Israel-based medical device company Sight Diagnostics (SightDx) will collaborate with the US Army Medical Research Directorate Kenya (USAMRD-K) for the development and testing of SightDx’s latest malaria diagnostic technology.

Under the collaboration, SightDx will develop and produce a portable malaria and complete blood count (CBC) reader which will be calibrated and validated through clinical trials at the USAMRD-K Field Station in Kisumu, Kenya.

SightDx CEO Yossi Pollak said: “We are very excited about the partnership with USAMRD-K.

“This award recognises SightDx’s success in bringing a high-throughput computer vision malaria diagnostic technology to the market and sets us on a path to launch a point of care version of the platform in remote locations and austere environments.

“USAMRD-K in Kisumu, Kenya serves as an ideal partner, given their extensive background in malaria clinical research and expertise in malaria diagnostics.”

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The project will involve collaboration with Dr John Waitumbi, senior scientist and chief of the Basic Science Laboratory at USAMRD-K.

SightDx seeks to develop a portable version of the malaria diagnostic technology for complete blood count, providing additional diagnostic information considered important for health care providers operating in remote locations.

The latest device will be able scan a single cartridge of five tests and could have significantly smaller dimensions, making its suitable for smaller clinics in rural areas.

“If proven successful, the instrument from SightDx will help detect and quantify malaria parasites.”

Waitumbi said: “Malaria microscopy and rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) have been the mainstay of malaria diagnosis for centuries and decades, respectively.

“If proven successful, the instrument from SightDx will help detect and quantify malaria parasites.

“It will also provide the patient’s blood count (anemic status), an important parameter in the management of patients diagnosed with malaria.”

Image: An Anopheles stephensi mosquito is a vector of malaria. Photo: courtesy of Jim Gathany.