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Evaluation of miLINC to shorten time to treatment for rifampicin-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis
The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Achieving the 90–90–90 targets for tuberculosis (TB) will require interventions that enhance diagnosis, linkage, treatment and adherence to care. As a first step in the process, our team designed a suite of smartphone applications known as miLINC to improve time from diagnosis to treatment initiation in drug-resistant TB patients.
Three clinical locations in a large, peri-urban district in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
To assess the acceptability, feasibility and impact of the miLINC mobile health applications as a solution to reducing the time from presentation to treatment initiation of rifampicin-resistant (RR) TB patients.
We used a prospective, observational quality improvement evaluation of miLINC's impact among newly diagnosed patients with RR-TB.
A convenience sample comprising details of 6341 patients with presumptive TB were entered into miLINC. Of the 631 TB-positive sputum specimens, 41 (6.5%) were found to be RR-TB. The mean time from clinical presentation to RR-TB treatment initiation was 3 days, 21 h, 17 min.
This is the first study to suggest that the time from presentation to diagnosis and to treatment initiation for patients with RR-TB can be significantly improved using an integrated approach combining technology with appropriate human resources.
Farley, J. E; McKenzie-White, J; Bollinger, R; Hong, H; Lowensen, K; Chang, L. W; Stamper, P; Berrie, L; Olsen, F; Isherwood, L; Ndjeka, N; Stevens, W. Evaluation of miLINC to shorten time to treatment for rifampicin-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis. International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. 2019 Sep;23(9):980-988(9).