A state-funded Indian scientific lab has now developed a smart microscopy solution for affordable medical diagnostics. The instrument developed by the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) in northern Chandigarh can acquire microscopic images or use stored microscopic images of blood samples for real-time quantification of red blood cells and white blood cells.
“It is a telepathology based technique, which can be operated by any technician and the reports can be send to experts. It can be a very useful tool particularly for remote and inaccessible rural areas which lack diagnostic facilities", Dr Suman Tiwari, the lead researcher of the project told India Science Wire, a state-funded science news service.
This microscopy technique is based on a deep-learning algorithm. It uses mathematical formulations that can be used as a model for optimal outputs. The technique uses software that calculates red and white blood cells via microscopic images of blood samples.
The existing methods are visual and manual but this technique would use an automated visual method. A microscope can be mounted on the newly developed instrument, which has a camera to acquire images. These images are then read by computers where the back-end algorithm can produce the results. In this approach, detection and quantification for RBC and subtypes of WBC has a 93 percent accuracy rate. The software can be loaded on a digital microscope developed by CSIO.
"The system has been tested on data obtained from different clinical centres for lab-specific quantification. It can be developed as an integrated approach and automated solution for real-time quantification of blood cells in diagnostic inference", added Dr Tiwari.
"Limited access of equipment and experts for diagnostic testing of diseases to India's vast population and people living in remote areas is a major problem. This smart technology can be useful in ensuring access to affordable and accessible diagnostic services", said Professor R. Sinha, Director of CSIO.