USAID Utilizes Artificial Intelligence to Improve Tuberculosis (TB) Diagnosis in Vietnam

The World Health Organization ranks Vietnam as the 16th highest TB-burdened country in the world. Each year, it is estimated that 170,000 people become sick from TB, but only around 100,000 are accounted for and treated within the national health care system in Vietnam. While Vietnam fights against the current COVID-19 waves, the USAID Support to End Tuberculosis project continues to support community campaigns to diagnose TB, a potentially fatal yet entirely preventable disease. Along with the Double X strategy (2X), a high-yield procedure that uses chest X-rays and the rapid TB bacterial detection tool GeneXpert to diagnose TB, the project introduced an artificial intelligence software this year to improve the quality of chest X-ray interpretation. With USAID support, Tien Giang Provincial Lung Hospital recently conducted a 2X campaign in Cai Lay District’s nine communes, screening 2,324 people with chest X-ray and 950 people with GeneXpert, leading to 23 newly diagnosed TB cases. The artificial intelligence software identified an additional 38 people with abnormal chest X-ray findings, who are currently being investigated as potential TB patients.

Innovative technology, such as artificial intelligence software, can further strengthen the 2X strategy, with the goal to find, treat, and prevent more TB cases. Through this support, USAID will help Vietnam increase case detection and treatment, further supporting the country towards ending TB by 2030.

(This article appeared as an USAID.GOV BLOG post on July 9, 2021.