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First US sale for AI petri dish scanner

Health & Medical

The Australian manufacturer of an artificial intelligence instrument to scan the contents of petri dishes has made its first US sale.

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Based in Adelaide, South Australia, health technology company LBT Innovations told investors this morning it had completed the sale to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis

The APAS Independence technology uses an algorithm to detect bacterial colonies and incorporates computer vision to hasten the time required to detect infections in samples from patients.

The sale was made by LBT’s 50 per cent joint venture company Clever Culture Systems and follows its first European sale, made to German clinical laboratory Labor Dr Wisplinghoff in October 2019.

The APAS instrument is based upon LBT’s intelligent imaging and machine learning software and remains the only US FDA-cleared artificial intelligence technology for automated imaging, analysis and interpretation of culture plates following incubation.

In a global first, the technology has been connected to HCMC’s Lab Information System through Data Innovations middleware. Establishing this middleware platform will support future APAS installations with Data Innovations existing customer base. Data Innovations has installations in about 65 per cent of US laboratories.

HCMC is a medium-sized clinical lab, processing about 500 specimens a day including 300 urine plates for analysis. Over the past two years it has been operating as a centre of excellence for APAS, supporting the development of new analysis modules.

HCMC Director of Microbiology Dr Glen Hansen said the ability to automate the reading of culture plates with APAS had increased lab efficiency and motivated staff.

“It has been a real pleasure to work with the teams from LBT and CCS over the past two years,” he said.

“Their commitment and excitement towards the technology is obvious and I look forward to continuing the collaboration into the future.”

LBT Innovations CEO Brett Barnes said HCMC’s status and reputation would help provide further commercial validation for APAS.

“Dr Hansen has been a great advocate for the technology and the purchase reflects the positive impact the technology has had within their lab,” he said.

“We continue to work hard with other laboratories in the region as we look to target further U.S. commercial sales.”

South Australia has emerged as a hub for the medical devices industry and is home to the Tonsley Innovation Hub and the Adelaide BioMed City precinct, a $3 billion tripartite health hub comprising a major hospital, research centres and educational institutions.

The Tonsley hub is located on the site of a former Mitsubishi car manufacturing plant and major tenants include medical device manufacturer Micro-XSiemens and ZEN Energy. International optical and optoelectronics firm ZEISS has also moved into a new $6 million premises at Tonsley.

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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