Chandigarh: Department of Health & Family Welfare, Punjab, Roche Products India and Niramai Health Analytix inked an MoU for accelerating cancer screening and treatment for Breast Cancer in the state of Punjab. The partnership named “Punjab Breast Cancer AI-Digital project”, also known as ‘Pink project’ will focus on efforts to ensure timely identification, treatment initiation, and robust referral pathways across the various health centers through technology enabled digital live patient tracking support.Giving details about this new initiative of the department, Health and Family Welfare Minister Punjab Dr. Vijay Singla stated that this new public-private partnership is a significant step forward in the battle against cancer and a real boost to the potential of reducing the diseases burden and serving the last mile. He further state that a total of 15, 000 screenings of suspected females are targeted to be carried out in a span of one year and Punjab Health Department will ensure the mobilization of people for the screening.He informed that the epidemiological data generated with the help of this project will further support policy planning and mapping of the spread of Breast Cancer cases.
The project aspires to proactively initiate early detection and maintain consistency with its digital referral capability by linking tertiary care centers. This would immensely help down staging the disease as early detection would lead to lower costs of the treatment as compared to patients that were diagnosed in later stages. Mission Director NHM Punjab cum Secretary Health Sh. Kumar Rahul stated that “We are excited for this partnership, which will strengthen efforts already underway across NHM through NPCDCS (National Program for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke).Revolutionary partnerships like these are clearly a stimulus to increase attention towards timely detection and management of breast cancer in Punjab.Roche Products India Limited will act as a Technical Partner for project planning, implementation & monitoring of the state-wide Breast Cancer project plan, thereby strengthening the referral pathway through digitization. The digital system will help capture epidemiological statistics and provide GIS mapping of screened patients to generate MIS reports for the government officials.
At Roche, we stand strong with our mission to deliver better, faster patient outcomes and constantly strive to make healthcare accessible to those who need it. Early diagnosis for Breast Cancer is extremely crucial to reduce mortality rates and provide appropriate treatment pathways. Partnership with the health department of Punjab and Niramai will foray a multidisciplinary approach within the oncology ecosystem, to not only make breast cancer treatment highly effective but also yield tangible medical solutions for the cancer community. Said Managing Director & CEO V. Simpson Emmanuel, Roche India. Dr Geetha Manjunath, Founder and CEO of Niramai, speaking at the MOU signing event said ‘Breast cancer is the largest cancer killer resulting in the deaths of over 90,000 Indian women every year. Niramai Thermalytix is a portable, accurate and automated test that can be conducted by a village health worker to identify women suspicious of breast cancer.
We are very happy to partner with Punjab Government and Roche India to take this solution to every district of Punjab. We hope to replicate this across all states to save thousands of lives.’ She further stated that the core technology of Niramai software has been developed using patented machine learning algorithms for reliable and accurate detection of breast cancer, which are non-invasive and respect the privacy of the patient. The partnership will also provide the state with capacity building sessions for doctors and other healthcare professionals on cancer epidemiology, its signs & symptoms, clinical features, diagnosis and treatment pathways. In addition to this, the Punjab government will ensure mobilization of the population for screenings which would be supported by Niramai Health Analytix & Roche Pharma India.