Never before has a major LIS vendor boldly acquired a lab equipment manufacturer with an intent to integrate and sell both products as a bundle to medical laboratories. In an unexpected move, healthcare informatics giant Cerner Corporation... purchased a clinical laboratory automation company....Cerner announced that it acquired Labotix Automation Inc., of Peterborough, Ontario. The acquisition gives Cerner an interesting foothold in the clinical laboratory automation market. For many pathologists and medical laboratory managers, the deal raises interesting questions, since Cerner—primarily known among labs for its laboratory information system (LIS) and its anatomic pathology laboratory information system (AP-LIS)—now is the owner of a company that manufactures hardware.....The flagship product for Labotix is what it calls the Rapid Response Universal Specimen Handling (RRUSH) system. One distinguishing feature about this lab automation system is that it is open source. It transports and sorts specimen containers, then delivers them to the appropriate analyzers for processing or storage. Labotix has systems installed at five client clinical laboratories in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. The company has 22 associates and contractors. Cerner Corporation’s acquisition of Labotix, a manufacturer of automation systems for clinical laboratories, caught many in the medical laboratory testing industry by surprise. It will be the first time a major LIS vendor has acquired a lab hardware manufacturer with the assumed intent to sell a bundle that would feature both its LIS and its newly-acquire laboratory automation equipment....Labotix President and CEO John Gustafson told Dark Daily. “They have a laboratory information system and this acquisition gives them a line of laboratory automation equipment that is very complimentary.“ The open source architecture allows medical laboratory users to connect any lab analyzers or other instruments to the RRUSH system”....Labotix can trace its roots back to the late 1980s. That is when Rodney S. Markin, M.D., Ph.D., was developing early lab automation systems at the University of Nebraska in Omaha. In 1993, Markin founded LAB-InterLink, Inc., based in Omaha. By 2000 the company had merged with Labotix in Ontario.....Two years ago, Labotix acquired Integrated Laboratory Automation Solutions, Inc. (iLAS) of Troy, Michigan, and hired the iLAS employees....iLAS had a total laboratory automation (TLA) system that was designed by pathologists at Detroit Medical Center in Michigan.