Currently, in India, there is a lack of health professionals in rural areas and there are not enough diagnostic labs and trained pathologists. Digital transformation in the country’s healthcare system could improve medical services.
Researches from the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO), under the Council of Science and Industrial Research (CSIR), have developed a smart microscopy solution. According to news reports, it can acquire or use stored microscopic images of blood samples under study for the quantification of red blood cells (RBC) and white blood cells (WBC).
A researcher at the institute said that it is a telepathology-based technique, which can be operated by any technician and reports can be sent to the experts. It will be a useful tool particularly for remote and inaccessible rural areas that lack diagnostic facilities.
The technology is based on a deep learning algorithm. It uses mathematical formulation as an optimised model for outputs. It uses software that calculates red and white blood cells using microscopic images of blood samples.
Existing methods are only visual and manual, this technique, however, will use an automated visual method. The microscope will have a camera mounted on it and will take images with it. These images are then read in computers where the backend algorithm can produce results. The detection and quantification for RBC and subtypes of WBC have shown 93% accuracy. The software can be mounted on a digital microscope developed by CSIO.
Reports note that the system has been trained on data obtained from different clinical centres for lab-specific quantification. It can be developed into an integrated approach and automated solution for real-time quantification of blood cells in diagnostic inferencing.
The CSIO Director said that limited access to equipment and experts for the diagnostic testing of diseases for people living in remote areas is a major problem. The technology can be useful in ensuring access to affordable and accessible diagnostic services.
Earlier this week, the CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), Chandigarh signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay to promote collaborative research.
The MoU will facilitate the exchange of ideas, development of new knowledge, and enhance the quality research acumen between the researchers and faculty of the institutes.
The objective of this collaboration is to carry out state-of-the-art research in healthcare.
The institutes will benefit through this partnership as it will accelerate the exchange of faculty and students for teaching, developing, and implementing collaborative research projects, professional development programs, and capacity-building efforts.
A representative said that as IIT Bombay is amongst the top ranked institutes of the country and IMTECH is focussed on solving India’s unmet medical needs, this MoU shall promote collaborative research specifically in the area of healthcare.
CSIR-IMTECH is a national centre for excellence in microbial sciences and was established in 1984. IMTECH’s vision is to discover and develop translational products and new drugs to address key the country’s societal and medical needs.