Apollo Hospitals and The Union (International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease) have launched a new automatic mechanism to notify TB cases to government authorities and to follow-up cases.
The software, as part of the Tuberculosis (TB) intervention programme, will send reminders to patients about administration of drugs and also notify cases to authorities. Patients will get reminders through SMS, voice calls and even counselling if they skip the prescribed TB drugs, doctors said.
"The software will send everyday reminders to patients to take medicines. This is very important because in our experience, once patients start feeling better, they tend to discontinue medicines. This invariably causes complex drug resistant TB," says Sunita Nareddy, HOD, Department of infectious disease.
The Central Government's TB notification website 'Nikshay' and the newly launched software are interconnected to automatically upload patient information and also support treatment adherence for patients.
"At present, there is no automatic mechanism in place to notify TB cases to government authorities. There is no system of follow-up of cases. The new software will address both these issues. The success rate for TB treatment is over 95%. However, the adherence levels to the drugs are low," said The Union's project director Sarabjit Chadha.
The software would be tested on a pilot basis at Apollo Hospitals and it would be extended based on the response. Hospital officials said project is implemented to involve all private health care providers in delivering effective and quality TB services.