Barcode Technology in the Lab – Past, Present and Future

October 20, 2017

Barcode Technology in the Lab – Past, Present and Future

It was a little more than ten short years ago when General Data produced the first viable barcode identification and tracking solutions for the histology lab.  At that time, very few labs had implemented barcoding systems for tissue specimens into their workflow.  It wasn’t an easy thing to do – there were significant hurdles to overcome, including the rigors of the histology process, the near-zero support by the LIS vendors, and the lack of understanding in the histology community about how a barcode-based identification and tracking system could help their labs improve their workflow and eliminate errors.

At that time, we had the privilege to work with some of the best and brightest in the Pathology Informatics field to design and engineer barcode identification and tracking products that would work effectively in the histology lab.  These pioneers were true visionaries, and understood the impact that barcoding could have on their labs, and by extension, on their patients' lives.

Fast-forward to the present.  Labs that are using barcode identification and tracking for tissue samples have realized significant gains in workflow productivity and error reduction.  Barcode-based workflow automation and specimen tracking are now essential components of most LIS systems.

Together, we’ve come a long way, baby.

At the 2017 API conference, General Data was able to sit down with three of the top thought leaders in Pathology Informatics who helped bring barcode systems to the histology lab:

Dr. Ulysses J. Balis - Michigan Medicine Department of Pathology

Dr.  J. Mark Tuthill - Henry Ford Health System, K-6 Pathology

Dr. Anil Parwani – Wexner Medical Center Department of Pathology

We asked them to share their insights on and experiences with the use of barcoding in the lab – how it got started, where it is now, and what the future holds. 



General Data would like to thank Dr. Balis, Dr. Tuthill and Dr. Parwani for taking time out of their busy schedules to share their perspectives on this very important topic.  We look forward to continuing our work with them and the entire Pathology Informatics community to develop and improve the tools available to histology labs to streamline their workflows, enhance productivity, and improve patient safety and outcomes.


What’s New At General Data

General Data Healthcare has recently introduced the new LaserTrack PH1 Laser Cassette Printer.  It features a small footprint, fast print speeds, and prints flawless barcoded tissue and biopsy cassettes that deliver nearly perfect scan rates. 

Learn more about the LaserTrack PH1 Laser Cassette Printer >



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