a Tata Trusts initiative focused on improving health outcomes in infectious diseases has announced funding for two platform tools that can be used for the diagnosis of multiple diseases. Developed by Ameliorate Biotech and Medprime Technologies, respectively, the innovations, a fever panel to detect dengue, chikungunya, and malaria; and microscope-agnostic AI-enabled diagnosis software that is applicable across diseases.
Ameliorate Biotech’s diagnostic innovation is an accurate, multiplexed RDT for dengue, chikungunya, and malaria (with malaria falciparum and vivax differentiation). The simple 15-minute test uses a single test kit and a single blood sample and can be easily used by the primary level’s minimally trained workforce. The process eliminates the need for serum/plasma samples, is instant, does not require a cold chain facility/biosafety lab, and generates minimal medical waste. The IHF funding for a year will allow for a prospective, multicentric performance and cost-effectiveness evaluation of the RDT, which will then be made available to the public health system for government procurements at a discounted price of Rs 200 per unit. This is significantly less than the current fever panel, which costs between Rs 3000 and Rs 4000.
Medprime Technologies’ diagnostic innovation is an artificial intelligence-powered software for faster, more cost-effective, and more accurate microscopy for disease diagnosis. It employs a locally trained machine learning algorithm that automatically detects, identifies, and differentiates between malarial parasites (P. falciparum and P. vivax). This tool will be microscope, disease (communicable and non-communicable), and sample (blood, urine, stool, pus) agnostic, reducing the time required for slide viewing, image processing, and result reporting by one-third. The algorithm will also eliminate the need for trained personnel, making it useful for training and research for medical, paramedical, and allied health personnel who require remote collaboration and interoperability. The IHF’s 24-month support for Medprime will allow for the development and pilot testing of this AI/ML-led multiplex diagnosis.