Project Lead(s): Karim Karim
New funding from federally-funded Grand Challenges Canada and partners will enable KA Imaging to build and test a low-cost, high-resolution digital X-ray imager for use in the developing world.
Between two-thirds and three-fourths of the world’s population has inadequate or no access to medical imaging - a critical problem, as medical imaging is used to diagnose some of the world’s top killers, including child pneumonia, tuberculosis, cancer, and cardiac disease.
With funding from Grand Challenges Canada’s Stars in Global Health program, KA Imaging addressed this issue by developing an affordable, high-resolution, low-dose medical imager, 40% more sensitive than current digital imagers.
Digital X-ray offers significant advance from current systems screening systems that use sputum microscopy or film x-rays, which can be time-consuming and expensive. The innovation costs under $.50 per test (compared to $8.72 with a standard X-ray) and offers rapid diagnosis. The imager is also the lowest-dose real-time X-ray detector available, which means that more X-rays can be taken, helping in the diagnosis of pneumonia in children.
KA Imaging, a University of Waterloo spin-off company led by Dr. Karim S. Karim and Amol Karnick, evaluated and validated their prototype with the help of a team of radiologists from Aga Khan University Hospital. Results demonstrated that the KA Imager achieve the same level of accuracy as conventional imagers, at a lower X-ray dose and cost.
With new transition-to-scale funding from Grand Challenges Canada, KA Imaging will continue to build and test their prototype. Through the installation of a single unit in Zambia, an estimated 960 individuals are expected to be diagnosed with tuberculosis by September 2016.
Partners include the University of Waterloo, Christie Medical Holdings, Delft Imaging Systems, and Ontario Centres of Excellence.
Impact and Results
- Technology for Doctors: Waterloo startup lowers radiation & cost of X-rays (23/11/2016)