Tech for TB

Determined to improve on 1-way, easy-to-ignore reminders for tuberculosis patients to take their medicine, MIT researchers in Kenya embarked on an experiment, reports MedicalXpress.
 
They teamed up with the digital health company Keheala and drew on behavioral science to create an interactive patient-provider platform. Only 4% of TB patients in the study had unsuccessful treatment outcomes vs. the control group’s 13%, according to findings in the New England Journal of Medicine.
 
Patients who self-report taking their meds can be rewarded with a spot in a “Winner’s Circle,” explains Donald McNeil Jr. in the New York Times. If they don’t, though, they invite a barrage of texts and calls.

Pauline Howell, a South African TB specialist, warns that while it seemed to work in the study, patients might lie about compliance, either to improve their score or just to stop the nagging.

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