New Active Approach for Combating Tuberculosis
28 February - ZMQ is a "Technology for Development" social enterprise working towards building technology-linked development solutions. We are working on a new approach to manage Tuberculosis through a bottom-up approach. The project is called "Active Approach for Combating Tuberculosis." In today’s environment, technology has reached the last mile, giving us an opportunity to redesign health and other development solutions driven by people and communities.
As part of an innovative approach to combat tuberculosis, we started with small innovation called "Active Compliance System." The solution was designed to empower the patients and communities to ensure quality adherence and compliance reporting, with effective self-management of TB treatment, using interactive mobile-based tools. After a pilot project was conducted in the Mewat (Haryana) district, it was evident that TB eradication requires a multi-level holistic approach for long-term disease management and that we need to actively lay the groundwork of a conducive environment for active adherence and treatment, management by the patient. This led to the building of a larger solution with a 360 degree approach.
Using video, voice and text/SMS, a reporting tool was developed for the patient to report compliance. The tool is based on the algorithm of compliance-rating under which the patient has to maintain a higher level of compliance. The key role of the providers (DOTS Providers/VHTs) is now reduced to constant monitoring of the compliance reported by patients. If the patient’s compliance-rating goes down the patient is switched to an Observer DOTS programme. At the moment, we are working on Image and Video recognition technology so that the device itself can validate if the same patient is taking the medicine or not. This whole exercise has led to the building of a larger approach of-
- Active Ground Building
- Active Case Detection and Active Compliance
- Active Case Management; making it a 360 degree holistic model for combating Tuberculosis with a bottom-up design.
We are now working in two (2) regions in India i.e. Delhi and Haryana and Wakiso district in Uganda with a total of 3000 patients. Some of the key digital approaches for preparing ground are-
- Use of digital media like games for community and youth (http://www.freedomtb.org/Awareness.html)
- Edutainment based learning tools for patients
- Radio based stories and digital story telling for inspiring patients to complete their treatment successfully (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zmq.sacchisaheli&hl=en)