An international pharmaceutical company


A pharmaceutical leader in allergy testing sought to increase the use of blood-serum-based allergy testing. Many experts view this testing as more accurate and better at identifying more allergens than the typical skin-based tests performed in many doctor's offices. 

The company believed that the multiple rounds required for the process were impeding this type of testing.  Traditionally, the lab would run screens on an individual blood specimen and report the results to the physician, who would need to order and wait  for subsequent tests based on the new results.  Such time-consuming, expensive practices were often required to narrow down individual allergens.  Skin-based tests were preferred because they were faster and cheaper, even though they were less reliable.

The pharmaceutical company retained Princeton Consultants to work with its subject matter experts (board-certified allergists and senior lab managers) to design an optimization-based system to provide automated, multi-round testing, including the generation of a detailed, nuanced report that combined the lab results with patient and environmental data taken by the requesting physician.


  • Black Box: to minimize human transcription errors, the system interfaces directly to the lab equipment
  • Real Time: the lab equipment runs in real time with multiple staged machines and configurations
  • Human in the Loop: the system has to pass a rigorous inspection by the pharmaceutical's subject matter experts and quality assurance group



The new optimization-driven system allowed the pharmaceutical  company to significantly increase sales of the higher quality allergy tests by reducing costs and increasing the level of service.

It improved the utilization of the testing equipment by providing more efficient combinations of loadings than the prior "First In, First Out" (FIFO) loading rules.

It led to increased use by non-specialists (internists and family doctors), therefore reducing patient visits and overall healthcare costs.