Early Evaluation of an Ultra-Portable X-ray System for Tuberculosis Active Case Finding



X-ray screening is an important tool in tuberculosis (TB) prevention and care, but access has historically been restricted by its immobile nature. As recent advancements have improved the portability of modern X-ray systems, this study represents an early evaluation of the safety, image quality and yield of using an ultra-portable X-ray system for active case finding (ACF). We reported operational and radiological performance characteristics and compared image quality between the ultra-portable and two reference systems. Image quality was rated by three human readers and by an artificial intelligence (AI) software. We deployed the ultra-portable X-ray alongside the reference system for community-based ACF and described TB care cascades for each system. The ultra-portable system operated within advertised specifications and radiologic tolerances, except on X-ray capture capacity, which was 58% lower than the reported maximum of 100 exposures per charge. The mean image quality rating from radiologists for the ultra-portable system was significantly lower than the reference (3.71 vs. 3.99, p < 0.001). However, we detected no significant differences in TB abnormality scores using the AI software (p = 0.571), nor in any of the steps along the TB care cascade during our ACF campaign. Despite some shortcomings, ultra-portable X-ray systems have significant potential to improve case detection and equitable access to high-quality TB care. 


  • Luan Nguyen Quang Vo1, Andrew James Codlin1, Thuc Doan Ngo2, Thang Phuoc Dao2, Thuy Thi Thu Dong1, Huong Thi Lan Mo2, Rachel J. Forse1, Thao Thanh Nguyen3, Cong Van Cung4, Hoa Binh Nguyen4, Nhung Viet Nguyen4, Van Van Nguyen5, Ngan Thi Tran2, Giang Hoai Nguyen2, Zhi Zhen Qin6 and Jacob Creswell6. 1


  • 1. Friends for International TB Relief
  • 2. Ha Noi 100000
  • 3. Vietnam IRD VN
  • 4. Ho Chi Minh City 700000
  • 5. Vietnam Pham Ngoc Thach Hospital Quang Nam
  • 6. Tam Kỳ 560000
  • 7. Vietnam National Lung Hospital
  • 8. Ha Noi 100000
  • 9. Vietnam Department of Health Quang Nam
  • 10. Tam Kỳ 560000
  • 11. Vietnam Stop TB Partnership
  • 12. 1218 Geneva
  • 13. Switzerland

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