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On December 5th 2015 at the UNION Conference a Symposium on digital Chest X-rays and Computer Aided Detection for Tuberculosis (CAD4TB) was organised by the Stop TB Partnership. Evidence on high CAD4TB sensitivity and specificity scores on data sets from Cameroon, Bangladesh, Philippines, Tanzania and South Africa was presented at the Conference.

Chest X-rays due to new digital imaging technologies play an increasingly important role in active case detection algorithms and TB prevalence surveys. Rapid advances in digital technology and easy use of these innovations present an opportunity to overcome the barriers of using traditional film based chest X-rays as effective screening tools for TB in low resource-high burden settings.

At recent UNION World Conferences the high sensitivity of Chest X-ray was illustrated by findings in the TB prevalence surveys in Viet Nam, Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda, Ghana and Cambodia. The fact that screening on symptoms only can result in missing more than 40% of TB cases, now makes Chest X-ray with high sensitivity levels a mandatory part of any TB prevalence survey, as mentioned in the WHO Workshop on Prevalence Surveys.

Already at the 39th UNION World Conference in Paris, October 2008, a special session on radiology was organised.

"The way forward in Chest X-ray (CXR) is to use digital images. Digital images can be read immediately without processing, they have a constant high quality, the data can be much more efficiently stored and transmitted –allowing them to be diagnosed even by distant specialists- and settings for the readings can be standardized to support electronic interpretation of images".

CXR: the way forward; by Dr D. Enarson