BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) has received the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) approval for a new imaging application that uses AI to detect bacterial growth and release negative specimens.

The new application, dubbed BD Kiestra Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), uses AI to automate the task of inspecting Petri dishes, which is labour- and time-intensive.

The BD Kiestra MRSA is designed to check a single specimen or a large volume of plates with non-significant growth, reducing the burden on medical laboratory scientists and technicians.

BD said that the new AI-based imaging application is supported by its BBL CHROMagar MRSA II screening plates and powered by BD Synapsys Informatics Solution.

The MRSA imaging application uses AI algorithms to detect specific culture characteristics on the BBL CHROMagar MRSA II plate.

The information and analysis by BD Synapsys informatics will help the plate images be automatically organised and sorted into worklists for laboratory scientists and technicians.

BD diagnostics vice president and general manager Nikos Pavlidis said: “The pandemic created significant and ongoing labour challenges in laboratories, and reading plates is a labour-intense, potentially error-prone process in microbiology.

“The use of this imaging application to automatically organize specimens in meaningful worklists helps use limited laboratory staff more efficiently and allows lab personnel to bring their expertise to bear on more critical and complex specimens.”

The diagnostic company said that its new solution can be used with both standalone BD Kiestra ReadA systems, along with track-based BD Kiestra laboratory automation solutions.

BD Kiestra Solutions provides total lab automation for the clinical microbiology laboratory, including scalable and modular microbiology workflow automation solutions.

Its Synapsys Informatics is a lab connectivity and workflow management solution that supports diagnostic processing, automated decision support and on-demand insights to address laboratory challenges.

The tool allows labs to analyse their performance using microbiology informatics through a single, advanced platform with an intuitive, personalised user interface.

Also, it will help laboratory staff to reduce the turnaround time, expedite decision-making, improve productivity, and support their compliance requirements, said the diagnostic company.