Sputum positive patients (those who exhale TB bacteria in the breath) can infect an average of 10-15 others annually. Close contacts (family members, work colleagues, neighbors and etc) of these patients are therefore likely to contract TB. It is extremely important for Operation ASHA to scale up detection of these hidden patients in order to treat them.
Through contact tracing, Operation ASHA checks the potential outbreak of TB by scientifically tracking potential victims (or suspects). This allows us to identify patients early, enroll them in treatment, and reduce the chances of spreading TB to other individuals.
Operation ASHA developed the eDetection App to optimize the patient detection process. eDetection is loaded onto each provider’s tablet, and accompanies providers as they visit families of existing patients, factories where patients work and also go door-to-door in the areas they serve. Providers use eDetection to educate the community on symptoms of TB, and then to present community members with a simple questionnaire, asking them if they have experienced any symptoms of TB (i.e. chronic fever or cough). The App prompts providers to collect a sputum sample for testing if the community member has any of the listed symptoms. The App also is used to connect with patients and form a wireless link with the microscopy centers so that no patient is lost to follow-up.
eDetection has the capability to strengthen our impact by reaching out and detecting vulnerable, at-risk persons. There are 1.8 million new cases of TB in India each year, so active case finding is an urgent need.
- Education and awareness about TB
- Enables detection in a timely manner
- Data sets for contacts are automatically updated
- It is wireless and therefore transportable
- The technology is simple, low cost, and accessible by semi-literate health workers
- Technology is replicable i.e. adaptable in other geographical setting
If you do not diagnose you cannot treat. Our eDetection App, takes detection to new heights, whereby no patient will be overlooked and patients will be treated much sooner. TB providers will also deliver support, education, create awareness and dissolve stigmas effectively with the assistance of eDetection. It will also enable providers to follow up with suspects for an extended amount of time.
The eDetection App is a simple addition to the existing TB treatment model, yet greatly intensifies its reach. The contact tracing function aids us in identifying the spread of TB via existing patients. The benefits are even more advantageous on a community-wide scale: eDetection helps to eradicate TB and drug resistant forms. Not only does eDetection help individual patients by identifying and treating them faster, it also prevents further spread of the disease.
Future Replication Possibilities
Currently eDetection is used for Tuberculosis, but the app can be modified to cater to a myriad of other infectious or genetically transferred diseases, which include HIV, Hemophilia, Ebola, etc.