Friday, September 19, 2008

Tuberculosis X PRIZE?

Prize for Tuberculosis - neXt PRIZE:

With all of the awful statistics I've just listed, the saddest part of this is that there is a cure for tuberculosis ready and waiting. The reason that so many people die from this disease is that diagnosing it in third world countries is extraordinarily difficult.

Currently, it takes 3 weeks to get results back for a TB diagnosis in the developing world. Patients have to come in several days in a row to give a saliva sample, and then wait. 10-15% of the patients never come back to receive the results of their test. Untreated, or if treated too late, tuberculosis is deadly.

So it is vital for a fast, easy diagnosis to be created that can be used in the field, and deliver results quickly. So that's why we're exploring ideas for tuberculosis diagnosis.

Update: Here's a relevant paper from KEI: The Role of Prizes in Developing Low-Cost, Point-of-Care Rapid Diagnostic Tests and Better Drugs for Tuberculosis