Company News

COPAN Installs Landmark, 60th WASPLab® at Prestigious University Health Network/Sinai Health System Department of Microbiology in Canada

September 14, 2017


It isn’t every day that a company hits four milestones with the placement of one system. But that is exactly what happened last month at the University Health Network/Sinai Health System’s Department of Microbiology in Toronto, Ontario when COPAN installed WASPLab®, a fully automated specimen processor and work-up system for microbiology, which comprises robotic culture and incubation of specimens, digital imaging and artificial intelligence to assist interpretation and reporting of patient results.

At midnight on June 12, COPAN engineers received WASPLab® components and began to uncrate them.

“The University Health Network/Sinai Health System’s Department of Microbiology is located in Mount Sinai Hospital in the heart of downtown Toronto, on a very busy street. We needed to choose a time when traffic would be light and other hospital deliveries would be minimal. We worked all through the night to receive and unload the instruments,” stated Monica Zeiter, Application Specialist at COPAN.

After a day to rest, the engineers returned to finish the installation on June 14th, joining the conveyor track, smart incubators and workstations to the lab’s existing WASP® instruments, previously installed in 2011 and 2012. A true modular system, WASPLab® integrates new innovations with existing instruments to maximize a lab’s investment in automation.

“When we began looking at automation in Microbiology, full laboratory automation didn’t exist as we know it today, but we knew it was on the horizon. We wanted to choose a partner who could implement new innovations with the equipment that we were purchasing at the time.” stated Dr. Susan M. Poutanen, Medical Microbiologist and Infectious Diseases Physician at the University Health Network/Sinai Health System and Associate Professor at the University of Toronto.

The University Health Network and Sinai Health Systems are renowned research and clinical care institution in Canada that are well known for choosing best in class technology. Their joint Microbiology Department receives samples from nine hospitals and clinics in the region.

With almost 450 upfront specimen processor WASP® systems in use globally, the University Health Network/Sinai Health System installation marks the 60th full laboratory automation, WASPLab® in the world. The University Health Network/Sinai Health System’s goal is to run almost all of the more than 900 samples per day through the WASPLab® line.

The lab will also be an early adopter of COPAN’s PhenoMATRIX™, a sophisticated suite of algorithms that uses artificial intelligence to automatically count and recognize organisms, giving Microbiology labs the ability to read, interpret and segregate bacterial cultures with the click of a button.

A middle of the night, covert installation, modular integration with an existing 5-year-old instrument, the 60th system worldwide and use of artificial intelligence in the lab? This installation definitely had the potential to stop traffic!

Mt Sinai Installation PR_9.14.17.pdf

About Copan Diagnostics, Inc.

With a reputation for innovation, COPAN is the leading manufacturer of collection and transport systems in the world. COPAN’s collaborative approach to innovation in pre-analytics has resulted in the original FLOQSwabs™, ESwab™, FecalSwab™ and UTM™, as well as Full Laboratory Automation. COPAN’s collection and systems have been proven to advance the quality of traditional and contemporary microbiology assays. COPAN’s automation includes specimen processing, smart incubation, digital imaging, and strong algorithms for automatic segregation of bacterial cultures, followed by automated colony picking. For more information, visit