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BD India to introduce new malaria detection platform that can provide diagnostic result in 4 minutes

New Delhi: US-based medical technology company BD and Israel-based Sight Diagnostics (SightDX) have signed a deal under which BD will market SightDX Parasight Malaria Detection Platform in India. The collaboration will represent the first malaria diagnostics offering from BD.

SightDX Parasight Malaria Detection Platform
SightDX Parasight Malaria Detection Platform
Varun Khanna
Varun Khanna

Varun Khanna, managing director, BD India and South Asia, said, “Our collaboration with Sight Diagnostics is aligned with our purpose of advancing the world of health by bringing technology solutions for malaria diagnosis to India.”

Yossi Pollak, CEO, SightDX, said, “Our collaboration with BD provides us with an established and experienced partner in the field of infectious disease, and together we can better serve the Indian healthcare market.”

According to SightDX, its Parasight Malaria Detection Platform uses computer vision technology to automatically analyse blood samples for malarial parasites and provides a diagnostic result within four minutes.

The device also provides information on the species of the infecting malarial parasites and provides information that may be used by clinicians to aid in determining the severity of the illness.

Neeraj Raghuvanshi
Neeraj Raghuvanshi

The diagnostic information is displayed on the instrument’s screen and integrates into the facility’s lab information management system.

The Parasight Malaria Detection Platform underwent clinical testing at Apollo Hospitals, Chennai in 2015 and at Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016 during which it demonstrated a high degree of sensitivity and specificity even at very low levels of infection, according to a statement issued on April 25.

The SightDX Parasight Malaria Detection Platform will be BD’s first step into the Indian malaria diagnostics market. BD currently markets a variety of diagnostic systems in India with offerings in the area of sepsis (blood culture systems), tuberculosis, pathogen identification, and blood cell morphology (flow cytometry systems).

Neeraj Raghuvanshi, business director of diagnostic systems at BD, said, “In partnership with Sight Diagnostics, we would be able to play a definitive role in early and accurate diagnosis of malaria in India which has been long affected by this tropical disease.”

In 2013, approximately 880,000 cases of malaria were reported in India with over 128 million tests performed, according to the WHO Malaria Report 2014.

According to BD, the Parasight Malaria Detection Platform will be marketed in pathology labs and hospitals across India. The technology could also have an application in blood banks where malaria testing is mandatory on all blood donations.

Dr Dinesh Bhujangrao Thakare
Dr Dinesh Bhujangrao Thakare

Speaking to India Medical Times, Dr Dinesh Bhujangrao Thakare, director (pathology), Thakare Pathology Laboratory, Phoenix Labs, Amravati, Maharashtra, said, “There is a huge market of malaria diagnostic tools and kits in India. There are different types of kits available in the market; on an average they take 10-20 minutes to show the results.”

“If we compare the latest malaria diagnostic kits with the traditional manual method of testing for malaria, the traditional method is more time taking and at times you have to keep looking for the parasites in slides for a long time. And even then you might miss presence of parasites. But in these new kits antigens get caught even if there is approximately blood specimen of 2 to 50µL,” he added.

Dr Vishnu, owner of a blood bank in Rajasthan, told India Medical Times, “We use different technologies in blood banks to detect malaria since malaria testing is mandatory on all blood donations, specifically if the donor has a past history of malaria. With the different test kits that are currently available, the procedure may involve 2 to 6 steps and may take 5 to 30 minutes to diagnose malaria.” He further said, “At blood banks, we mostly use stain kits for malaria diagnostic.”

by Pooja Pandey

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