The pilot project was announced just after World Tuberculosis Day (24 March 2022) on the sidelines of the 74th National Annual Conference of the Indian Radiological and Imaging Association (IRIA).
The Bleepa Box is a small tablet device that can connect to any imaging machine such as an X-ray machine. The DICOM standard images are transferred from the imaging machine onto the Bleepa Box and then automatically pushed to Bleepa, which is a medical imaging communications app. From here, an artificial intelligence solution can help to assess and provide an AI-based diagnosis in real time, so that the HCPs at the hospital can access specialist support and initiate timely treatment, in case of a positive diagnosis. The use of the Bleepa Box for TB screening and diagnosis requires a 3G or 4G wireless connection.
Speaking about the company’s plans for India, Dr. Thomas Oakley, CEO, Feedback Medical, said, “India has made massive strides in the development and adoption of medical technology to support the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. We are confident that our pilot programme will demonstrate the value of the Bleepa Box to help rapidly screen for and diagnose TB, particularly in remote, resource-scarce locations where this has been a challenge.”
The service sees digital X-rays, securely transmitted via mobile networks, to the cloud where the images are analysed by Feedback Medical’s partner Qure.ai, before being shared with clinicians. Using Bleepa’s pioneering capabilities a screening result can be available within minutes of an X-ray being acquired, almost anywhere in India.
The impact of this technology means that TB screening can now be expanded to rural areas where digital imaging was difficult to deliver, enabling current TB screening services to reach more people.
The pilot, run in partnership with Qure.ai and Amazon Web Services, will now move into an evaluative stage where the system benefits will be measured as patients come through. Bleepa’s adoption by hospitals in the English NHS has demonstrated considerable time-saving benefits and a reduced administrative burden in referral pathways.
Feedback Medical is hopeful that other companies and organizations will see the value in this program for TB screening and come forward to support and expand its reach.