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Researchers Develop World’s First AI-Augmented Ova and Parasite Detection Tool

ARUP Laboratories (Salt Lake City, UT, USA), a national reference laboratory engaged in innovative laboratory research and development, and Techcyte (Lindon, UT, USA), a developer of artificial intelligence (AI) based image analysis solutions for the diagnostics industry, have developed the world’s first AI-augmented ova and parasite detection tool.

ARUP, a national clinical and anatomic pathology reference laboratory, is a non-profit enterprise of the University of Utah and offers an extensive test menu of highly complex and unique medical tests. Techcyte, which was founded as a technology transfer from the University of Utah, uses the power of deep machine learning to perform image analysis of whole slide images. Techcyte’s digital diagnostics platform applies the latest in convolutional neural networks to pre-classify the fecal sample images captured by a 3DHISTECH Pannoramic 250-Flash III scanner. Pre-classifying the images using the Techcyte tool allows ARUP’s technologists to efficiently read stained glass slides manually and improves the accuracy of parasite detection.

For laboratorians, digitally enabling the workflow will decrease the physical demands of looking through a microscope for extended periods of time, including eye fatigue and neuromuscular tension. The technology can quickly screen out negative results, allowing laboratorians to spend more time analyzing positive slides. The ova and parasite tool is the first among several projects being co-developed by ARUP and Techcyte. ARUP’s medical expertise and access to samples, combined with Techcyte’s technical ability and digital evaluation platform, will produce high quality algorithms that can be developed and applied to future unmet laboratory needs.

“The collaboration with Techcyte has produced an AI-augmented detection tool that significantly advances our diagnostic capabilities in our parasitology lab,” said Adam Barker, PhD, director of Research and Development at ARUP. “This will allow for faster turnaround times, decreased costs, employee satisfaction and improved patient care.”

“Microscopy-based diagnostic parasitology has remained woefully static for decades. We have successfully developed a pioneering breakthrough with this tool, the likes of which had previously been unimaginable by classically trained microbiologists,” said Dr. Marc Couturier, medical director of ARUP’s Parasitology labs.

“This revolutionary partnership will combine ARUP’s vast expertise and reputation in the market with Techcyte’s AI-based image analysis capabilities to change the way lab diagnostics are performed,” said Ralph Yarro, CEO of Techcyte.

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