New Delhi: The Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) of the Union health ministry has launched an initiative at the Lok Nayak Hospital here to improve patients' adherence to TB treatment.
New initiative to enhance adherence to TB treatment
The initiative has been launched in collaboration with Caredose, a Delhi-based medicine management company.
"The country is home to an estimated 28 lakh tuberculosis patients and our innovative technology intervention will surely ensure a huge dent in this number. Currently, the medicine schedule adherence needs improvement as the existing systems depend on patients' inputs and are therefore unreliable, which is a major cause of failed treatment," Angrish said.
The process involves a "smart dispenser", which is an ICT (information and communications technology) enabled TB treatment box. It is devised to ensure and track real-time medicine adherence in tuberculosis patients (including drug-resistant TB patients in a phased manner). In addition to adherence, it also looks at aiding with support for adverse drug reactions (ADR), which are common for patients on TB medication.
Monthly medicines, pre-organised and labelled by dose (in a patient's choice of language) are provided and a daily dose is auto dispensed at the right time everyday with the help of the dispenser.
It also helps in real-time adherence tracking. Once the patient cuts the dispensed dose, the adherence is communicated in real time, along with a time stamp. Also, if a patient does not take the dose on time, then various actionable alerts are sent out to the ground staff and supervisor, depending on the time progression of non-adherence.