Health / Health tech

Health department launches TB trial with emocha app

Maryland reported 176 cases of tuberculosis last year. Treating it is tricky.

Tuberculosis bacteria under the microscope, colorized, in this 2006 photo. (Photo courtesy of CDC)

Tuberculosis is both tough to treat and medically cumbersome to manage. Under directly observed therapy, a medical professional has to watch a patient take his or her medication for at least six months. A Baltimore health IT startup may help lighten that load.
The Baltimore City Health Department is launching a pilot with emocha Mobile Health’s app miDOT, according to a release from the Highlandtown firm.
“We believe that the miDOT app will increase the health department’s capacity to provide quality care for TB patients while freeing up clinician time for other critical TB control activities,” said Dr. Patrick Chaulk, the department’s acting deputy commissioner for communicable disease.
In 2013, Maryland reported 176 cases of tuberculosis or 3 per 100,000 people, according to Centers for Disease Control statistics. That rate was 13th in the country last year. Alaska led the nation with 9.7 cases per 100,000 people, though only 71 cases were reported in 2013. Among the 50 states and District of Columbia, Wyoming was the only jurisdiction without a tuberculosis diagnosis last year, according to the CDC report.
The miDOT app allows patients to record themselves taking medication, captures symptoms and securely submits the video to clinicians, allowing them to confirm that the medication was taken and saving them the trouble of making a house call.
“emocha’s miDOT has gained traction nationally and internationally for a simple reason,” emocha CEO Sebastian Seiguer said in the release. “It solves a major problem for patients and clinicians.”

Companies: Scene Health / Baltimore City Health Department / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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