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14th February 2022  Content supplied by: Copan Diagnostics, Inc.

Another Giant Step in the Evolution of Artificial Intelligence in Clinical Microbiology

On the heels of recent news of FDA clearance for Colibri™, automated colony picking instrument for identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing in clinical Microbiology, COPAN has announced the North American launch of PhenoMATRIX® TAG, colony selection software which automatically chooses isolated colonies on plated media for picking. This new capability is a major enhancement to PhenoMATRIX® artificial intelligence (AI) software which allows automated specimen processor WASPLab® users to automatically pre-assess and pre-sort culture plates and segregate bacterial cultures.

PhenoMATRIX®is an unparalleled AI powered software, developed with an advanced selection of highly sophisticated algorithms designed for use in the clinical Microbiology laboratory. By grouping negative cultures, which represent the majority of cultures screened, Microbiologists can quickly review up to 40 plates at a time and batch release negative results quickly. Eliminating the need to review each plate manually, saves precious time and allows technicians to focus on complex cultures which require their unique expertise, and to consult with physicians to provide better patient care.

The power of PhenoMATRIX® AI is enhanced with PhenoMATRIX® TAG which automatically performs colony selection for ID and AST workup immediately after automated culture interpretation.

“This is truly the next revolution in AI for Clinical Microbiology. PhenoMATRIX® TAG uses advanced algorithms to ensure that the best and most isolated colonies are chosen for workup, every time. This technology brings speed and precision to a task that requires high mental acuity and places a lot of stress on overburdened laboratory technologists. This innovation in laboratory automation rapidly and precisely ensures that the correct isolated and/or pure aggregated colonies are automatically chosen for work-up,” said COPAN Diagnostics’ CEO Norman Sharples.

PhenoMATRIX® TAG automatically detects and “tags” the best colonies to be picked by Colibri™ for workup. PhenoMATRIX® TAG can interpret growth based on each laboratory’s custom rules, presumptively identify colonial morphology, and pre-select the best isolated colonies for workup. The PhenoMATRIX® TAG software highlights isolated colonies as well as aggregated colonies; colonies which are not fully isolated but determined by the software to be identical and thus pure. After defining the optimal colonies for selection, PhenoMATRIX® TAG communicates the colony coordinates to the Colibri™ for reliable and accurate picking.

COPAN Diagnostics’ Workflow Specialist and LEAN Six Sigma Blackbelt, Rosalind Russell discussed the impact that PhenoMATRIX® TAG has on laboratory workflow. “The most critical and technically complex aspect of positive culture workup is the selection and picking of colonies for ID and AST workup. Approximately 30% of all cultures require ID/AST workup and this accounts for more than 50% of technologist time to perform. With PhenoMatrix® TAG and Colibri™, this high complexity task can be managed automatically for up to 70% of positive cultures. These are plates that do not even need to be touched by the technologist. PhenoMATRIX® TAG software uses AI to define optimal colony diameter, degree of isolation and uniformity to reduce errors and standardize this highly complex process. Colibri™ interfaces with the AI to pick the assigned colonies without the need to touch the plate."

About COPAN Laboratory Automation WASPLab®

WASPLab® is a highly efficient, modular, scalable, and customizable specimen processing and culture work-up system for Clinical Microbiology. Samples move from front-end processing to Smart Incubation, Digital Microbiology and Artificial Intelligence/Interpretive Algorithms for plate reading. The system accepts any manufacturer’s plated media, and utilizes gold standard, CLSI approved system for planting and streaking.

About Colibri™

COPAN’s Colibri™ automatically picks isolated colonies for further workup and investigations. Colonies are designated by the laboratory technologist or automatically by COPAN’s advanced AI, PhenoMATRIX® TAG. Colibri™ works with both VITEK® MS MALDI-TOF and Bruker Biotyper® systems seeding either manufacturers’ target plate formats, automatically applying matrix, and through a software interface, sending instructions and coordinates identifying each individual culture workup spot. The precision robotics of the full laboratory automation system WASPLab® combined with Colibri™ help to eliminate any potential transposition errors. Colibri™ can also seed colonies into various size tubes or bottles to prepare McFarland suspensions for antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST)[1] Verifying opacity of suspensions using the onboard nephelometer. The system applies barcode labels to tubes and prepares purity check plates from these suspensions.

When asked how PhenoMATRIX® TAG and Colibri™ will impact clinical Microbiology, COPAN’s Scientific Director and former Directory of Microbiology at Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Susan Sharp said “This technology allows highly skilled technologists to simply and quickly review and release automated culture results and spend their valuable time investigating the most complex cultures of the day. Technologists will have the time to consult with patients’ clinicians about the appropriate path for evaluation of these difficult cultures and expediently release these reports.”

Learn more about PhenoMATRIX® TAG or contact the supplier for details using the green "Request Information" button below.

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Date Published: 14th February 2022

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