Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) has received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its new artificial intelligence (AI)-powered software to diagnose Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Using AI, the new BD Kiestra MRSA imaging application analyses bacterial growth and releases negative specimens with minimal human interaction. It helps in improving the efficiency and workflow of the microbiology laboratory.

The BD Kiestra is designed to automate the traditional labour-intensive and time-consuming process of examining Petri dishes to check bacterial growth.

It will help medical laboratory scientists and technicians to focus on advanced analysis.

BD Diagnostics general manager and vice-president 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 organise 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.”

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The application helps assess individual specimens or consolidate a significant number of plates exhibiting insignificant growth for batch review and release of negative results to lower the administrative workload on technicians.

It utilises AI algorithms to identify specific culture characteristics on the BBL CHROMagar MRSA II plate.

Plate images can be automatically organised and arranged into meaningful worklists for laboratory scientists and technicians with the help of the information and analysis provided by BD Synapsys informatics.

The AI-based imaging application used the BD Synapsys Informatics Solution and is supported by the BD BBL CHROMagar MRSA II screening plates.

It is compatible with both the standalone BD Kiestra ReadA systems and the track-based BD Kiestra laboratory automation solutions.