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India Is Implementing Largest Digital Programme for TB Surveillance & Monitoring: Dr Sanjay Mattoo

Written by : Arti Ghargi

February 26, 2024

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NTEP aims to eradicate TB by 2025, with India making strides in scaling up molecular diagnostics.

India has launched its largest digital programme for Tuberculosis surveillance and monitoring, an official said at a convention for health writers in the national capital. India is also making strides in scaling up molecular diagnostics that will aid its mission of eradicating TB by 2025, the official added.

During the National Health Writers and Influencers Convention (NHWIC-2024) held at AIIMS, Delhi, experts convened to discuss innovations, challenges, and collaborative solutions in combating TB, a disease that remains a leading cause of death and disability in India, impacting millions annually.

The doctors however said that the disease is not a death sentence and can be treated with the use of the right medicine and treatment.

Initiatives to Tackle TB

Dr Sanjay K Mattoo, Additional Deputy Director General, Central TB Division, NTEP, Union Health Ministry, provided insights into the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP) and its aims and challenges.

NTEP aims to eradicate TB by 2025, with India making strides in scaling up molecular diagnostics and implementing the largest digital programme for TB surveillance and monitoring.

“India has made significant progress in scaling up molecular diagnostics, providing the most advanced medicines, and implementing the largest digital programme for TB surveillance and monitoring,” Mattoo said.

He also highlighted collaborations with various ministries, including labour, HRD, and the railways, along with civil society and private sector organisations to expand outreach to TB patients and enhance quality care and support.

He cited initiatives such as the Aarogya Saathi app, providing patient information and counselling, and the Nikshay Poshan Yojana, which transfers funds directly to patients' bank accounts, as efforts to empower TB patients.

Barriers Hindering TB Diagnostics

The eighth edition of the convention, organised by HEAL Foundation at AIIMS hospital, saw the participation of healthcare experts, policymakers, researchers, and practitioners.

They emphasised the persistent gaps and barriers hindering effective TB diagnosis, treatment, and prevention, particularly for drug-resistant TB (DRTB), which poses greater challenges in cure and contagion.

Dr Rupak Singla, Head of Department of TB & Chest Disease, NITRD, stressed the importance of early and accurate TB diagnosis, the availability of new drug regimens, and the utilisation of digital technology for TB management.

Dr Vijay Hadda highlighted the socioeconomic factors that contribute to TB vulnerability, stating, "Since TB is a disease of the poor and the marginalised, addressing these factors is essential for its elimination."

India’s TB Statistics & How Technology Is Helping

According to the Global TB Report by the World Health Organisation released in 2023, India accounts for 27% of the total TB cases in the world.

The report says, there were nearly 28.2 Lakh cases of tuberculosis (TB) in India in 2022. This means that one person contracted TB in India every 11 seconds.

India contributes 27% to the global burden, which is one percentage point lower than the 28% in 2022.

However, the report also mentioned several positive strides in India’s fight against TB such as increased access to treatment and more accurate molecular diagnostics.

Moreover, the rise of healthtech companies providing AI-powered diagnostic solutions has enabled penetration of screening and early diagnosis.

Companies Working in AI-Enabled TB Diagnostics

NTT DATA:

NTT DATA, in cooperation with DeepTek, is using AI diagnostic imaging technology to improve access to TB examinations in India. This initiative aims to support early detection and treatment of TB patients by providing free access to AI diagnostic services

Qure.ai:

Qure.ai, an India-based deep-learning tech company, has developed AI-based X-ray software for TB diagnosis. Their platform can efficiently identify TB cases from X-ray images, aiding in quicker and more accurate diagnosis at a lower cost

Predible Health:

Predible Health is an India-based healthtech company that has developed an AI-powered imaging analytics platform for lung diseases, including TB. Their platform can analyze CT scans and X-rays to provide quantitative measurements of lung tissue, aiding in the diagnosis and monitoring of TB.

Siemens Healthineers and Global Fund:

Siemens Healthineers and the Global Fund have partnered to introduce AI-enabled TB screening in countries with high TB burdens, starting in Indonesia. This collaboration aims to enhance the detection of TB through AI-assisted interpretation of chest X-rays.


About Chime India

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving senior digital health leaders. CHIME includes more than 5,000 members in 56 countries and two US territories and partners with over 150 healthcare IT businesses and professional services firms. CHIME enables its members and business partners to collaborate, exchange ideas, develop professionally and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and care throughout the communities they serve. CHIME's members are chief information officers (CIOs), chief medical information officers (CMIOs), chief nursing information officers (CNIOs), chief innovation officers (CIOs), chief digital officers (CDOs), and other senior healthcare leaders. The CHIME India Chapter became the first international chapter outside North America in 2016 and is now a community of over 70+ members in India. For more information, please visit www.chimecentral.org

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