Discover the Innovative Double X Strategy That’s Saving Lives
Tuberculosis (TB) has been one of the deadliest infectious diseases plaguing humanity for centuries, killing millions of people every year. And now, researchers around the world are using the highest levels of technology to combat this disease, and the results are promising.
FHI 360, a global organization that mobilizes research and resources to help people have access to healthy lives, and the National TB Control Program of Vietnam are at the forefront of this effort. They are using artificial intelligence to create a double detection system that accurately diagnoses TB so it can be treated expeditiously.
The Double X Strategy, as it is called, combines AI data and direct human professional support to rapidly and accurately detect TB. The approach uses both X-ray machines and rapid diagnostic machines, called GeneXpert, to reach people both in hospitals and in community events with mobile units. To detect the disease, a person at risk of having TB receives a chest X-ray. If the X-ray is abnormal, that person then receives a sputum test with GeneXpert, which can identify M. Tuberculosis DNA. The test is completed in two hours and results are returned in one to two days. If the test results indicate that the patient has TB, they are started on treatment right away.
In a recent study, researchers determined that the AI technology was able to match or even outperform professional radiologists in detecting TB. The AI software correctly identified 75% of the positive cases and showed an 85.7% accuracy rate in detecting negative results for patients who did not have TB. The experiment was conducted on mobile phone photographs of chest X-rays, meaning this tech can be applied in underserved areas, where doctors can get a “second opinion” remotely by sending the scans to the AI.
Since 2022, the project has utilized AI to read more than 100,000 X-rays. These innovations are finding more people in need of TB care and preventative treatment, as well as finding more people who may not necessarily have classic TB symptoms. They have early-stage, subclinical TB, which is an area of emerging research. In the past, many early-stage cases would not have been detected without current technology.
The Double X strategy has become Vietnam’s national TB screening strategy, allowing experts to meet people where they are and create the blueprint to a more holistic approach to battling the world’s deadliest infectious disease. By using artificial intelligence, technicians are able to quickly and accurately diagnose TB cases, which is critical for early detection and treatment. The Double X strategy has been implemented in three Vietnamese provinces and has already shown promising results. By expanding the strategy nationwide, Vietnam aims to end TB by 2030.
The use of AI in TB detection is a game-changer, as it allows for faster and more accurate diagnoses, which can save lives and prevent the spread of the disease. The technology is able to analyze X-rays and identify signs of TB, even in cases where the disease is not yet symptomatic. This means that patients can receive treatment earlier, increasing their chances of recovery and reducing the risk of transmission.
The Double X strategy is just one example of how AI is being used to fight TB. Researchers are also exploring the use of machine learning algorithms to predict which patients are at highest risk of developing TB, as well as to develop new drugs and vaccines.
It’s important not to forget about deadly diseases like TB. By harnessing the power of AI and implementing innovative strategies like Double X, we can make significant progress in the fight against TB and save countless lives.