New Research Supports the Use of APAS in the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory

10 November 2016

BÄCH, Switzerland
Clever Culture Systems AG (CCS), the Swiss-based joint venture between Australian medical technology company LBT Innovations Limited (ASX: LBT) and Hettich AG (Switzerland) has received notification that research carried out by LBT Innovations’ Scientific Advisor, John Glasson, has been published in the American Society for Microbiology’s prestigious Journal of Clinical Microbiology (1).

Mr Glasson and his co-authors studied the variation between human and instrument readings of microbiology culture plates during extensive trials of the Automated Plate Assessment System (APAS®) image analysis device.

Mr Glasson said, “During our recent clinical trial of almost 10,000 cases, we found that members of panels of microbiologists reached agreement 96.4% of the time on the final interpretation of a culture. Yet in the same study, we found that APAS® was able to show 97.4% accuracy with the same samples.”

This finding is a significant contribution to the global literature because, before its publication, there was little information on the variable interpretations made by microbiologists when reading cultures. Microbiologists were seen to always provide the correct or “gold standard” result for comparative purposes. “Our conclusion is that humans, by their nature, produce variable results while automation such as APAS® is more objective and consistent. These factors should be considered by regulatory bodies when assessing new technologies.” said Mr Glasson.

LBT Innovations’ CEO and Managing Director, Brent Barnes, congratulated Mr Glasson on having his research published in a journal which is held in high regard throughout the global microbiology community.

“Our extensive trials on the APAS® technology validated our unique image interpretation software and played an important part in securing clearance from the US Food & Drug Administration for APAS®,” Mr Barnes said. “We are pleased that it may have also contained important lessons for the future about how heavily we should rely on human inputs when evaluating new technologies.”

(1) Glasson JH, Hill R, Summerford M, Giglio S. 2016. Observations on variations in manual reading of cultures. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 54: 2841.