Project Lead(s): Judy Gichoya
Healthcare systems in developing countries are often in poor shape, due to low budgets, a rising incidence of both communicable and non-communicable diseases, poor public health systems, a lack of disaster preparedness, few and poorly motivated workers who are poorly trained, and increased population growth.
These issues can result in an increased rate of tuberculosis (TB) infection, coupled with poor surveillance systems to limit infection rates.
Implemented in Kenya, this project evaluated the effectiveness of using a mobile phone application to aid in clinical and public health surveillance of TB.
Frontline healthcare workers use the app to capture information on TB cases (including referrals) and continuously feed the information to the system, allowing for clinicians to receive information on referred patients for treatment. The app also provides simple clinical decision-making rules, to ensure adherence to national tuberculosis guidelines.
Research involved 150 patients in 8 facilities and 10 frontline health workers.
Use of the app resulted in high rates of providing patients with follow-up results (90%), under five screening (90%), better treatment outcomes (90%) and a low defaulter rate (6%), which is higher than the national average.
Results of the study were disseminated in workshops and seminars. A poster presentation on the work at MEDINFO 2014, a large international conference on informatics, was awarded the prize as best poster.
A partnership led to collaboration for a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funding project worth $400,000 US for use of the tools developed to migrate HIV treatment cards into the national EMR (called KenyaEMR).