Zebra Medical Vision, an Israel-based startup that uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help read medical scans, will collaborate with HealthNet Global (HNG), a part of the Indian hospital network Apollo Hospitals Group, to deploy its technology across the country and jointly develop applications suitable for the Indian market, including screening for tuberculosis.
Both the companies have also received funding grant from India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F), which was announced in July 2017 to promote joint R&D projects for the $4.9 million project.
HNG and Zebra will co-develop an AI-based chest X-ray interpretation tool for Tuberculosis (TB) which can help doctors better screen for the disease. The collaboration will provide clinical validation, and evidence of the efficacy of radiology Al based tools in India.
The final developed project will be able to assist as a primary screening method for major diseases in large scale screenings. For example, World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 3.6 million people with TB are missed by health systems every year and do not receive adequate care. This is primarily because patients with TB may present with mild or no symptoms, particularly early on. Many affected people arrive at clinics too late with advanced disease or multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB), which is difficult to treat and more likely to cause death. One of the key strategies to tackling TB is early diagnosis. Unfortunately, sputum testing is only 50% accurate and frequently misses the disease in its early stages. Both companies will focus on development of AI-based Chest X-ray interpretation tool for TB which can help address the gap.
Speaking of the initiative, Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals said, “When it comes to health, the promise of AI to provide access and improve outcomes in very intriguing. There is a critical need to provide good healthcare access in remote and rural communities, and we believe this initiative will allow us the opportunity to make significant advances in this area. Apollo’s clinical and scientific depth and Zebra-Med’s expertise in AI complement each other perfectly. This project is part of our continuing endeavor to design new tools to improve healthcare access and deliver best outcomes to patients at lower cost.”
Eyal Gura, Co-founder and CEO of Zebra, said, ” We are excited to partner with the leading healthcare services provider in India and to help bring AI to India at such a scale. When we met the Indian team for the first time few years ago we found common ground and similar dream of scaling healthcare from millions to billions of patients. We are honored that the two governments have placed their trust in us and we are committed to utilize this opportunity to impact millions of lives.”
Zebra Medical Vision was founded in 2014 by Eyal Toledano, Eyal Gura, and Elad Benjamin and funded by Khosla Ventures, Marc Benioff, Intermountain Investment Fund, OurCrowd Qure, Aurum, aMoon, Nvidia, J&J, and Dolby Ventures.