Modern Quality Control: Measuring True Performance with Mathematica

George Woodrow III, Research Specialist, Quest Diagnostics

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The Mathematica Edge
  • Provides an environment for effective algorithm development
  • Features a full, modern symbolic programming language that enables rapid prototyping
  • Allows for interactive manipulation of data and concepts
"Our error rate, in terms of sending incorrect results to our clients, has decreased by four orders of magnitude. So we used to have 10 to 15 errors a day in our laboratory. Now, it's 2 or 3 every year, and that's a big advantage."

Challenge

As a research specialist at Quest Diagnostics, George Woodrow III needed to develop real-time process-control systems to modernize the traditional quality control practices used by the clinical laboratory.

Solution

Woodrow uses Mathematica to develop effective algorithms and explore the true performance of the systems, as well as to help explain to his colleagues how the algorithms work. Woodrow says, "This gives them a way of understanding what's going on in terms that they understand without having to understand all of the details, and this is a critical breakthrough."

Benefits

Woodrow says Mathematica has been key in greatly minimizing the laboratory's error rate. "Our error rate, in terms of sending incorrect results to our clients, has decreased by four orders of magnitude. So we used to have 10 to 15 errors a day in our laboratory. Now, it's 2 or 3 every year, and that's a big advantage."


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