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Publication Detail
Deep learning of HIV field-based rapid tests
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Turbé V, Herbst C, Mngomezulu T, Meshkinfamfard S, Dlamini N, Mhlongo T, Smit T, Cherepanova V, Shimada K, Budd J, Arsenov N, Gray S, Pillay D, Herbst K, Shahmanesh M, McKendry RA
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Nature Medicine
  • Status:
  • Print ISSN:
Although deep learning algorithms show increasing promise for disease diagnosis, their use with rapid diagnostic tests performed in the field has not been extensively tested. Here we use deep learning to classify images of rapid human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) tests acquired in rural South Africa. Using newly developed image capture protocols with the Samsung SM-P585 tablet, 60 fieldworkers routinely collected images of HIV lateral flow tests. From a library of 11,374 images, deep learning algorithms were trained to classify tests as positive or negative. A pilot field study of the algorithms deployed as a mobile application demonstrated high levels of sensitivity (97.8%) and specificity (100%) compared with traditional visual interpretation by humans—experienced nurses and newly trained community health worker staff—and reduced the number of false positives and false negatives. Our findings lay the foundations for a new paradigm of deep learning–enabled diagnostics in low- and middle-income countries, termed REASSURED diagnostics1, an acronym for real-time connectivity, ease of specimen collection, affordable, sensitive, specific, user-friendly, rapid, equipment-free and deliverable. Such diagnostics have the potential to provide a platform for workforce training, quality assurance, decision support and mobile connectivity to inform disease control strategies, strengthen healthcare system efficiency and improve patient outcomes and outbreak management in emerging infections.
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Div of Medicine
Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
London Centre for Nanotechnology
Div of Infection & Immunity
Infection & Population Health
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