Updated: Oct 2, 2019
Microscopy core facilities across the world play a crucial and irreplaceable role within the scientific community. They educate wave after wave of junior researchers in the arts of sample preparation, imaging, and image analysis. They support and enable many of the major scientific breakthroughs we hear about and many of them develop state of the art microscopy systems which further expand. In the last 2 years we have seen a number of core facilities choose Aivia over other better known solutions. Here, we have summarised the top 5 reasons for why they chose Aivia. Thank you to all Aivia users for your preference, constructive feedback and partnership.
1) Fast and innovative development. The first version of Aivia was launched in April 2017. Since then, we have released 8 major versions. How did we do it? Aivia builds on work done at DRVision since the 90s, when machine and deep learning were considered a fringe technology in the field of computer vision. In the last 2.5 years we have selected from and further improved on the very best technology available and implemented it in Aivia; from large data rendering to neuron reconstruction, cell tracking, VR data exploration, machine and deep learning for a wide range of applications. We have presented our R&D work at ASCB-EMBO in a total of 8 abstracts (poster presentations) and tech talks. In the last year alone, in collaboration with world-class microscopists, neuroscientists, and cell biologists we have secured over 5 M USD of funding (NIH SBIR grants) to support our R&D efforts. Aivia represents the future of microscopy image analysis software for the life sciences community.
2) Great training resources. Core Facility managers often have multiple responsibilities from sample preparation, to hardware and software set up, and use. This often means there is little time for a core facility manager or the wider team members to learn (and later teach) new software tools. We have created a range of easy to use resources, including the Aivia Wiki (includes sample data sets, tutorials and detailed functionality descriptions), YouTube Channel (with live webinars, “how to” videos, technical presentations, version-specific feature demos, product launches), the Aivia training slide deck (over 100 slides with detailed descriptions and informative movies), and the daily online Image Analysis Clinic (30 minutes when anyone in the microscopy community and ask us any questions about image visualization and analysis). Both microscopy core staff members and users are making great use of these resources to quickly get up to speed with all the productivity tools available in Aivia.
3) Broad coverage of routine applications. Aivia possibly offers the widest range of applications covered by default - there are 17 in total. Here they are:
3D Electron microscopy neuron segmentation
3D Object analysis
3D Object tracking
Phase cell tracking
Moreover, the CF Neuro and the CF Pro packages include 1 or 2 custom image analysis recipes, respectively. You specify the application and we will develop it for you – no additional cost!
4) We listen and solve issues, quickly. One of the key reasons for core facilities to use commercial software is the quality, efficiency, and value of the support they get for that tool. We know that from personal experience as several of the staff on the Aivia team have worked in microscopy core facilities. Our technical and applications support team is composed of image analysis experts from a variety of backgrounds including deep learning, stem cell biology, mathematics, biomaterials, neurosciences, machine learning, material sciences, data science, tumor biology, cloud computing, angiogenesis and bio fabrication. Typically, our team replies to the initial support request within hours and has a complete solution in 3 days. Moreover, we welcome and encourage everyone to contribute ideas for future development. We have an inclusive new feature ranking process in place and regularly update Aivia users on the upcoming features. Our customer satisfaction score is currently 100%.
5) Maintenance and support costs. Even at well-funded institutions, cost is a factor. Why would you pay more than the fair value? We have priced individual Aivia licenses so that we can support our team and continue to develop the best image analysis tool you can get. We also offer multiple-license discounts. Moreover, our standard “maintenance contract” lasts 3 years (!) and includes technical support, application support and software updates. The industry standard is 1 year. Beyond that most vendors will request a payment of 10 to 20% the value of your license, for each year of “maintenance contract”. “Like-for-like” Aivia is often 45% less expensive than the better-known tools when adding up the cost of purchasing a license and keeping a valid maintenance contract for a total of 3 years.