Freedom TB: Mobile for Tuberculosis Treatment

ZMQ Software Systems, with support from Microsoft, launched the Freedom Tuberculosis (TB) programme in 2009 to provide relevant information on the disease, treatment schedules and medicine alerts on patients’ mobile phones.

ZMQ leveraged mobile technology towards the Freedom TB programme to promote awareness among patients about the disease and connect them with health service providers for treatment.

As of June 2011, Freedom TB has used four types of technology interventions to achieve their goals. First, 1.4 million mobile phone games were downloaded to make illiterate and marginalised patients aware of TB in local languages and free of cost. Second, smart phones with mobile training kits are given to DOTS healthcare providers and community health workers, who in turn spread awareness at the local level. Third, all DOTS centres are connected to a central server and monitored with limited human supervision. An automated message generated from the server is sent to all patients reminding them to take medicines through a universal patient identification system that contains a database of patients of all DOT centres. Fourth, after receiving the automated SMS, patients send their response regarding medicine consumption via mobile to the DOT centre/worker. This has helped in monitoring patients’ treatment and their compliance, especially with those living in remote regions and isolated locations.

This case study was published in June 2011.

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