First Lab Tests Online Site Launches in South America

September 30, 2010

September 30, 2010--AACC joined with the Brazilian Society of Clinical Pathology & Laboratory Medicine (SBPC/ML) to announce the launch of Lab Tests Online-BR this month in Rio de Janeiro.  The new website is the 13th national Lab Tests Online site to launch, and the first in South America.  As the latest in a growing global network of Lab Tests Online sites, Lab Tests Online -BR is part of an ongoing effort by AACC and the worldwide laboratory community to increase understanding of laboratory testing, an often-overlooked but vital component of standard medical care.

Based on the model that has made the original Lab Tests Online one of the premier healthcare information resources on the Internet, Lab Tests Online-BR delivers the same detailed information on laboratory tests, including discussion of what is being tested, how the test is used, and what the test results might mean.  The site also describes a broad range of conditions and diseases, focusing in particular on the tests used to screen for and diagnose them, as well as those tests used to monitor their treatment.

Dr. Murilo Melo introduces Lab Tests Online-BRAs with all Lab Tests Online sites, the content of Lab Tests Online-BR is reviewed by laboratory professionals in the host country, and the non-commercial site is provided free to anyone who needs to better understand the laboratory tests that their doctor has recommended. The key difference is that the content is translated into Portuguese and is localized by SBPC/ML to reflect Brazilian policies and practices.
SBPC/ML began the translation process in April and decided to launch the site with about 20% of the site translated, and the rest still in English, in an effort to showcase the project and generate additional funding.  The society has committed to completing the translation next year.

The original Lab Tests Online launched in 2001 and quickly became one of the premier health sites on the Internet.  Today, the US Lab Tests Online receives 2 million visitors each month.  Globally, Lab Tests Online is projected to reach more than 30 million visitors this year.

SBPC/ML made the formal announcement of the site’s launch at the start of its annual Congress on Clinical Laboratory Medicine in Rio de Janeiro on September 14.  Participants included SBPC /ML President, Dr. Carlos Ballarti, former SBPC/ML President and primary inspiration for Lab Tests Online-BR, Dr. Alvaro Martins, the site’s project leader, Dr. Murilo Melo, and AACC representative, George Linzer, who is the executive producer for the global network of sites.  Linzer also delivered a presentation the next day entitled, Lab Tests Online in Brazil and Around the World, in which he urged the members of SBPC /ML to embrace the site as the public face of their profession, and to support it by volunteering their expertise and promoting the site to others.

In an effort to generate awareness of the site prior to its formal launch, SBPC/ML held a pre-launch event for the press two weeks earlier that generated substantial exposure and enthusiasm for the site. Several print and web-based media outlets in Brazil ran stories about the new website, with the coverage highlighted by the Jornal da Tarde, the third largest newspaper in the state of Sao Paolo, which ran a large headline over a lengthy article about the site. An interview with Dr. Martins supplemented the article.

In addition to being the first Lab Tests Online site to launch in South America, Lab Tests Online-BR is also the first Lab Tests Online site to be translated into Portuguese.  A second Portuguese version is expected to launch in Portugal.