Task Force Health Care (TFHC) is the leading public-private platform for the Dutch Life Sciences & Health sector, providing innovative & sustainable solutions to health care challenge. Each quarter TFHC presents its Quarterly Review keeping the public informed about their activities. Delft is a partner of TFHC and in the first edition of 2017 Delft is presented as such in “Partner in the Picture”. Please read the article below.
‘’We are thankful that the Dutch government contributes to our success and consequently accelerates the development of our projects.”
With their slogan ‘Global Knowledge, Local Impact’ Delft Imaging Systems (Delft) envisions a world in which everyone can benefit from the modern world advances in the field of healthcare. Delft is specifically dedicated to improving people’s quality of life around the world by implementing its diagnostic imaging devices, eHealth software and related services.
Means to identify health problems at an early stage are unfortunately not a surety in developing or conflict-affected areas. Though diagnostics should be equally accessible for everyone, developing countries are frequently under-resourced. They do not have the necessary access to diagnostics nor the availability of trained personnel. Delft takes these poignant situations, and the specific approach these cases require, as a starting point for product development. Together with private and public partners, Delft develops unique health innovations that respond to the specific needs and desires of vulnerable communities around the world. With an intense focus on the screening of Tuberculosis (TB) Delft has been developing the OneStopTB Clinic. The OneStopTB Clinic consists of a sturdy yet easy to operate digital X-ray machine, innovative automated reading software called CAD4TB (a virtual radiologist) and a small TB laboratory for rapid DNA testing. With the OneStopTB clinic hundreds of people can be screened on signs of tuberculosis and a definitive diagnosis can be made within 2 hours compared to existing tests which can take weeks.
As a Partner of the Task Force Health Care (TFHC) they have been internationally active for over 10 years. The international TFHC network has taught Delft many lessons, exchanged experiences and established successful partnerships. Guido Geerts (President & CEO of Delft Imaging Systems) explains: ‘’TFHC is our vehicle to communicate between B2B and B2G. The TFHC is the perfect method to channel our problems/barriers to the government. By communicating on a structural basis, we can easily indicate which methods have proven itself and which have not. This way, you are closely linked to policy development and receive first-hand information. Moreover, we make good use of the TFHC international activities. We have committed ourselves to participate in at least one trade mission a year. If only to expand our network or exchange information. Each trade mission has provided us with new insights and business contacts. For example, the trade mission to Ghana and Nigeria in 2014. At the time, we were in the preparatory phase of an extensive governmental ORIO project (currently called DRIVE). Due to the presence of Minister Ploumen (Min. of Foreign Trade & Development Cooperation) our project experienced a much-needed acceleration. We are thankful that the Dutch government contributes to our success and consequently accelerates the development of our projects.’’
The project of Delft in Ghana called “accelerating Tuberculosis case detection” is an innovative approach to reduce the burden of TB in Ghana. In total 48 hospitals will receive a OneStopTB Clinic. When a hospital already has an X-ray room and TB laboratory the existing facilities will be used to install the equipment. However in 30 rural hospitals a modified
20’ container, equipped with solar panels, battery power packs and the above mentioned equipment will be installed making the deployment much more easy to manage. All hospitals will be interlinked with a nationwide image database (PACS) using the mobile network. Image transferring takes less than a minute and patient data can be viewed in the central archive for additional quality control and expert diagnosis. Total project value is about 20 million euro’s and includes a 7 year service and maintenance plan. During the national TB prevalence survey it became clear that the burden of TB in Ghana is about 2 times higher then suggested by WHO and the best way to diminish TB is to diagnose more people at an earlier stage to avoid infection of other people. The OneStopTB approach will certainly help Ghana to reduce the burden of TB the coming years. Regarding the maintenance, Delft established a joint venture with a local African partner; Universal Hospitals Group. Guido Geerts elaborates: ‘’We originally met this partner 7 years ago via a company within the TFHC network. Our joint venture is called Universal Delft, they assist in the local development of our clinics and will also cover the maintenance for 7 years. We are especially proud of the fact that our efforts resulted in job creation and knowledge transfer within the West African region.’’
This project is currently one of the largest and most progressive eHealth projects in western Africa.
Guido Geerts, President & CEO of Delft Imaging Systems