Ultra Fast Scanner
Shared investment in a device that revolutionizes pathology labs
The Ultra-Fast Scanner (UFS), launched by a Philips incubator, radically changes how hospital- and pathology laboratories work with preparing, imaging and analyzing samples. Frencken not only managed the overall engineering and executed project management and final assembly, but also shared the initial development costs and therefore also shared the risk in bringing an innovative new product to market.
High resolution digital images
The UFS offers a significant performance improvement to pathology laboratories compared to manual preparation of medical samples such as blood. Using samples prepared on glass slides for conventional inspection and analysis with a microscope is time consuming and subject to potential errors. By automating the sample preparation process and providing a digital image for diagnosis or analysis, the UFS boosts operational efficiency while also reducing the error rate. Manually prepared samples need to be archived and stored in cooling for years to avoid deterioration. The very-high resolution images produced by the UFS are stored digitally and available for analysis anywhere in the world. The system produces quality images, is fast and operates as a stand-alone piece of equipment. Samples can be prepared in batches, meaning medical specialists can quickly evaluate images and offer better diagnoses.
New business model
Frencken has long been a partner for Philips Healthcare, and was invited to co-develop and produce the UFS. Since it is being marketed by a incubator, there were limitations on the financial resources required to bring the product from idea to production. Using a new business model, where Frencken co-invested in the product, it was possible to introduce this innovative piece of equipment much faster.
Design for manufacture
As well as managing the project, Frencken worked with two specialist partners (system architecture and optics) to complete the engineering. The overall mechanical engineering, including the very precise sample positioning assemblies and final assemblies is the responsibility of Frencken. The system accurataly moves the sample beneath the scanner and an auto-focus system that literally ‘stitches’ multiple images together to form one high-resolution image. This eliminates the need for a perfectly flat sample.
Frencken is responsible for:
- Mechanical design (very accurate sample positioning)
- Engineering (design for testability)
- Final assembly and test
- Lifecycle management (incremental improvement, service and repair)
- Expertise in positioning technology
- Experience in healthcare applications – FDA 510(K) approval
- Ability to co-invest and share risk