To boost the national capacity for larger-scale COVID-19 testing, A*STAR set up the Stronghold Diagnostics Laboratory (SDL), a MOH licensed clinical laboratory for high throughput COVID-19 testing using the most advanced automated workflows. Members from CGD’s Clinical diagnostics laboratory (POLARIS) played a pivotal role in setting up the SDL clinical laboratory and obtaining MOH license in a very short time. POLARIS with its years of experience in clinical environment, instrumentation and system integration with LIMS, provided the required technical knowledge, infrastructure and expertise in regulatory framework.
Due to the urgent requirements to (a) ramp up sample volume for testing and (b) regularly update COVID-19 test results to MOH, POLARIS members in SDL instrumentally established the use of Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) with integration to the National Electronic Health Record (NEHR) and COVID-19 database, enabling real-time results contribution. SDL processed 1 million samples in 2 years with results transmitted to NEHR automatically resulting in fast-turn-around time (TAT), one of the important components in fighting COVID-19 virus spread