa, I worked as a Quality Officer for a large private laboratory, with 3 main laboratories and over 100 peripheral sites across 10 African countries. The management of quality control data was a huge job and as such I became interested in a software program that could assist the lab with this task.
What inspired you to join Randox in particular?
Whilst working in South Africa, I was one of Randox’s customers, and made extensive use of their quality control products. Randox has always had a very good reputation in South Africa so when I moved to Belfast it was a natural choice for me.
What’s your favourite part about your work?
It’s a great feeling when we introduce a new release to our software and you know that the customers are going to benefit from it.
What would you say to other people considering a job in the tech industry?
A job in the tech industry is simultaneously exciting and challenging, as each day brings something new. You will continually be making improvements and striving to make something better, which is a good work ethic. It’s really satisfying when you are part of a team which develops a software program that is so well accepted in the market and useful to the customer.
How do you see this technology impacting on our lives?
The technology industry is so fluid and moving at such a fast pace, and there are developments across all industries which are making our lives easier. At Randox in particular, our software is helping a range of healthcare professionals – whether laboratory technicians, clinicians or veterinarians – to achieve our shared goal of saving and improving the lives of patients. It’s rewarding to know we are making a difference.
Who inspired you to work in this field?
In the field of Quality Control, I was inspired by Dr Pandelani Rambau, a Clinical Pathologist from Johannesburg. In IT, it was a colleague Sean Dicks who showed me that there is always a way to get a program to do what you need it to do.
What do you consider to be the most important tech innovation or development in recent years?
The development of communication devices has been incredibly important. They open up the whole world to us and we can access things, both socially and for education, that previously were only available to a few. They have brought so much information to our fingertips.
What tech gadget could you not live without?
I couldn’t live without my phone, because it is so much more than just a phone. It holds all the important things that make up my life, like messages, memories, and my calendar.
To find out more about Randox IT and the vacancies we have in the team, please email email@example.com
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Congratulations to the Randox IT department who have been named as the ‘IT Project Team of the Year’ at the Belfast Telegraph IT Awards 2019!
The awards ceremony, which was an inaugural event from the Belfast-based media outlet, was a showcase of the finest that the Northern Ireland IT industry has to offer, with both IT agencies and in-house IT teams vying for the chance to be crowned among the best their respective fields.
Sarah Little, Publishing Director at INM(NI), said on the night that holding the event was a ‘no brainer’ due to the prolific growth of the IT sector in Northern Ireland. In 2018 1 in 9 jobs advertised were in IT.
Prior to the awards event, Randox IT had been shortlisted for both IT Project Team of the Year for their work on RIQAS Point of Care and IT Team of the Year for their work on the Randox Health client portal.
The in-house IT team at Randox comprises of web developers, engineers, customer support staff, web designers, security professionals, software development and software testers spanning ten nationalities, from Indian to Hungarian and Italian to South African.
In the last year Randox IT have worked on a variety of exciting and important projects, including the development of an innovative health portal that assesses the accuracy and reliability of point-of-care machines. These blood testing analysers are increasingly being placed in the likes of pharmacies, GP surgeries, and A&E departments to provide NHS Health Checks and manage long-term conditions.
It was for this work on RIQAS Point of Care that on Friday 8th November, at a glittering awards event in the MAC Belfast, Randox IT were officially named IT Project Team of the Year.
The cloud-based technology developed by Randox IT provides confidence in vital test results for conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Uptake of the scheme has increased considerably since it was launched this year, proving that the system is meeting a need for a quality assurance system for non-laboratory health service staff which was not being met before.
We are delighted that Randox IT have been recognised for this pioneering work in point-of-care software and hope you join us in congratulating them on such a tremendous achievement.
To find out more about Randox IT and the vacancies we have in the team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to know more?
Contact us or visit our Randox Careers
Find out more about Randox Careers
Congratulations to the Randox IT department who have been shortlisted in two categories at the Belfast Telegraph IT Awards 2019.
This, the inaugural event from the Belfast-based media outlet, is set to be a showcase of the finest that the Northern Ireland IT industry has to offer with both IT agencies and in-house IT teams vying for the chance to be crowned among the best their respective fields.
Randox IT have been shortlisted for IT Project Team of the Year for their work on RIQAS Point of Care and IT Team of the Year for their work on the Randox Health client and staff portal.
See an overview of their applications below;
IT Project Team of the Year
Randox IT have developed an innovative health portal that assesses the accuracy and reliability of blood testing analysers. These blood testing analysers are increasingly being placed in the likes of pharmacies, GP surgeries, and A&E departments to provide NHS Health Checks and manage long term conditions.
Randox IT cloud-based technology provides confidence in vital test results for conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Uptake of the scheme has increased considerably since it was launched this year, proving that the system is meeting a need for a quality assurance system for non-laboratory health service staff which was not being met before.
IT Team of the Year
The in-house IT team at world-leading health diagnostics firm Randox comprises of web developers, engineers, customer support staff, web designers, security professionals, software development and software testers spanning ten nationalities, from Indian to Hungarian and Italian to South African.
In the last year, the Randox IT team have created a fully-automated, fully-functional platform for both healthcare professionals and clients of Randox Health, which generates results for state-of-the-art health checks.
The finals for the Belfast Telegraph IT Awards 2019 will take place on Friday 8th November 2019 in The Mac, Belfast and all finalists can be viewed here.
Good luck to the Randox IT department!
Want to know more?
Contact us or visit our Randox Careers
Find out more about Randox Careers
For over 36 years, Randox has been developing cutting-edge diagnostic technologies to improve the quality, accuracy and timeliness of laboratory results, because we firmly believe that access to accurate and timely diagnostics is key to improving healthcare.
As 70% of clinical decisions are based on laboratory output, our efforts are central to healthcare and improving patient outcomes. It will come as no surprise therefore that we support the announcement made by Health Secretary Matt Hancock this week about a new green paper, entitled “Prevention is better than cure,” that will argue for a shift towards preventative healthcare, to help people stay well.
On Monday Mr Hancock argued that the “numbers don’t stack up” when it comes to spending on prevention as opposed to treatment, with £97bn of public money in the UK spent on treating disease and only £8bn preventing it.
He added that “we need a new 21st century focus on prevention.”
Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive Public Health England, echoed Mr Hancock’s sentiments by saying; “We need to move from a system that detects and treats illnesses to one that also predicts and prevents poor health through promoting health in all policies and puts people back in charge of their own health.”
It’s a goal that we at Randox share with both Mr Hancock and Mr Selbie. With new and emerging diagnostic technologies, we can speed up diagnoses, improve patient outcomes, make every pound go further and give clinicians more time with their patients.
Much earlier and much more effective diagnosis can simultaneously improve healthcare outcomes and reduce the burden on healthcare services.
At Randox, we look forward to a time when sickness is actively prevented, rather than managed. By utilising innovative diagnostic products capable of diagnosing disease and ill-health at the earliest possible stage, we can truly transform the life of the patient.
For further information please email email@example.com
Biochip Array Technology
In 1992, Randox invested £180 million to create and introduce Biochip Array Technology (BAT) which converted laboratory testing. Randox came up with the innovation by recognising the major problem with traditional diagnosis. Within traditional diagnosis several tests are typically required which involves multiple blood draws from the patient, many visits to the hospital, increased reagent volume and increased time to diagnosis. Biochip Array Technology allows for the simultaneous quantitative or qualitative detection of a wide range of analytes from one single sample. Therefore, it is faster, cost saving and more effective leading to better clinical decisions. Today the technology (BAT) is used in countless laboratories worldwide and a range of three biochip analysers are now offered.
The main basis of the Biochip Array Technology
- 9x9mm biochip which acts as a solid phase reaction vessel.
- Each of the biochips are pre-coated with an array of discrete test regions (DTRs)
- One biochip per sample used to generate multiple results.
- Randox Biochips hold up to 49 tests.
- Based on chemiluminescent signal emitting light, without heat which results a chemical reaction.
The key features and benefits of the Biochip Array Technology
Highly accurate testing
- The biochip array technology provides high standard of accurate test results with CV’s <10%
- Multiplex analysis minimises analytical variation between the tests.
- Increased patient information available through testing multiple markers
- Patients receive their results quicker compared to the traditional diagnosis.
Reduced sample volume
- Reduced sample required therefore patients feel more at ease.
Wide test menu
- Wide test menu provides a variety for clients and allows flexibility.
- Multiple samples can be used on BAT which include the following; serum, plasma, whole blood, urine and many others which allows for flexibility in their testing
– The process reduces the amount of time spent on individual tests and associated laboratory costs
Biochip testing platforms
The Evidence Evolution is fully automated random-access biochip testing platform. The machine allows any test to perform at any time as it is a highly versatile analyser which can operate any workflow. It can receive 2640 tests per hour which means the machine has a fast turnaround time. As well as this, it allows multiple tests to be performed from a single sample which reduces time and resources spent on individual tests. The Evidence Evolution can be tailored to certain laboratory needs and have features including automatic start-up and shut down, relaxed testing capability and traceability of biochips. The equipment overall is made to be easy for the client to use as it includes customisable user settings and easy to follow result screens giving them the fast and accurate operations they would prefer.
The Evidence Analyser is the protein Biochip Array technology. Like the Evidence Evolution it is fully automated which is suitable for busy laboratories, hospitals, forensic and clinical toxicology. The machine is floor standing and can receive up to 3690 per hour. The machine has features such as easy to follow software and customisable user settings which gives laboratories the opportunity to receive fast and accurate results.
The Evidence Investigator is often used for research, clinical, forensic, molecular and veterinary testing. The machine is semi-automated and can combine immunoassay and molecular diagnostics on a single platform with protein and DNA biochips. This machine also has a quick turnaround time with the ability to achieve 2376 tests per hour with 44 analytes screened per biochip. The evidence investigator provides more tests on the test menu which allows variety.
The final platform is the Evidence MultiSTAT. The Evidence MultiSTAT is a fully-automated analyser which provides quality results. It is a simple and easy to use analyser which requires minimal training with only three steps to complete the process. The machine can provide multiplex testing yields up to 46 results in under ten minutes. It is ease-of-use for non-laboratory staff and provides full traceability of user action with password controlled software.
Having developed the patented Biochip Array Technology following £250 million investment in research and development, we needed a platform that allowed Biochip Array Technology capabilities to be showcased. Step forward the Evidence Series.
The series includes the Evidence, the Evidence Evolution, the Evidence Investigator and the Evidence MultiSTAT. Each analyser has been designed and built with boundary pushing engineering, to ensure financial, labour and time savings for the end user.
Have a read below of the overview of each analyser in the Evidence Series
The world’s first fully automated random-access biochip testing platform, the Evidence Evolution is the world’s most advanced immunoanalyser. With the capability to process up to 2,640 tests per hour, the Evidence Evolution offers complete system integration, as well as the most comprehensive test menu on the market.
As the world’s first Biochip Array Technology system, the Evidence immunoanalyser has revolutionised laboratory screening worldwide. With the capability to process 3,960 tests per hour and a sample capacity of 360, the Evidence is ideal for use in a high throughput laboratory.
The Evidence Investigator is a compact, semi-automated benchtop immunoanalyser that offers efficient and comprehensive testing across a range of applications including clinical diagnostics, molecular, toxicology and food diagnostics. The Evidence Investigator boasts a throughput of up to 2,376 tests per hour, offering efficiency without compromising on accuracy.
The Evidence MultiSTAT is a fully automated immunoanalyser that enables on-site simultaneous detection of up to 44 analytes from a single sample of oral fluid, urine or blood. With a three-step process and results generated in less than 20 minutes, the Evidence MultiSTAT is an ideal solution for those with no knowledge of laboratory procedures and offers a throughput of up to 132 tests per hour.
About the Randox Evidence Series
The Evidence Series is set to revolutionise diagnostic testing forever. Offering unrivalled capabilities across all analysers, we truly believe that the Evidence Series range of immunoassay analysers can meet your diagnostic testing capabilities.
You visit the doctor because you think there is a problem. The doctor suspects it may be an infection but she’s not sure. A blood sample is taken and sent to the laboratory where three to five tests are run on it. Your blood does not show a positive reading for any of the tests conducted. You still don’t know what’s wrong. Does this sound familiar?
Enter a pioneering piece of technology called the Biochip. This health testing platform, from global diagnostics company Randox, and on show at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, can currently run 49 different tests simultaneously – making sure you get the right diagnosis as fast as possible.
Current and futuristic developments in this critical strand of medicine, involving detailed analysis of blood to identify both current and future health risks, are appearing as part of the festival’s Future Lab project. Those visiting Future Lab will learn how technology can be utilised to improve the speed and accuracy of health diagnoses across the world.
With further plans to expand and enhance the Biochip even further – with capabilities to run over 1024 tests on a single blood sample – this technology is set to revolutionise the future of healthcare.
Randox Founder and Managing Director, Dr Peter FitzGerald, commented;
“For years we’ve been working behind-the-scenes with hospitals and laboratory professionals and, until now, our contribution to improving healthcare would not have been evident to the general public. But we know now that it’s time for us to come out – our technologies have the potential to transform healthcare around the world, and that matters to everyone.
“More sensitive, comprehensive and accurate technologies hold the promise of much earlier and effective diagnosis, often before symptoms appear – greatly improving healthcare outcomes and reducing the burden on healthcare services. And these technologies are directly available to the individual through our consumer division Randox Health, not just through GPs or hospitals.
“It is also a fact that diagnostics have historically been undervalued – in healthcare systems around the world laboratory technologies account for around 2% of overall budgets, yet 70%-80% of all healthcare decisions affecting diagnosis or treatment involve a laboratory investigation.”
Sensing the potential to improve healthcare through diagnostic innovation, Randox has invested significantly in the development of Biochip Array Technology, allowing many tests to be run simultaneously.
Dr FitzGerald continued;
“It’s taken over £285 million to see the fruition of this, the gold standard in testing. Our 300-strong team of research scientists and engineers are committed to exploring the thousands of markers of health and illness within the body and to each year unveil pioneering and innovative new tests to add to the Randox portfolio. Thanks to an annual investment of around 16% of turnover in this research and development, we have more innovations in development than any other healthcare company in the world.”
One such innovation, the concept of which is due to be revealed at the Goodwood Future Lab for the first time, is the unrivalled 32×32 Biochip. This highly anticipated testing platform will remarkably be able to provide patients with 1024 key pieces of information about their current and future health. Combined with advanced algorithms, the effect will be truly revolutionary.
Dr FitzGerald added;
“The 32×32 Biochip is key to unlocking true personalised medicine. Ultimately it acts as a roadmap of your health by predicting the health conditions of which you are personally at risk in the future. By taking preventive action you will be empowered to live healthier for longer. It’s the world’s first technology of its kind, capable of extending your life.”
The Randox Health Mobile Clinic, in which the public can directly access Randox technologies in the form of the world’s most comprehensive health check, will be at the Goodwood Hotel on Tuesday 17th and Wednesday 18th July. Those wishing to book can call 0800 2545 130 or can find out more by visiting the Randox Health website or downloading the app.
For further information please contact Randox PR by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 07980 738 120
Diagnostic engineering company, Randox Teoranta, has been officially announced as the main sponsor of the Engineering Technology Teachers’ Association (ETTA) conference. Randox Teoranta, based in Donegal’s coastal town Dungloe, is the global diagnostic company’s hub for world-leading engineering and life sciences in the west of Ireland.
Randox Teoranta’s sponsorship of the renowned ETTA awards comes as it aims to attract Ireland’s top engineers and scientists to join the team which is based in its next-generation life science, engineering, research and manufacturing centre in Donegal.
The company is recognised globally for its commitment to improving healthcare and technology, and in the past year alone scientists and engineers at Randox Teoranta have developed a revolutionary test for Alzheimer’s disease, designed drug testing software to be used by police officers in criminal investigations, and engineered new technologies with the ability to detect disease and save lives. The team is currently working on cutting-edge research for key health issues including kidney disease, thyroid disease and gastrointestinal disorders.
ETTA is a voluntarily administered association which represents teachers of Engineering Technology and Metalwork. Its focus is to promote technology as an exciting career choice for young people, providing a National Engineering Awards programme for second level students. It works in conjunction with Engineers Ireland, third level colleges and the Department of Education to ensure the highest standards of Engineering Technology education.
In attendance on the launch evening in the Letterkenny Institute of Technology were Christina Mc Fadden, Breid Gallagher and Daniel Melly representing Randox Teoranta; Denis Mc Fadden and Jim Morrison from LYIT; and Dr. Martin Gormley, Director of Schools in Donegal ETB. There was also an excellent turnout from branch members on the night.
Chairperson of the Donegal Branch of the ETTA, Sean Mc Fadden said,
“We would like to acknowledge Randox Teoranta and express our sincere thanks on becoming the main sponsors for the ETTA National Conference 2017, bringing their wealth of knowledge, resources and expertise in the field of engineering to the table. Randox has been bringing high-end engineering employment to Donegal since it opened and are always enthusiastic to develop links with the Education sector here. The expansion of Randox Teoranta is an exciting prospect for many of our students with world-class engineering and technology now right on their doorstep.”
Christina Mc Fadden, Engineering Manager at Randox Teoranta said:
“We’re delighted to support these awards which honour the very best engineering students in Ireland. Randox’s success owes a great deal to our team of engineers who hold a prestigious MacRobert Award and are constantly driving new innovations that transform patients’ lives around the world. Since opening our R&D and manufacturing centre in Dungloe in 2010, we’ve provided unrivalled opportunities to mechanical, software and electrical engineers. We are committed to encouraging more people to see engineering as a viable career option, and then to ensure our very talented students are able to pursue outstanding careers here on this island.”
The ETTA Conference and Awards Ceremony will be hosted by Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th November 2017.
For further information about the Randox Teoranta sponsorship of the ETTA Awards, please contact Randox PR by phoning 028 9445 1016 or emailing RandoxPR@randox.com
Providing young women with positive role models is crucial if we are to inspire them to take up a career in science, technology, engineering or maths.
That’s why we’re sharing the stories and experiences of our own female scientists, software developers, engineers and mathematicians, and those of STEMinists from other key employers and organisations within Northern Ireland.
We hope that we by sharing their experiences we can encourage young women across the country to truly consider a career in STEM.
Our Randox Scientists
Dr Sarah Gildea, Senior Research and Development Scientist, Randox Laboratories
Aimee Anderson, Biomedical Scientist, Randox Clinical Laboratory Services
Dr Kenneth Martin, Senior Research and Development Scientist, Randox Laboratories
Lauren Cairns, Science Placement Student, Randox Laboratories
Nadine Cutliffe, Research and Development Scientist, Randox Laboratories
Ann-Marie Jennings, Laboratory Manager, Randox Clinical Laboratory Services
Georgia Mitchell, Graduate R&D Scientist, Randox Laboratories
Nadine McKerrow, Graduate R&D Scientist, Randox Laboratories
Patrcyja Roszkowska, Science Placement Student, Randox Laboratories
Rebecca Aldous, Graduate R&D Scientist, Randox Laboratories
Misha Piracha, Clinical Team Leader, Randox Clinical Laboratory Services
James Breen, Laboratory Analyst, Randox Clinical Laboratory Services
Tanya McKinty, Data Analyst, Randox Laboratories
Linda Magee, Biochemist and Global Human Resources Manager, Randox Laboratories
Marie McGarvey, Clinical Research Scientist, Randox Laboratories
Our Randox Technology Team
Andrew Sharp, Software Development Team Leader, Randox Laboratories
Jo-Ann Pearson, Software Developer, Randox Laboratories
Rebecca Long, IT Placement Student, Randox Laboratories
Clare Calgie, Software Developer, Randox Laboratories
Our Randox Engineers
Maryrose McLoone, Mechanical Design Engineer, Randox Laboratories
Harisree Padmaja Kumari Sreekantan Nair, Electrical and Electronic Design Engineer, Randox Laboratories
Our Randox Mathematicians
Emma McElnea, Pricing Analyst, Randox Laboratories
Our partners in STEM
Joanne Stuart, Director of Development, Catalyst Inc.
Dr Christabel Evans, Thermosets and Thermoplastics Research Associate, Ulster University School of Engineering
Professor Tom Millar, Astrophysicist and Director of Queen's University Belfast SWAN Initiative
Melissa Duddy, Manufacturing Engineer, Bombardier
Charlene Armstrong, Aerothermal Engineer, Bombardier
Johann Muldoon MBE, Director, Manor Architects
The Randox STEM Challenge is aimed at tackling the gender divide and skills gap in the science, technology, engineering and maths industry. On average in the UK women make up just 9% of the engineering workforce. Though Randox is bucking the trend with almost 16% of female engineers, it is still keen to challenge itself to encourage more women to view it as a viable career option.