Local movie doctors launch mobile testing lab

A group of film industry doctors have gone from helping out on local film sets to making clinical lab tests available to the public.

Heather Drake Bianchi, CEO of Cinemedics and Drakos Clinical Laboratories, said they were quickly called in to process large amounts of COVID tests after a movie they were working on, Plan B, was shut down due to the pandemic. .

“You know, we tested about 130 people in two hours, which compared to what we’re doing now is almost laughable, but for us it was a big party because we figured out how to do it – people didn’t do that at the time,” said Bianchi.

The rapid tests allowed filming to resume at American High, a production company based in Liverpool, and get people back to work. Then Bianchi said she and her team realized the already strained local health system needed another option for clinical laboratory testing. She said breakthroughs in science and technology processes have helped their team’s mission to help.

“In this case of lab testing, it gave us the ability to perform real-time testing in a vastly increased diversity of care settings so that it was at home, in the workplace, in medical homes patient-centered, said Bianchi.

She said strong clinical evidence with real-time data from patient-centric labs contributes to their results.

“I wish I could support the veteran community, the LGBTQ community, parents with multiple kids who just can’t get to the doctor and just need someone to come see them, cancer patients who really need to stay away from the hospital, our elderly population who would love to age in place, that’s my goal,” she says.

Cinemedics has a lab at Northeast Medical Center in Fayetteville and can make appointments on-site for its mobile lab.

Gladys T. Hensley