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9th October 2020  Author: rapidmicrobiology staff writer

Smart COVID-19 Pool-Testing Software Gets Boost by Microsoft and XPRIZE

 A cloud-based software that enables laboratories testing for COVID-19 to increase capacity using existing resources is currently available through Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. 

LOMT, designed by Jetware, allows laboratories to pool-test patient samples on a massive scale; up to 30 times more than current output. 

It designs the specimen mixing plan, tracks specimens and assays, and decodes the results of assays completed into the results of specimens.

LOMT supports several pool-testing algorithms and strategies, from plain grouping of samples into pools to more complex algorithms with binary search, combinatorial analysis and probability analysis, and it suggests the optimal strategies depending on the prevalence, optimization task and operational constraints.

It offers a user-friendly visual guide for manual specimen pipetting and result reporting, and can be integrated with the laboratory information system and laboratory robotics.

LOMT recently advanced into the semi-finals of the XPRIZE rapid testing competition and has been put forward by Microsoft to the UN as an initiative for sustainability. 

LOMT’s Key Features & Benefits:

  • Helps to increase laboratory capacity by up to 30 times with the existing resources.
  • Tracks all the pools and corresponding specimens and assays, reducing the labor of personnel and risk of human error
  • Automatically finds the optimal strategy and pool parameters, depending on the prevalence and priorities.
  • Offers a user interface to guide visually a lab assistant through all pipetting and mixing operations.

LOMT is a subscription-based software and costs $100-$300 per month for an average lab, and a free open source software version will be available soon.

Kirill Vechera, Chief Technical Officer at Jetware SRL, explained to rapidmicrobiology why labs need the LOMT software, “Currently they need to plan and track pooling workflows with pen and paper, or with Excel. It works if your lab has 20-50 tests a day, but doesn't work for 200 or 2000 tests a day".

"Some test-kit vendors I talked to, have found that labs will not be able to use their test with pool testing due to this problem of planning and tracking."

"LOMT implements many pool testing algorithms and strategies which are better for different priorities and conditions of a laboratory. For example, in a high prevalence case (10% and more) classical pooling becomes less effective and one needs to switch to binary searching strategies", said Kirill. 

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Date Published: 9th October 2020

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