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Qure.ai plans to tie up with health ministry, NGOs to deploy deep learning technology for TB screening

Laxmi Yadav, Mumbai
Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Mumbai-based healthcare startup, Qure.ai is planning to tie up with health ministry and several private entities to deploy deep learning technology for tuberculosis screening.

Around 480,000 Indians die of TB every year. The government has stepped up efforts to eliminate TB by 2025 seeking support from all stakeholders to diagnose and treat TB cases.

Started in 2016 by Dr. Prashant Warier, a doctorate in operations research from Georgia Institute of Technology and Pooja Rao, a medical practitioner and Artificial Intelligence (AI) scientist, Qure.ai leverages AI to read chest X-rays and MRI and CT scans to detect abnormalities and recommend personalised treatment plans faster.

Qure.ai's deep learning algorithms are deployed as software, which is compatible with any X-ray machine. Artificial intelligence automatically reads the X-rays normal or abnormal. It identifies 15 different types of abnormalities in chest and helps diagnose diseases. TB is one of them.

The government and other entities have mobile vans and primary health care centres that are equipped with basic technology like Digital X rays, so they send them to the villages to screen the population and to identify if somebody has TB.  So if they do have TB they are sent for treatment but now what happens if we do not have enough doctors to interpret this. So, then we use AI to interpret this and then the results come back instantaneously as to whether this person has something suspicious on the chest X Ray which might suggest taking this patient in the side and give them confirmation test. So, this helps because if we did not have this immediate reporting the patient might be lost during the screening process and then we would have missed another case of TB. So this is a very strong method where we can focus on, said Pooja Rao.

Qure.ai's head CT solution can detect bleeds, fractures and help diagnose stroke in a timely manner in emergency care centres, she said.

“Every minute could be life-changing for stroke patients or those who suffer head injury. Qure.ai’s head CT scan solution automatically detects if there is bleeding or a fracture, so that diagnosis and treatment can be started at earliest,” said Dr. Rao, who heads research and development.

With growing the healthcare industry, the volume of data and complexity of medical imaging (X-rays, MRIs and CT scans) is rising but the number of radiologists who can interpret them is not. Our algorithm, trained on a growing database of thousands of images, help diagnose disease and recommend personalized treatment plans faster. It helps radiologists detect abnormality accurately and efficiently as well as increases their productivity, she said.

Talking about future plan, Dr Rao said “We are working towards a solution where algorithms can automatically read most of radiology images allowing the radiologists to spend more time on cases which are complicated and require more attention.”


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