The National Health Mission, Health & Family Welfare Services, Government of Goa, has entered into a momentous memorandum of understanding (MoU) with AstraZeneca Pharma India Ltd. The collaboration aims to accelerate the detection of lung cancer through the deployment of state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence (AI) based screening technology developed by Qure.ai. This groundbreaking initiative is set to benefit a significant number of patients across district hospitals in the state.
In Goa, approximately 1,400 to 1,500 new cancer cases emerge each year, this partnership marks a pivotal step towards enhancing healthcare outcomes. With India recording an estimated 14,61,427 cancer cases in 2022, the need for proactive measures against this disease cannot be overstated.
AstraZeneca’s commitment to transforming patient outcomes is exemplified through the establishment of the ‘Lung Ambition Alliance,’ a coalition dedicated to eradicating lung cancer as a leading cause of mortality. Through the alliance, AstraZeneca, endeavours to redefine the healthcare landscape in Goa by emphasizing early detection and intervention in combating lung diseases.
Dr. Sanjeev Panchal, Managing Director and Country President, AstraZeneca India said, ” At AstraZeneca, we are focused on transforming outcomes for patients, increasing access to healthcare and making healthcare systems more resilient. This partnership with the government of Goa is an opportunity to integrate AI-based chest X-ray and low dose CT technologies that are instrumental in early cancer diagnosis thereby improving patient outcomes.
The utilization of advanced AI-driven diagnostic tools not only enhances early disease detection but also contributes valuable data to critical healthcare programs. This data will aid in addressing national healthcare challenges and inform strategies to alleviate disease burden.
AstraZeneca’s commitment extends beyond technology, aiming to save lives and foster resilient communities in collaboration with the Government of Goa.
Designed for efficacy, this tool will focus on detecting early lung cancer in patients and will be deployed in all district hospitals and few PHCs across the state benefitting entire population aged 24-75 years of age for a period of one year. This enables the state government to provide Low Dose CT free of cost for all high-risk patients identified as above to help them achieve early diagnosis and later also providing them access to treatment at the earliest. Further, data collected will be analysed in partnership with AstraZeneca India to measure success of such proactive screening interventions undertaken by the State whereby people who earlier were diagnosed in late stage with poor outcomes are now being diagnosed early with improved Overall survival rates.
Lastly, , the overall objective of the government is to make all innovative & life-saving healthcare available for everyone in the state of Goa. To achieve this goal, the government also showcased its strong intent to build a policy for procurement of all proprietary & patented products in consultation with organisations like AstraZeneca India who bring forth such breakthroughs. This policy will pave way for making latest innovations available for all citizens of Goa by the Goa government thereby bringing early Amritkaal for the State.
Health Minister Vishwajit P Rane said: “Lung diseases’ burden can no longer be ignored, and it needs comprehensive strategies to fight the same. This MoU with AstraZeneca India will not only help us find at-risk lung cancer patients but also will screen multiple other lung diseases with 1 simple scan. We are expecting great success out of this collaboration and are sure that this step will strengthen our approach to diagnose disease early so that we can guide our patients early and save more lives”.
This transformative partnership, facilitated by AstraZeneca’s support, exemplifies the collective effort towards building a healthier nation. It aligns seamlessly with flagship initiatives like Ayushman Bharat, underscoring the government’s commitment to accessible and affordable healthcare for all. As Goa embarks on this journey towards a healthier future, this partnership serves as a beacon of hope, setting a precedent for transformative healthcare collaborations across the country.