Japanese firms Fujifilm and Toyota Tsusho form strategic partnerships with Indian Health tech firms Qure.ai and Molbio for intensified Tuberculosis screening

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In a unique cross-industry collaboration, Qure.aiMolbio DiagnosticsFujifilm Corporation and Toyota Tsusho have come together for a TB detection program named ‘Driving to find the missing millions’. This partnership will help intensify Active Case Finding (ACF) by using an end-to-end TB screening mobile unit. The unit can navigate some of the most inaccessible and remote areas, to ensure last mile health care delivery in regions where millions of TB cases go undiagnosed every year.

Toyota Tsusho will provide its Land Cruiser as WHO PQS E002 Refrigerated Vehicles authorized for the safety temperature controlled delivery of COVID19 and EPI vaccines. The vehicles are fitted with Fujifim’s Xair, an ultra-compact portable X-ray machine. Xair will be augmented with qXR, Qure.ai’s AI tool for automated chest X-ray interpretation. qXR will alert the medical team for suspected TB cases. The SUV will also be equipped with Molbio’s novel portable and battery operated Truenat technology for  further confirmation of TB and MDR TB in the suspected cases. With this integrated testing capability, the cost of TB diagnosis can be substantially reduced and end-to-end TB diagnosis which takes days can be done in less than 1 hour. If the person is found to be TB positive, they can be started on TB medication immediately.

Qure’s qXR can interpret scans with high levels of accuracy and specificity, making it an ideal tool for mass screenings. Qure’s TB solution is integrated with Fujifilm’s Xair enabling instantaneous AI report for TB presumptive cases.

Molbio’s Truenat is a laboratory independent, point of care real-time PCR platform that provides rapid results, with high levels of accuracy for confirming TB and MDR TB. Truenat has on board memory and data transfer capability.

Although TB is both preventable and curable, an estimated 3 million patients are ‘missed’ globally every year – those who contract TB are not diagnosed in time. This Japanese-Indian private partnership attempts to scale up diagnosis and get a TB suspect on the treatment course within an hour. Equipped with some of the most sophisticated systems, the agile unit has an efficient workflow and provides healthcare workers with reliable and intuitive information to initiate medical attention.

“We at Stop TB re-imagine, re-think, support, and have been driving innovations in TB and health space for years. So, it’s great to see this happening! This multisector partnership will aid contact investigation and find and track people with TB and other infectious diseases and will bring care to doorsteps for everyone to have access,” said Dr. Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership. This consortium understands the need of hour and uses scalable, high -impact systems to tackle TB in areas where resources are limited,” she added.

Prashant Warier, CEO and Founder of Qure.ai said, “After the recent WHO recommendation around using our AI solution qXR as an alternative to human readers for TB interpretation from chest X-rays, we’re excited to scale commercially and use this partnership to deliver high quality diagnostics to communities across the globe.”

Sriram Natarajan, CEO and Founder of Molbio Diagnostics said, “We at Molbio are very happy to be a part of this TB detection partnership that aims to combine novel, game changing technologies to deliver impactful solutions for active case finding of TB. We are excited that our WHO endorsed Truenat platform, already being used for TB detection in primary centers, will now be able to reach a lot more underserved areas and help in picking up the missing cases.”

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