A mobile health (mHealth) technology based application was developed to help rural health care providers (RHCPs) identify and refer presumptive tuberculosis (TB) patients to the nearest microscopy centre for sputum examination using mobile applications on their smart phones.
To determine the feasibility and yield of presumptive TB case referrals by RHCPs using mHealth technology.
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
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).
mHealth technology was highly effective, and increased both public and private health care provider accountability to patients.
This research was supported by the UK Department for International Development’s Operational Research Capacity Building Programme led by the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease (The Union)
Chadha S, Trivedi A, Nagaraja SB, Sagili K. Using mHealth to enhance TB referrals in a tribal district of India. Public Health Action. 2017;7(2):123–6.
Using mHealth to enhance TB referrals in a tribal district of India