The 2012 Conference on Retrovirals and other Opportunistic Infections is being held this week in Seattle, Washington. Among those presenting at the conference is Dr. Gavin Churchyard, CEO of The Aurum Institute. Dr. Churchyard’s presentation is entitled “Automated AFB Microscopy Substantially Reduces Microscopists Work Load.” This is the first summary analysis of the initial clinical evaluation of TBDx conducted in South Africa. Post-presentation, Dr. Churchyard will participate in a panel discussion on technology and infectious diseases.
The TBDx presentation is focused on the productivity gains to be realized as a result of automating smear microscopy and using detection algorithms to diagnose patient sputum specimens. TBDx automated detection increases the sensitivity of smear microscopy while reducing the reliance on human visual inspection. In a single laboratory shift, TBDx can handle the diagnostic workload of four microscopists while reducing errors that normally occur due to human factors. In a global environment of increasing growth in TB diagnostic needs to maintain status quo, resource challenged countries will need less capital investment to build new laboratories, with less stress on the human resource requirements for hiring, training and retaining laboratory technicians.
Another event of importance is the long-awaited completion of the final clinical trial report. It is finally nearing completion and should be submitted to PLoS ONE, an international, peer-review, online medical publisher in the next 30-60 days.