Probitas Foundation collaborates with the UPC to improve care for people affected by malaria, tuberculosis and NTDs

Probitas Foundation collaborates with the UPC to improve care for people affected by malaria, tuberculosis and NTDs

  • Probitas Foundation collaborates with the UPC to improve care for people affected by malaria, tuberculosis and NTDs
  • Probitas Foundation, through its Global Laboratory Initiative (GLI) program, contributes technical and financial resources to the project.

In countries with a very low or low human development index, deaths and days off due to illness are mostly caused by difficulties in accessing healthcare.

The difficult access to healthcare for the most vulnerable populations also distorts the medical statistics of these areas, as they cannot provide significant data in real time.

The objective of the IMAGING project is to move towards a solution, improving people's care and offering a faster and more automated diagnosis without requiring large resources.

At Probitas Foundation we have collaborated with the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), together with the Vall d'Hebron Hospital, the Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute and the Brazilian universities UFRP and UFRN to make the development of the project possible.

IMAGING is a project for automated diagnosis using low-cost microscopy. Malaria, and many other diseases, are mostly diagnosed with a light microscope. In vulnerable areas there are not enough microscopists who know how to distinguish these parasites or who have enough time to carry out the task. Faced with this difficulty, the idea of digitizing the images to automate their diagnosis arose.

With this system, assistance centers will be able to greatly reduce human, economic and time resources to carry out a diagnosis with quality assurance. IMAGING can be adapted to diagnose other diseases that can be distinguished under a microscope. Those centers that have Internet access will also be able to share the image and the notification to send to hospitals, surveillance systems or managers and collect epidemiological information in real time.

Currently, there is already a low-cost microscope controlled by a mobile phone that, through artificial intelligence, is capable of automatically detecting malaria parasites.

This project allows us to advance in three ways:

  1. Facilitate early diagnosis of malaria, tuberculosis and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).
  2. Improve knowledge of the epidemiological reality of NTDs.
  3. Develop tools to reflect on the potential of the different control strategies to be used.

Probitas Foundation, from the Global Laboratory Initiative (GLI) program, provides technical and economic resources to carry out the project. The GLI is a proprietary program created in 2010 that aims to strengthen the capabilities of clinical diagnostic laboratories in the most vulnerable regions of the world.