"...a simple paper-based diagnostic that detects metabolites of the TB drug in urine. The papers are dispensed from a device every 24 hours; when the diagnostic comes in contact with patients' urine, the metabolite reacts with chemicals embedded in the paper. That reaction reveals a code, which the patient then texts to a central database every day. Those who take the drugs consistently for 30 days are rewarded with cell-phone minutes. "The beautiful thing about this approach is that it really takes into account all the latest research on the psychology of compliance," says [Rachel] Glennerster [Executive Director of MIT's Jameel Poverty Action Lab] "What psychologists have found is that people respond to reminders and deadlines, and they are much more responsive to small, immediate incentives than to larger, more distant ones."And since it's increasingly affordable to give (or subsidize) simple cellphones to patients, this creates what I would call Patient Observation Incentive Network Therapy System (POINTS), a fantastic way to both boost compliance plus empower patients with cash and connectivity.
12 January 2009
XoutTB ~ Take Medicine, Get Mobile Minutes...
Great to see my MIT IDI-IIH colleague Jose Gomez-Marquez's XoutTB spotlighted by Emily Singer in her Technology Review article titled Take TB Meds, Get Mobile Minutes. The current state of the art in ensuring tuberculosis patients take their medicine is to have health workers watch the pill-taking, or Directly Observed Therapy System (DOTS). By contrast, XoutTB distributes...
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