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Mobile Health: ConnecTB

The USAID TB South Africa Project developed and utilises the ConnecTB mobile health (mHealth) application for recording and reporting patient data during directly observed treatment support (DOT) visits to TB and MDR-TB patients in supported districts. The app was launched in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Health District (NMBMHD), Eastern Cape Province, in June 2015. Within nine months of initiation, loss to follow-up (LTFU) rates in supported areas were much lower than rates in the greater NMBMHD area, demonstrating a promising strategy to increase retention of MDR-TB patients in care.

The ConnecTB app guides community healthcare workers (directly observed treatment (DOT) supporters) in taking patients’ medical history, identifying side effects and conducting contact tracing daily. The app generates daily, weekly and monthly summaries of adverse events (side effects) per patient. The project also uses the ConneTB app to map locations of TB patients using geospatial mapping technology to support patient tracking and retention in care.

Maps generated in this way are crucial for identifying high TB burden areas, which helps the project to streamline and focus its interventions in the areas where they are needed the most.