World TB Day 2023: Using MedTech Technologies to Combat Tuberculosis in India

World TB Day 2023: Using MedTech Technologies to Combat Tuberculosis in India

According to research and analyses, 1.6 million individuals worldwide passed away from TB in 2021. TB is the second most lethal infectious illness in the world after COVID-19, ranking above HIV and AIDS as the thirteenth greatest cause of death globally. The prevalence of TB is alarmingly high for those who are infected worldwide. While TB exists in all nations and in all age groups, it is treatable and preventive.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that India will have 2.5 million new cases of tuberculosis (TB) in 2021, making it the country with the greatest global TB burden. Addressing the dual burden of TB and COVID-19 in India is critical because the COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial negative effect on TB services, causing interruptions in diagnosis, treatment, and care.

India carries a disproportionately substantial share of the burden of the world's tuberculosis rates, with close to 26% of the people afflicted by the disease. India's approach to TB has evolved over time as a result of the growing complexity of technology and the digitalization of space. The Government of India has set goals to eradicate the illness by 2025, which were highlighted in the most recent budget statement. With the expected acceleration of the disease's reduction set at 15–19% per year, this is a highly challenging objective.

The National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP), which focuses on improving TB diagnosis and treatment, extending the reach of TB services, addressing TB-HIV co-infection, and encouraging community involvement, is one of the initiatives the Indian government has put into place to eradicate TB. According to Chandra Ganjoo, Group Chief Executive Officer of Trivitron Healthcare, "the government is also striving to increase access to TB services & awareness in distant and rural regions via programs like Mobile TB vans, and involving private providers in TB management."

In addition to government initiatives, MedTech is essential to attaining the objective of eliminating TB in India. In order to enhance TB diagnosis and shorten the time needed for diagnosis, advanced technologies such point-of-care TB testing, digital health, X-rays, CT scans, Next Generation Sequencing, and molecular diagnostic assays may be used. Moreover, Ganjoo notes that high-risk TB patients may be identified and therapies can be tailored appropriately using mobile health technologies including text messaging and smartphone apps, AI-based predictive analytics, and machine learning algorithms. These remedies might help with improved resource management and lessen the impact of TB in India.

The government has put into place a number of strategies and initiatives, including improving TB diagnosis and treatment by increasing the accessibility of free diagnostic tests and TB medications, running active case-finding campaigns to identify cases in the community and provide them with prompt treatment, and collaborating with the private sector. According to Dr. Raajiv Singhal, Managing Director & Group CEO, Marengo Asia Hospitals, "As a significant portion of TB cases in India are treated in the private sector, MedTech companies and Hospitals play an important role in eradicating the disease by providing high-quality diagnostic tests for the disease, molecular tests that can detect drug-resistant TB, conducting research on TB to better understand the disease, and developing new treatment options. A thorough and cooperative strategy involving several stakeholders, including the government, healthcare providers, and the commercial sector, is required to eliminate the illness in India.

With a number of programs, Trivitron Healthcare, an Indian business that develops medical technologies, is aiming to eradicate tuberculosis. A collaborative agreement between Trivitron Healthcare and Illumina Inc. aims to advance the use of in-vitro diagnostic tests based on next-generation sequencing (NGS) in India. By allowing early diagnosis of drug resistance in all 18 genes, individualized therapy, increased monitoring, and expedited research and development, NGS has the potential to revolutionize the way that TB is treated in India, according to Ganjoo. Clinicians and researchers may work toward the objective of eliminating TB in India and enhancing the health and well-being of millions of individuals by using the potential of NGS.