Using mHealth to enhance TB referrals in a tribal district of India
Objective: To determine the feasibility and yield of presumptive TB case referrals by RHCPs using mHealth technology.
Methods: The project was implemented in the tribal population of Khunti District, Jharkhand State, India, from April 2012 to February 2015. ‘ComCare’, a mobile application designed as an aid for health care providers, was introduced and RHCPs were trained in its use.
Results: Of 171 RHCPs who were formally trained to identify and refer presumptive TB patients, 30 were trained in the use of the mobile application. There were 35 referrals of presumptive TB patients per RHCP using the mobile application, and four each by RHCPs who were not using the application. Of the 194 TB cases diagnosed, RHCPs using the application contributed 127 (i.e., 4 TB cases per RHCP), while other RHCPs contributed 67 (0.5 TB case per RHCP).
Conclusion: mHealth technology was highly effective, and increased both public and private health care provider accountability to patients.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease South-East Asia Office, New Delhi, India 2: The Department of Community Medicine, Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), Medical College and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (PGIMSR), Bangalore, India
Publication date: 2017-06-21
Public Health Action (PHA), The Union's quarterly open access on-line journal, provides a platform for its mission 'Health solutions for the poor'. PHA addresses the need for show-casing operational research that addresses issues in health systems and services. It publishes high-quality scientific research that provides new knowledge to improve access, equity, quality and efficiency of health systems and services.
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