We spoke to Ed van Meurs, former Business Manager of two chemical and two microbiological laboratories, about how colony counters work.
In the past, colony counters were actually the cause of a great many errors. This happened because the technology was not yet well enough developed. In the past, colony counters could count things, but they couldn’t distinguish between the various irregularities. In microbiology, when a cooked egg was tested, the device could not tell the difference between the small pieces of sample material and the actual bacteria. And that caused the results to differ greatly from the reality. Now, using artificial intelligence, colony counters can do this!
"We have gained, and continue to gain new insights all the time"
Ed: "We used to work with these 'old' colony counters ourselves, but we needed to have highly experienced analysts on hand as well. Nowadays, it is a completely different story. While working with Iris, the AI-based colony counter, we have gained and continue to gain new insights all the time. We then teach these new insights to the colony counter, which in turn makes our job just that much easier to do."
Ed: "First of all, Iris is the most reliable colony-counting method there is. In fact, the colony counter is still checked by an analyst. Which means we can 100% verify the results. And, since the majority of the counting work has already been done, a lot of time can be saved on the work floor. It has now actually become a matter of looking at photos.
And secondly, our analysts no longer have to be physically present in the lab to check the results. When working remote, this is very handy. The Irina continued to work in the laboratory, and then our analysts were able to perform the necessary checks using the Iris validation tool from their homes.
Thirdly, we can “track and trace” all our results. Until very recently, this was not possible in microbiology laboratories. The Iris colony counter generates photographs of all the Petri dishes. These photos are stored in our LIMS system, and we can then show them to our customers and the quality control agencies in order to prove our results." Generally speaking, the feedback we receive from the results that customers and test locations share with us is that Iris outperforms expectations!
And finally, with Iris (connected to Irina), you have much greater control over how many Petri dishes are validated. In fact, the machine does not need breaks, it does not stand around chatting at the water cooler, and it is not tired on Monday mornings. If the Irina has taken photos for 4 hours, and these photos are entered into the system in near real-time, we can validate the photos simultaneously.
In short, reasons enough why this colony counter really does work. Would you like more information about Iris and all its specifications? Then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be happy to give you a demonstration via Microsoft Teams or live, on-location.