In the Philippines, to address the high number of undiagnosed TB cases, ultra-portable X-ray systems with CAD4TB software were deployed, significantly increasing TB screenings and detections in challenging and underserved areas. Learn how this initiative is transforming TB diagnosis and treatment in the country.

Photo Credit: Nelli Solomonia, Global Fund-supported Mobile Clinic Coordinator // Source: Forbes // Location: Georgia // Organisation: The Global Fund.

In the Philippines, almost half of TB cases are undiagnosed. TB symptom screen missed 67% of Bac+ TB, while the Chest X-ray screen missed only 1.8%. However, the availability of radiologists is limited. The National Strategic TB Elimination Plan targets to screen 12% of the population by CXR by 2023.

The Philippines received eight ultra-portable X-ray systems (UPCXR) with CAD4TB software and Truenat under the introducing New Tools Project (iNTP) to improve reach to unreached with better point-of-care tools.

From June to December 2022, UPCXR with CAD were deployed to target areas such as GIDA (difficult terrain and island communities) and SDAs (socially disadvantaged areas such as urban slums where mobile CXR vans cannot reach). UPCXR with CAD screened 17,332 people, 1,232 (7%) had presumptive TB, and 1,152 (94%) were tested. Among those, 250 (22%) were tested positive.

Also, from September to November 2022, active case-finding was conducted in Bantayan Islands. Compared to the previous year with passive case-finding, UPCXR and symptoms screened 14 times more people, and Truenat testing increased 4 times in case detection.

REFERENCE: Mortera, L. (2023, November 15-18). Revolutionizing TB Screening: Using ultra-portable digital X-ray and computer-aided detection software for TB screening in the community and facilities [Conference session]. The Union World Conference on Lung Health 2023, Paris, France. [Conference session]. The Union World Conference on Lung Health 2023, Paris, France.