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Free Content Mobile health to improve tuberculosis care and control: a call worth making [Review article]

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The use of mobile phones has substantially increased throughout the world over the last decade. This has opened up opportunities for the integration of mobile phones as health intervention tools in many aspects of health care, including prevention, diagnosis, data collection, treatment and adherence monitoring and surveillance. Several applications have been explored in human immunodeficiency virus care. The field of tuberculosis (TB) has not exploited the potential of mobile health (m-health) to the same extent, although the opportunities have been recognized. A number of proof-of-concept and pilot studies have been published on m-health in TB care, and an even larger number of studies are available in the grey literature. This article summarizes publications and recent developments at the intersection of TB care and m-health. We show that more rigorous studies evaluating different applications and implementation strategies are needed to establish an evidence base that serves to inform policy and decision making. We outline further areas of research that should be addressed and potential challenges that lie ahead if m-health applications are to enhance the accessibility and quality of TB care.
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Keywords: communication; implementation; mobile phones

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada 2: Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada 3: World Health Partners, New Delhi, India 4: Logistimo India Private Limited, Bangalore, India 5: Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada 6: Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Respiratory Epidemiology and Clinical Research Unit, Montreal Chest Institute, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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