Health-ITNews teams up with PATH India

To implement AI-enabled chest X-ray solution for TB & COVID-19 screening in Maharashtra through Unitaid funding is supporting PATH India to initiate an innovative project to overhaul tuberculosis (TB) and COVID-19 screening in Maharashtra through Unitaid funding. This strategic collaboration is centered on deploying the AI-powered qXR software, which will enhance the ability to analyse chest X-rays and substantially improve COVID-19 and TB screening at chosen implementation sites. Hosted on a cloud-based platform, the software ensures unfettered connectivity between different locations.

Before the Unitaid grant,’s qXR was already operational in seven Brihanmumbai Mahanagar Pallika Hospitals, where it was utilised to screen 90,000 plus patients for tuberculosis and other chest abnormalities. Remarkably, its implementation resulted in a 35 per cent rise in TB Notifications. This is attributed to the system’s capability to identify patients who visited for reasons unrelated to TB, revealing incidental findings through the non-Tuberculosis pathway.

Under the Unitaid-funded project, within 12 months, qXR is scheduled for deployment at four key medical facilities across Maharashtra. These include Dr Zakir Hussain Hospital in Kathada and Hindu Hriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackrey Rugnalaya under the purview of the Nashik Municipal Corporation, as well as KB Bhabha Hospital in Bandra which falls under the jurisdiction of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.

Dr Shibu Vijayan, Medical Director, Global Health,, said, “We are excited to work alongside PATH, a global health organization dedicated to achieving health equity through innovation and partnerships and Unitaid to accelerate our fight against TB and help the Indian government reach the ambitious goal of Ending TB by 2025. By deploying Qure’s qXR software at selected sites in Maharashtra, this project will significantly enhance TB diagnosis’s accuracy, speed, and efficiency, ultimately leading to better patient outcomes and a positive impact on public health.”

As a part of this project, patients will undergo AI-enabled chest X Ray screening for tuberculosis in the usual hospital workflow. Patients will commence their journey at the outpatient department (OPD), where an OPD doctor will perform initial screenings. Should it be deemed necessary, a chest X-ray will be carried out by an X-ray technician for patients suspected of having TB or chest infection. Patients will be directed to the TB counter for sputum collection when TB is suspected based on X-ray outcomes. This will be followed by CB-NAAT testing or AFB microscopy, ultimately leading to the commencement of treatment.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the delivery of essential health services. Through the deployment of qXR, we are hoping to support the health workers in triaging, screening and management of COVID-19 and TB, thus minimising the impact on routine service delivery. The evidence generated will help scale-up technologies that can act as integrated screening solutions,” said Neeraj Jain, Country Director, PATH India & Director, PATH South Asia.



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