Background: As culture reading can be highly subjective and time-demanding the use of artificial intelligence such as the APAS® Independence offers to introduce a higher level of consistency and reliability between results. This evaluation was performed to determine if the APAS® Independence was able to be integrated into routine workflow while still maintaining its accuracy, consistency and throughput.
Materials/Methods: Routine samples were set up in duplicate onto HBA/Brilliance media (Thermo Fisher Scientific) and incubated separately. One group of plates was incubated strictly for 18 hours based on APAS® manufacturer guidelines, while the other was incubated overnight to coincide with routine plate reading workflow. Both sets were processed through the APAS® Independence and the growth was evaluated and compared by experienced microbiologists.
Results: The APAS® Independence showed a high level of agreement for both the 18 hour incubation and the routine incubation (>97%). In terms of determining significant vs non-significant growth the APAS showed a sensitivity of 99.2%
Conclusions: The APAS® Independence showed a high level of agreement, reliability and consistency when evaluating plates that have been incubated and processed in a routine clinical setting. This coupled with a high throughput rate may provide benefits when integrated into an appropriate workflow.