TB treatment at Apollo linked to govt portal
The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, better known as the The Union, in collaboration with Apollo Hospitals, is launching a pilot project to integrate TB treatment rendered in private hospitals with the National TB Control Programme through a unique web-based software application.
The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, better known as the The Union, in collaboration with Apollo Hospitals, is launching a pilot project to integrate TB treatment rendered in private hospitals with the National TB Control Programme through a unique web-based software application. This application facilitates improved tuberculosis notification, patient adherence to treatment and ensuring better outcomes.
The innovative software links the private health facility with Government of India's TB notification portal Nikshay. It simultaneously supports TB patients for treatment adherence through messages, interactive voice calls and counseling services. The launch of this pilot project using the application to control and treat TB was announced by Sangita Reddy, deputy MD, Apollo Hospitals Group, on Friday at the Apollo Health City.
Tuberculosis is gaining epidemic proportions causing nearly 1.5 million deaths each year, mostly in developing countries. According to statistics available, India alone accounts for a fourth of the new cases of TB detected globally every year with 2.2 million new cases of the 8.6 million worldwide.
This airborne disease kills about 1,000 Indians every day and is therefore considered as India's biggest health crisis. One of the reasons aggravating the rise in incidence is lack of integration of TB programme with private hospitals, besides let up on constant vigilance, effective surveillance and monitoring. Often patients reporting at private clinics or hospitals, after initial relief from the disease, are off the treatment radar, resulting in non-compliance of treatment, while that is the crucial period for vigorously follow up and monitoring.
Such patients also end up spreading the disease in the community. The software linked with the Nikshay project helps in reminding patients through regular SMSes to take medicines. In addition, the integrated voice response tool monitors the treatment adherence.
"Non-compliance to treatment increases the risk of drug resistant tuberculosis, which is a grave concern in India. Automated management will improve care and save lives. It is no more a question of can we eliminate TB - it's more a call to action to definitively rid the world of this deadly disease," says Sangita Reddy. This application will be piloted and perfected at Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills, and will be rolled out to other group hospitals subsequently.