Where we started… What’s been accomplished… What the future holds…
Even though there has not been a blog post since June, activities regarding TBDx have not slowed. Over the coming days we will be presenting a series of blogs with our primary focus to ultimately answer the basic question that many of you have – why has it taken so long to progress from a technological concept to market acceptance?
We will provide insight on the many challenges faced in introducing a breakthrough “disruptive” medical technology. From the lack of a global accreditation agency to the increased level of scientific scrutiny surrounding new technologies (due to manipulated clinical trial results from other organizations) to the introduction of image processing science into a world of microbiology expertise. We will further breakdown the specific technical challenges we faced in automating the entire process, creating multi-layered detection algorithms, and performing detection in two widely divergent staining mediums. Our plan, as it has always been, is to make TBDx more than just a technological reality, but to bring it to commercialization!
Among the activities we will be discussing in future blogs:
- Continued refinements to our detection algorithms,
- Technological breakthroughs in multi-layered focusing that have resulted in the capture of the highest quality images (focusing of objects irrespective of their location within the focal plane),
- Patent-pending technological advancements in the capture of Ziehl-Neelsen (ZN) stained slides without the requirement for the use of oil immersion (a momentous breakthrough in the ability to automate TB detection when using ZN stain),
- Exploration of novel technological approaches to improve the probability of detection in the most rigorous scanty (TB positive cases where only 1-9 bacilli exist in 100 fields-of-view) TB cases,
- Negotiation of our participation in essential international clinical studies, and
- Education of the international TB microbiology community in the complexities of imaging science, an area of science outside their primary fields of expertise, and its potential diagnostic benefits.
We may, from time-to-time, break away from the blog series to bring current company news and developments as they occur. Ultimately, we want this blog series to aid our shareholders, and other interested parties, in understanding the challenges we have faced not only in product development, but also in assessing global requirements to gain widespread acceptance in the international TB community. These challenges most frequently affect, and expand, the timeline from research to revenue.
More than ever, we believe TBDx and the underlying laboratory automation technology platform can greatly improve the speed, accuracy, and cost of TB diagnostics, especially in areas of the world where a low-cost, mass screening capability could finally impact the undeterred transmission of the disease.
We have created a fully automated hardware-software laboratory slide management and computer-vision detection platform capable of future application to many other disease detection challenges, such as malaria, leprosy, dengue fever and sleeping sickness.
As you read through, please let us know your thoughts and questions regarding these topics!