Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 24 (ANI/NewsVoir): With a sharp focus on the eradication of tuberculosis in India this World TB Day, HaystackAnalytics, an IIT Bombay-based health-tech startup, supported by the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, has launched a fundraising campaign to raise awareness on drug-resistant TB which requires a Universal drug susceptibility test (DST) for clinicians to enable them to start the right therapy.
Knowing the drug resistance profile of all the drugs before prescribing medicines is as critical as the detection of TB. Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) is going to be pivotal in enabling Universal DST and eventually saving lives of the patients from this silent killer. HaystackAnalytics has already tested close to 10,000 patients for TB and is targeting to enable WGS-based diagnostics for 20 per cent of DR-TB patients in 2023. Whole Genome Sequencing for Diagnostics for Tuberculosis has been available in developed countries like the UK through the NHS since 2015.
Source: World Health Organisation
The fight against tuberculosis (TB) continues to be a major public health challenge in India. Every year, around 2.5 million people in India are affected by TB, and the disease claims the lives of over 4 lakh people. India has the world's greatest number of unreported TB cases. The rate of TB infections in the country has increased by 49%, with the majority of cases remaining undiagnosed. In 2020, a total of 18.12 lakh TB cases were reported, which was 25% less than the total of 24 lakh cases reported in 2019. The lack of awareness about TB care has led to case non-reporting and delayed diagnosis.
The fundraising campaign is being led by a consortium of organizations including the likes of World Health Partners, and Doctors For You which are dedicated to eradicating TB in India. Moreover, HaystackAnalytics is in talks with various industry associations in healthcare for collaborations for the campaign.
Dr Anirvan Chatterjee, Co-founder, and CEO of HaystackAnalytics said, "With this campaign, we aim to create awareness about drug-resistant TB and how the breakthrough solutions provided by the Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) technology can enable the identification of pathogens accurately along with drug resistance profile and aid in the timely diagnosis of diseases by way of universal DST. At HaystackAnalytics, we strive to create technologies that address gaps and obstacles in the present diagnostics environment. We hope to enhance healthcare in our community by encouraging and advocating for easy access to TB-related diagnostics and treatment for patients and curb deaths in the country. Let us all pledge to work together to make India TB-free by 2025."
HaystackAnalytics has partnered with the leading giving platform Milaap to launch this fundraising campaign to raise small ticket funds starting from as little as INR 1,000 by means of crowdfunding from multiple individuals. Contributions can be made through this link milaap.org/fundraisers/support-to-stop-drug-resistant-tb
HaystackAnalytics is an IIT Bombay, health-tech company, funded by grants from Department of Science & Technology and BIRAC, Government of India, and backed by healthcare veterans like Dr. Velumani. They build, validate and offer tests that accurately identify the condition of the patient. To make genomics data consumable for all general healthcare systems, they have managed to bring the solutions directly to the users with their unique computing hardware, co-developed with Intel.
In a short span of time, HaystackAnalytics has been able to secure a position in the healthcare ecosystem and have become the one who will co-create the future of healthcare in the country. The company has been honored with prestigious healthcare startup awards including CAHO Tech- PitchFest for healthcare startups and HealthTech startup of the year by The Entrepreneur magazine. The HaystackAnalytics's platform for rapid identification of drug resistance in TB patients was recently launched by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi at BIRAC's Biotech Startup Expo 2022 in New Delhi.
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