Cobas b 123 POC blood gas analyser system

1st April 2013

The new cobas b 123 POC system, the latest blood gas analyser from Roche due for launch in the UK and Ireland in February 2011, generated much interest among delegates at the recent 2010 UK Roche Symposium.  Designed specifically to be used at the point of care (POC), the compact cobas b 123 is ideal for use in critical care units, emergency rooms and other POC settings.  Easy to use and virtually maintenance free, it incorporates a number of important infection control features and ensures minimal downtime with reliable, clot-free operation.
Dr Thomas Vering, Head of the Roche Global Sensor Program, commented “Consolidation of important critical care tests on one system allows medical professionals in critical care and emergency settings to obtain rapid answers to a broad range of medical questions.  The cobas b 123 is flexible and configurable to accommodate individual needs and, with its intuitive operation and excellent connectivity options, it is ideal for use at the point of care.  This latest addition to our POC portfolio demonstrates our ongoing commitment and innovation in this important area.”
The only manual maintenance steps required for the cobas b 123 are the replacement of consumables, making it ideal for use in POC settings.  Its highly durable electronics and mechanics make it robust and reliable, ensuring minimal downtime and saving time required at the machine.  Furthermore, clot-free operation ensures that there is no unnecessary disruption to routine or waste of reagents. 
The cobas b 123 is extremely easy to use, so minimal training is required.  With touch screen operation, the system guides the user through operational processes step by step.  The press of a single button is all that’s required to initiate sampling and measurement. The cobas b 123 includes all important critical care parameters including blood gases, haematocrit, bilirubin, electrolytes, glucose and lactate.  To make interpretation of results as easy as possible, the large, colour display screen presents unambiguous readings, with measurements that fall outside pre-defined acceptable limits highlighted clearly.
Smart chips on the consumables (sensors, fluid packs and QC packs) eliminate the need for scanning barcodes and swapping the consumables across instruments .  In addition, since the sensors are separate from the fluid pack, the latter can be stored conveniently at room temperature, which frees up valuable fridge space.  Inventory status is displayed clearly on the screen and step by step prompts guide the user through the changing of consumables with ease. Everything is front loaded, which further reduces the footprint of the analyzer for environments where space might be limited. An additional, unique feature is the ability to transfer data across instruments using a simple media card (similar to those used in digital cameras).
The cobas b 123 has many infection control and safety features that make the analyser ideal for use throughout the hospital.  There are no exposed needles and the protected sample input area remains closed during operation and between samples.  Infection control is further enhanced by the collection of waste in a sealed pack within the closed system.  Password authorization ensures safe and appropriate use by locking the instrument to unauthorized/untrained users. 
The cobas b 123 sample entry port ensures easy access for both left and right handed operators and accommodates all commonly-used sampling devices - including syringes and capillaries - without the need for a clot catcher or other adaptor. A micro-mode (also due for launch in 2011) will enable the analyzer to perform measurements for all parameters on very small samples (40µL), ideal for use in neonatal and paediatric wards.  Connectivity to the hospital network is achieved, wirelessly or via a network port, using cobas IT1000 software, the powerful, browser-based Roche POC data management system.  This can also include access to cobas Academy, the online Roche e-learning program available for continuous professional accredited development.

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