Oxford researcher Dr. Anna Schuh is laying the foundation for diagnostics and therapy for blood cancers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Alexapath is proud to support her innovative research by supplying the ADA I and mobile Whole Slide Imaging Software. Dr. Schuh regularly travels to Muhimbili University for Healthcare and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) where the ADA I has been set up. In 2019, the collaborative team of Oxford Researchers, Alexapath Engineers and Haematopathologists from MUHAS will be launching a blinded control study to assess the potential for the ADA I to positively affect patient outcomes. Of particular interest to the team is DLBCL, or Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma. An aggressive (fast growing) tumor which can arise in any part of the body. There are approximately 30,000 cases of DLBCL in sub-Saharan Africa each year, nearly 50% of these cases may be related to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). With a limited number of haematopathologists, the chances of receiving an accurate diagnosis early in the disease course as well as adequate treatment and follow-on care is limited. To fill the diagnostic gap, Alexapath has already begun testing our telemedicine solution ‘mWSI Live’ in Tanzania and plan to expand the role of their telemedicine services over the course of 2019 as well.
Alexapath researchers have developed an AI capable of differentiating between normal and abnormal pap smears. Autopap is a CNN made of 4 Conv layers and 2 FCs. It was built using a combination of Matlab, Python and Tensorflow. Thanks to financial support from the United States and India Science and Technology Endowment Foundation (USISTEF) and Qualcomm Design in India Challenge (QDIC). The USISTEF award was originally a collaborative effort between Alexapath and Aindra, an Indian firm. Unfortunately, after two years Aindra never demonstrated any working prototype. After Aindra used Alexapath images of Alexapath’s proprietary hardware claiming it as their own. We terminated our relationship with Aindra and raised additional funding to cover the cost of this development from Qualcomm. We are in the process of submitting the full research paper for publication in early 2019.
Alexapath is proud to announce our partnership with Dr. Tony Barrios and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Barrios is a professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, one of the world’s foremost experts on the Helminth and Helminthiases, and he works with Dr. Blanca Jiménez, the director of CONAQUA as well. Dr. Barrios’ lab has just received the first ADA I system and have begun scanning concentrated specimens of Helminth as part of the first step in our research study. Next we will deploy two more ADA devices at water treatment facilities in 2019. Helminthiases occur mostly in poor communities, where conditions for transmission are rife and where they may play an important role in contributing to poverty. Even with deworming treatment. Populations living in contaminated environments continue to be at risk of infection. Provision of adequate water, sanitation and hygiene services is fundamental to break the cycle of infection and ADA + HEAD is the right tool to do it.