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AMP 2014: Themes & Thoughts

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AMP 2014: Themes & Thoughts

Along with our CEO, Ravnish Bhalla, and clinical lab professional Matt Watson, I was privileged to attend the 20th Anniversary Meeting of the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) last week in Washington DC, and connect with many great folks doing pioneering work in the field of genomics and molecular health. This year’s theme, “Realizing the Dream of Precision Medicine,” was on full display with dynamic sessions on science, practice and policy related to molecular pathology, and a rich variety of corporate partners and exhibiting companies presenting next-generation offerings.

One unmistakable trend was the explosion of interest in bioinformatics. AMP itself took a major step this year and established an Informatics Subdivision; informatics will now join Infectious Diseases, Hematopathology, Solid Tumors, and Genetics as specialization areas for members. Both in the program sessions and in the exhibit hall informatics was on full display as a key area of focus. Bioinformatics leaders exhibiting included GenomOncology, Omicia, NextCODE Health, BioDiscovery, Bina Technologies and more.

The most exceptional software isn’t of much use without data to work with, of course, and sequencing and testing equipment providers were out in full force as well. From industry titans Illumina and Life Technologies, to focused players such as RainDance Technologies, HTG Molecular, and Cancer Genetics, the exhibit hall was packed with the latest technologies and platforms to enable the vision of “precision medicine”.

In walking the floor of the exhibit hall, I was struck by both the pace of innovation in the field and the sheer complexity of the myriad devices, data sources, software solutions and tests on display. Each clearly offered a potential piece of the diagnostic puzzle, but at the same time, with each new device or widget comes a new challenge of integrating it into existing laboratory workflows and technologies.  It is clearly a challenge that won’t disappear anytime soon, and I expect “integration” to be a big theme of laboratory management and optimization in the coming years. Perhaps we’ll see AMP 2015 be “Realizing the Dream of Holistic Diagnostic Integration.”

So stay tuned for next year. Our team at Technossus is certainly looking forward to it…