The Automated Plate Assessment System, or APAS, is a platform technology for the automation of culture-plate screening and interpretation. While LBT’s first product, PREVI Isola, automates the inoculation and streaking of the agar plates, APAS streamlines the next stages of the microbiology workflow.
Thousands of agar plates are assessed in busy laboratories every day and currently each one has to be examined by a microbiologist for the presence of bacterial colonies. APAS automatically screens, interprets and sorts these plates, freeing up the bottleneck in lab workflows and microbiologists’ time – and enabling faster time to patient results.
In 2010, an extensive international market survey confirmed the potential of APAS, and in 2013 LBT signed a joint venture with Zurich-based Hettich AG Switzerland to commercialise the technology.
Apart from the obvious productivity benefits of APAS, eliminating the need for microbiologists to trawl through a multitude of negative plates means they can more quickly attend to significant specimens – reducing the turnaround time for often-critical results.
Through LBT’s collaboration with the world-class computer scientists at the University of Adelaide’s Australian Centre for Visual Technologies (ACVT), the company has carved out an important niche in the fast-growing automated pathology market.
The upcoming launch of LBT’s Automated Plate Assessment System (APAS), developed in conjunction with ACVT, signals the birth of a revolutionary platform technology for intelligent image interpretation – with the potential for multiple applications across modern pathology and into other areas of healthcare.
Several years of intensive trials have confirmed APAS’s ability to accurately detect the presence of significant disease-causing pathogens in a variety of culture mediums. The APAS software promises major time savings for busy laboratories and microbiologists, and faster, more accurate results for doctors and their patients.
LBT’s scientists are now working with Hettich’s engineers to integrate APAS with a range of automated laboratory instruments.
APAS was introduced to some of world's leading microbiologists and diagnostic companies at the 24th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Barcelona in May 2014. A copy of LBT's ECCMID presentation can be found on this link.