Patients will get reminders through SMS, voice calls and even counselling if they skip taking the prescribed TB drugs. A special software has been developed that will automatically upload patient information to a TB notification website - Nikshay of the Government of India. The software at the same time will support treatment adherence for patients. . Ms. Sangita Reddy, Joint MD,Apollo Hospitals Group, launched the programme.
While launching the intervention programme, hospital officials said that out of 2.2 million (22 lakh) fresh cases, 50 per cent prefer private sector for TB treatment.
"At present, there is no automatic mechanism in place to notify TB cases to Government authorities. There is no system of follow-up of cases. The new software will address both these issues. The success rate for TB treatment is over 95 per cent. However, the adherence levels to the drugs is low," said Project Director, The Union,Mr.Sarabjit Chadha.
The software would be tested on a pilot basis at Apollo Hospitals and based on the response would be scaled-up. Hospital officials said that The Union was implementing the project to involve all private health care providers in delivering effective and quality TB services.
"The software will send reminders everyday to the patients to take medicines. This is very important because in our experience, once patients start feeling better, they tend to discontinue medicines. This invariably causes complex drug resistant TB," says Head, Infectious Diseases, SunitaNareddy