South Africa Implements Emocha for MDR-Tuberculosis

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Emocha, a Johns Hopkins startup, has engineered a system of mobile applications used by health officials to register and link tuberculosis patients to care

emocha has launched a system in South Africa to link thousands of patients afflicted with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) to specialized clinics for care. Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death in South Africa. Currently, close to 16,000 people are diagnosed with a more deadly drug resistant strain of the virus every year. Of these, half do not return to the clinic for care after diagnosis. To bridge the gap, emocha has created a data interface with the National Health Lab Service (NHLS) and engineered three mobile applications that work in harmony to identify patients and coordinate care from diagnosis through initiation of treatment.

The project is part of the MDR-TB Partnership, an international, multi-sector effort to stop Tuberculosis. The initiative is led by Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing Associate Professor, Dr. Jason Farley, in collaboration with emocha, the National Department of Health South Africa, Jhpiego-SA, and the NHLS.

"MDR-TB remains a global public health crisis," said Dr. Farley. "Rapid diagnosis must be followed by rapid linkage to care and initiation of treatment. Our smartphone applications, powered by emocha, will reduce the gap between diagnosis and linkage to care."

Primary Health Clinics, Linkage Officers, and specialized MDR-TB Clinics each have a tablet-based application to register, track, and document contact and initiation of patients. In addition, patients are alerted to NHLS laboratory results to improve continuity of care.

"This is a very high-impact project with the potential to link thousands of patients across the country to care," said emocha CEO Sebastian Seiguer. "We have been designing and engineering the system with global health experts for over a year now, and are excited to see this system go live," said Seiguer.
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emocha Mobile Health is a mobile health platform that supports a wide range of applications for remote patient management. Clinicians and researchers use the platform for mobile data collection, education, and communication. Additionally, a web interface provides real-time data visualization and analytics. emocha has been implemented in more than ten countries across four continents.

The MDR-TB Partnership is a multi-sector initiative lead by Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in collaboration with the National Department of Health South Africa, Jhpiego-SA, the National Health Laboratory System and emocha. This Partnership is leveraging the collective know-how to build innovative approaches to address the TB and drug-resistant TB crisis in South Africa. The Partnership's mission includes 1) improving access to care through task-sharing approaches; 2) rapid linkage, tracing and scheduling of care through m-health solutions; 3) clinical excellence and holistic decentralized treatment centers; 4) evidence-based clinical decision making. Through this collaboration we are assisting the Department of Health to realize it's 90/90/90 strategy. The Partnership is in it together to STOP TB.

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Morad Elmi
@emochaHealth
since: 01/2014
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