Abu Dhabi to ease visa applications with new TB screening process

The pilot study findings revealed the tool can reduce radiologist workload by up to 80 percent while missing zero cases of tuberculosis


Ashwani Kumar

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram


Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Published: Wed 15 May 2024, 6:13 PM

Last updated: Thu 16 May 2024, 11:35 AM

A new AI-powered X-ray technology will automate the reporting of tuberculosis (TB) screenings, reduce the workload on radiologists by up to 80 per cent, and increase operational efficiencies during visa processes, allowing for a larger number of applicants to be served daily.

M42, an Abu Dhabi-headquartered global tech-enabled health company, developed AIRIS-TB – an AI-powered chest X-ray for TB screening centres. Through M42’s Abu Dhabi Health Data Services, AIRIS-TB has been tested in more than 1 million scans over two years at Capital Health Screening Centre (CHSC) – M42’s flagship visa screening centre. The pilot study findings revealed the tool can reduce radiologist workload by up to 80 percent while missing zero cases of TB.

Ali Alsaffar, CEO of Capital Health Screening Centre, noted that the automation will enable the facility to serve an “unprecedented large number” of visa applicants.

Stay up to date with the latest news. Follow KT on WhatsApp Channels.

“At our screening centre, the radiology team meticulously reviews thousands of scans daily, a process that is both manually intensive and demanding. While manual screening is limited by the number of scans a radiologist can review, AI presents a revolutionary change as it operates without such constraints," Alsaffar said during Abu Dhabi Global Healthcare Week.

"In normal cases, AI can eliminate wait times, providing rapid and efficient screening services, enabling us to serve an unprecedented large number of visa applicants and significantly improve the turn-around time,” Alsaffar added.

The technology uses advanced AI to detect abnormalities in X-rays and instantly flags abnormal results for further review by a radiologist. It streamlines operations and expands the scope of visa screening beyond TB. Radiologists can use the time saved to detect other conditions and refer patients for follow-up, improving health outcomes and the visa screening experience for residents.

“AIRIS-TB isn’t just about tech advancement; it’s about reshaping healthcare delivery and experience. It is a powerful testament to the synergy of the assets of our group, which aim to solve pressing health challenges with technological innovation, setting new global standards in TB screening,” Ashish Koshy, group chief operating officer, M42, said.

Scaling operations

M42 plans to deploy the tool on Malaffi, Abu Dhabi’s Health Information Exchange operated by M42’s Abu Dhabi Health Data Services, where other screening providers can potentially utilise it for their operations.

Kareem Shahin, CEO of M42’s Abu Dhabi Health Data Services, noted: “Deployed at M42’s flagship visa screening facility, Capital Health Screening Centre, it represents a significant stride forward for medical technology in the UAE.”

Shahin pointed out that the tool streamlines the screening process and improves diagnostic precision.

“Our focus remains on optimising patient care and ensuring healthcare professionals are supported by the most reliable tools. The potential implementation of AIRIS-TB in Malaffi will significantly increase access to this technology at Abu Dhabi’s healthcare facilities and screening centres looking to scale their operations, improve efficiency and provide better care.”

With its proven safety, efficacy, and clinical impact, AIRIS-TB is set to redefine the standards and process for TB screening across the globe.

Alsaffar noted: “Our doctors can dedicate more time to intricate chest radiology findings, providing an important opportunistic detection capability, thereby enabling us to provide superior services for our visa applicants. As the model is scalable, we are looking forward to extending it to ADNOC Occupational Medical Centre, which is under our operation.”

M42 is working on enhancing AIRIS-TB’s capabilities and exploring its applications in other diagnostic areas, including opportunistic screening of other diseases without changing the current workflow of TB screening.


More news from UAE