emocha Mobile Health’s video technology, designed to help people in tuberculosis treatment, is expanding into North Carolina.
The Baltimore-based health IT company said its platform will be used by Mecklenburg County Public Health, which is the public health department for the one-million-person county that includes Charlotte and suburbs.
“Mecklenburg has the greatest number of TB cases in the state and is the first county in North Carolina to adopt this technology,” emocha CEO Sebastian Seiguer said. In all, 34 of the state’s 213 cases were reported in the county in 2017. “This is a significant innovation for the whole state as it really advances traditional care and treatment plan for TB.”
emocha brings tech to a process called “directly observed therapy,” in which health professionals watch patients take medication. For tuberculosis patients, this is the standard of care, but in-person observation requires regular travel by a patient or health worker over at least six months.
emocha’s product eliminates that need through its mobile app, as patients record themselves taking medicine. They can also receive reminders and report any issues.
The Johns Hopkins spinout company’s technology can be applied for treatment of a variety of diseases in which observation would help patients stick with a medication regimen. Tuberculosis treatment is among the areas where the FastForward 1812-based company found growth. It’s currently used by health departments for treatment of the infectious disease in counties in more than 50 municipalities, including California and Texas.
“This technology allows us to provide innovative patient-centered care while protecting public health,” Dr. Meg Sullivan, Mecklenburg County public health medical director, said in a statement. “In the future, we see opportunities to use technology like emocha’s for patients across a variety of health conditions to ensure that they are supported and successful in treatment.”
emocha is also seeking to expand its technology for treatment of diabetes and opioid addiction. It’s part of a group of startups that graduated Dreamit Health Baltimore’s accelerator and continued growing in the city.
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