MetaSystems, a worldwide leader in microscopic imaging innovation, presented proof of concept results for Deep Learning - based pathogen classification on Gram stain slides.
Gram Stain Analysis
Automated Digitization of Gram Stains
- Centralized Reading of Gram Stains
- Decentralized Assessment
- Improved Quality Management
The rising prevalence of infectious diseases and a growing geriatric population with increased susceptibility are major drivers for the ever-growing number of patient samples to be assessed by clinical microbiology laboratories. At the same time healthcare professionals face increasing cost pressures and dwindling workforces. This conflict can be resolved by streamlined workflow automation and digitization.
One area with high potential for automation is light microscopy, particularly the reading of Gram stains. Here is also, where the implementation of automated slide scanning and sample digitization is highly beneficial, both from a quality-control perspective as well as given the necessity for higher cost-efficiency in hospital and laboratory settings.
Centralized Reading of Gram Stains
Automated reading of Gram stains is done with the Metafer slide scanning platform*. The walk-away system scans, digitizes and archives up to 800 Gram slides automatically in one batch. Instead of spending time in slide scanning can technicians focus on Gram stain assessment and flexibly organize their work. Moreover, all Gram stain reads can be consolidated on one workstation. Seamless integration into the existing laboratory environment facilitates the exchange of images and data with external systems via LIMs to upload pre-defined procedures for reading and assessment to store Gram information with patient files.
Evaluation of digitized images is faster because data can be accessed from anywhere in the hospital / laboratory network. Now experts can access images anywhere and any time, allowing more timely therapy decisions and sharper focus on interdisciplinary collaborations and optimizing patient results.
Improved Quality Management
Automated imaging improves quality management because
- Automation facilitates the implementation of standardized monitoring procedures for Gram stains
- Automatic pre-selection of sample regions for image acquisition based on morphology and density criteria reassures highest information gain for subsequent analysis
- Archiving images improves traceability because digitized data are easy to track and to recall
- Training of laboratory staff on digitized images improves Gram stain proficiency, hence higher quality results for this cornerstone of diagnostic testing in the microbiology laboratory