Dutch company Delft Imaging Systems has successfully completed its African e-health and tuberculosis (TB) project in Ghana this March 2018. 51 X-ray systems were installed across the country to accelerate TB case detection in Ghana.
Tuberculosis is curable, but kills 5000 people every day. A target of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) is to end TB globally by 2030. Effective prevention, detection and treatment of TB is key to achieve this goal in the next 12 years.
Ghana, according to the firm, is in the global high burden list for TB. In 2016, the national project ‘Accelerating Tuberculosis Case Detection in Ghana’ was approved by the Ghanaian government. With the help of a Dutch Government ORIO grant and partnering with Oldelft Benelux, local daughter company Universal Delft and the Universal Hospitals Group Ghana, Delft Imaging Systems installed 51 X-ray systems in hospitals, containers and screening vans across all Ghana. As stated by the firm, the mobile screening solutions are self-sustainable thanks to solar panels and can reach even the remotest locations.
18 multifunctional X-ray units were permanently installed in hospitals. This way, hospitals can also use the X-rays to diagnose injuries and fractures in general. In addition, 29 X-ray systems in containers, 2 TB-screening vans and 2 EasyPortable X-ray systems were supplied.
The X-ray systems have been equipped with Computer Aided Detection for TB (CAD4TB) software and teleradiology technology. By applying deep learning technology, as revealed by the company, to thousands of healthy and diseased X-rays, CAD4TB can indicate the likelihood of tuberculosis. It’s possible to screen up to 200 images per day. Only patients with a high CAD4TB score will be tested with the standard and more expensive GeneXpert test. This makes it a very effective way to find TB at an early stage in poor communities.
All the X-ray systems, as revealed by the firm, are interlinked to a central e-health platform in Accra. The teleradiology solution makes it possible to exchange X-ray images with all connected hospitals and clinics. The combination of the unique and cost-effective e-health platform and multifunctional X-ray systems will strengthen the Ghanaian healthcare system as a whole.