KEM Hospital, Mumbai became the first to set up an advanced diagnosis machine that will now be able to give viral load tests results within a span of mere 90 minutes. Patients with HIV have to undergo a biannual test which discloses the number of viruses in the bloodstream and the gravity of the infection. This machine aims to make the test process less cumbersome. Diagnostic tests for Tuberculosis and Hepatitis C can also be undertaken.
KEM hospital has collaborated with the Mumbai District AIDS Control Society and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), an international, independent, medical relief organization. The GeneXpert machine is a result of this collaboration. MSF previously provided supplies for a lesser advanced machinery, but now they’ve not only paid for GeneXpert, but also for the test kits and the salaries to the technicians.
The previous machine is approximately seven years old and requires the extraction of DNA from the samples to be done manually. “The current technology takes an entire day and we test about 24-25 samples a day. Also, if number of patients increased, the backlog used to increase and caused delay in issuing reports,” said Dr. Sreekala Acharya, project director,MDACS.
The new machine would give out tests results within 90 minutes. The machine is in fact equipped with four modules with four slots each, which means 16 samples can be tested at a time. “Going by this pace we would be able to offer 64 viral load results in a day. Moreover, there is minimal chance of contamination because the machine is fully automated and needs minimal human involvement or training,” said Dr Preeti Mehta, head of the department of microbiology.
Information source: hindustantimes
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