2023 Lab of the Year Runner Up: Radeas Labs

March 27, 2023

Radeas Labs, derived from the words radical ideas, was founded in 2013 by Dr. Phil Radford to help facilitate trust between patients and healthcare providers.

Based in Wake Forest, North Carolina, nearly 300 Radeas employees work together to serve healthcare facilities, hospital systems, collegiate football teams, county governments, cruise ships, universities, and individual patients throughout the nation. Their scope of responsibilities includes comprehensive clinical solutions in toxicology, clinical labs, and infectious disease testing. In 2022 alone, they released tens of millions of clinical tests. 

With 25,000 square feet of facility space and 8 fully functioning CLIA high complexity mobile labs, Radeas served millions of patients in 2022.

Customer service

The goal of Radeas Labs is to insert trust between patients and doctors through systems that produce high-quality data with an error rate of less than one in a million. They maintain a standard of providing clinical data the next business day, prioritizing accuracy. Dr. Radford said, “We did that the first day we opened, and we are committed to continuing that level of service today.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Radeas established 150 testing clinics throughout the country. With their mobile labs, Radeas was able to reach underserved communities and patients in long-term care settings by providing them with walk-up and curbside testing and vaccinations.

Radeas staff are proud of the volume of testing services they provided during the pandemic to ensure cruise lines, businesses, healthcare facilities, schools, and states could operate. “My favorite memory from 2022 was watching an 80 foot–high cruise ship disembark, knowing everyone had been tested and cleared. Hearing the horn go off and knowing that this group was now safe, and that they could relax and enjoy vacation together again was incredible. There was a lot of pressure to get families vacationing together again and keep them safe while doing so. This was an emotional moment to watch the ship cruise away knowing they were safe, protected, and gathered together,” Dr. Radford said. From 2020–2021, cruise ships had been unable to sail for 450 days.


During the pandemic, Radeas Labs staff worked to make sure patients had their results within 24 hours. All staff worked extra hours to achieve this. During peak outbreaks, Radeas Labs processed an average of 10,000 PCR tests per day.

Due to the demands of the COVID-19 outbreak, Radeas invested in Thermo Fisher’s KingFisher automation to bring turnaround times down to 8 hours. This speed improvement facilitated scalability and sustainability of offering same day results 6 days a week. Following that success, Radeas worked closely with scientists at LumiraDX to update the SARS-CoV-2 RNA Star Complete EUA to improve throughput on additional thermocycler platforms. Moving from the previous 96-well format to a 384-well format quadrupled the specimens that could be run at a time. Further workflow optimization synergized sample collection, with accessioning processes, to allow for Integra adjustable multichannel pipettes to bring average  turnaround times down to 1.5 hours. This process allowed them to initiate mobile testing through 8 mobile labs.


What makes Radeas special is that the 'why' is understood by many of the team players, Dr. Radford said. “That is what is inspiring and motivating. People understand why we are doing what we are doing and want to provide that service as efficiently and accurately as possible.”

The team at Radeas Labs is mission driven and values trust not only with the patients, but with each other as well. To strengthen the team, Radeas offers extracurricular endeavors inside and outside the lab. The team also has celebrations and activities for holidays, and departmental incentives when goals are achieved. Additionally, Radeas offers extensive employee benefits to enhance overall health and human flourishing both inside and outside the workplace.

During the pandemic, staff worked together to assure that testing was being conducted safely and accurately with quick turnaround times. They also partnered with Gladwell Orthodontics to provide testing to patients and served as an information source. Dr. Jason Thomas Gladwell of Gladwell said, “It’s those things that you don’t find in a typical lab group. They’ve got our business for life. I don’t think we could have gotten through the pandemic the way we did without their partnership.”

Education and training

Radeas Labs adheres to strict quality control assurance in all its lab processes. Its proprietary QR code platform allows them to ensure that the right sample is matched with the correct patient. The lab’s testing process requires that lab experts sign-off on each step of the testing checklist to confirm the time and dates of accessioning, test plates transferring, machine placements, and all other steps. Radeas maintains these records and audits them randomly to ensure all precautions and steps are taken. The lab also validates its samples, performs periodic retesting to confirm results, and recalibrates and checks machines daily to ensure they are functioning properly. Continually educating Radeas staff on these in-house standards is key to maintaining the low error rates achieved over the years.

All employees are required to complete a HIPAA and Compliance training course every year. Additionally, continuing education is made available consistently and certain staff members are selected to complete training programs offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Lab inspections

Radeas Labs is accredited by the Commission on Office Laboratory Accreditation (COLA) and inspected every two years. In preparation for their inspections, Radeas does evaluations of their practices for quality assurance and regulation compliance.

Radeas Labs proficiency testing (PT) is distributed through the American Proficiency Institute (API) and College of American Pathologists (CAP) for certain tests, which have 2–3 shipments annually depending on the test. They compare the results of their split sample testing (SST) to ten other labs. They investigate and correct as needed every result out of range for PT or SST.

Radeas Labs is certified through CLIA to test in: virology, syphilis, general immunology, routine chemistry, urinalysis, endocrinology, toxicology, and hematology.

Strategic outlook

The mission statement of Radeas Labs is, “Bringing Truth and People Together through Clinical Laboratory Science.” In addition to building trust with patients, they also want to achieve the goal of being the most caring laboratory. They plan to execute this through the training of their employees.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Radeas came up with new laboratory methods, software solutions, and dynamic staffing programs to meet the need for quality testing options in their community. They strategically chose instruments and layouts for speed and accuracy in the lab. For their community testing sites, they enlisted the help of a restaurant to orchestrate their drive through testing. They also used drone footage to keep an eye on site traffic.

In 2023, Radeas is looking to optimize operations by utilizing artificial intelligence to analyze patient lab results and then convert those results into customized data to help physicians create care plans. They believe this will help them continue to fulfill their mission.