Developing Technology for TB Programs
The Role of Technology in TB Treatment
The primary tool in fighting the systemic economic and logistical barriers faced by patients is a well-run treatment program, rather than technology. However, there is a pressing need to scale such programs, while simultaneously improving quality: globally, only half the patients receive treatment, and the cure rate is 77%. Once programs scale to treat hundreds of patients a year, and manage a large staff, information and communications technology can play the same role it has in other contexts: improve productivity, ensure quality, and reduce costs. The use of technology is not without risks – one may inadvertently replace the problem of delivering drugs with a potentially harder problem of delivering technology. We’re constantly refining our development process to mitigate this risk and ensure that technology helps programs scale.
Identify treatment programs ready for technology uptake.We partner with programs with that have effectively delivered TB treatment at moderate to large scales (100s of patients annually or greater) and are now poised to scale.
Work on-site to assess needs and feasibility.We work with partners in target communities to identify opportunities where technology can have clear, immediate, and quantifiable impact.
Develop technology.We customize proven, off-the-shelf solutions when we can, and develop new ones if we must. We leverage our partnerships with academia and industry.
Conduct controlled trials to assess impact.We believe that effectiveness of interventions should be measured via controlled trials.
Work with partner on program-wide deployment and sustainability.