India’s HNG and Israel’s Zebra-Med Join Hands to Boost Medical AI in India

HNG and Zebra-Med will get support from India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F) for the joint US$ 4.9 million project

India’s HealthNet Global (HNG) and Israel’s Zebra Medical Vision (Zebra-Med) have entered into a partnership to focus on validating and deploying artificial intelligence (AI)-based tools at scale across India.

HNG, a part of India’s Apollo Hospitals Group and Zebra-Med, one of the global leaders in AI imaging software, will get support from India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F) for the joint project. The US$ 4.9 million joint project is aimed to create and offer clinical validation, and evidence of efficacy of radiology Al-based tools as per I4F norms in India.

The project, after completion, will be able to serve as a main screening method for major diseases in large scale screenings. The two companies will focus on the development of AI-based Chest X-ray interpretation tool for tuberculosis (TB).

Huge benefit to patients

The grant will help the partners to emphasise on the development of India-specific algorithms tool that would be of huge benefit to patients across India and other emerging countries. In addition, the project will modify current algorithms in order to make them ideal for Indian population. The final product will help in providing high quality radiology access to remote locations by immediately alerting the presence of critical findings. This will assist in providing cost-effective, timely and quality care to patients in rural and remote locations.

Commenting on the initiative, Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals, said, “When it comes to health, the promise of AI to provide access and improve outcomes in very intriguing. There is a critical need to provide good healthcare access in remote and rural communities, and we believe this initiative will allow us the opportunity to make significant advances in this area.”

“Apollo’s clinical and scientific depth and Zebra-Med’s expertise in AI complement each other perfectly. This project is part of our continuing endeavour to design new tools to improve healthcare access and deliver best outcomes to patients at lower cost,” she added.

Eyal Gura, Co-founder and CEO of Zebra-Med, said, “We are excited to partner with the leading healthcare services provider in India and to help bring AI to India at such a scale. When we met the Indian team for the first time few years ago, we found common ground and similar dream of scaling healthcare from millions to billions of patients. We are honoured that the two governments have placed their trust in us, and we are committed to utilise this opportunity to impact millions of lives.”

AI in medicine

Vikram Thaploo, CEO of HNG, added, “This is an exciting time for AI in medicine. As these systems increase in accuracy, so will the viability of using AI to extend the reach of Chest X-Ray interpretation, improve reporting efficiency and save lives. We believe in the impact that technology can have in helping provide timely, cost-effective, quality care to patients in remote locations and our partnership with Zebra-Med is a step in this journey.”

Apart from leveraging clinical expertise of Apollo Hospitals network, HNG will work in close partnership with Apollo Radiology International, to bring in experience, leadership and technology in Radiology reporting to the project. The collaboration will also benefit from the advancements already accomplished by Zebra-Med in creating dozens of AI tools.

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