www.ilabsoutheastasia.org/technologies/tb-lab-result-alert-system-2/

TB Lab Result Alert System

The TB Lab Result Alert System is a web based application with SMS capabilities that enables a user at a health center to send information about a suspected TB patient to the system as well as providing a way for the lab technician to send the results of the lab tests back to the health center.

The challenge

Tuberculosis (TB) is second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest killer worldwide due to a single infectious agent. Over 95% of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and it is among the top three causes of death for women aged 15 to 44.  Although the TB death rates have dropped 40% between 1990 and 2010, there is still much work that needs to be done to bring the total number of cases down to zero.

In order to determine if a patient has TB,  a sample is taken from the suspected infected patient.  The sample is spread thinly onto a glass slide, creating a smear which must be transported, usually by motorcycle, to testing laboratories where they are analyzed.  After the results are obtained in the labs, they are transported by the same means back to the health care centers where patients are informed whether their test results are positive or negative.  This whole process, when reports are facilitated by means of a paper-based system, takes on average between 10 to 14 days.  During this time it is possible for patients who have contracted TB to unknowingly spread the virus to new victims and without proper treatment up to two thirds of people ill with TB will die.

 

 

The tool

The TB Lab Result Alert System is a web based application with SMS capabilities that enables a user at a local health center to send information about the TB smear to the system as well as providing a way for the lab technician to send lab results via SMS to the system (using Nuntium gateways connected to local mobile operators). This online system also provides the ability for health workers at the national level to view reports, manage users and locations as well as use specific template message settings.

Some of the benefits of using this system are:

  • Reduction of turnaround time to deliver laboratory test results to the health center

  • Reduction in delay for  patients to be  treated

  • Reduction of morbidity through early detection and accelerated access to care

     

     

The system features:

  • Pre-populate the phone by importing the numbers of Directly Observed Treatment (DOTs) users, Health Centers users and Laboratories users to system

  • Pre-populate Health Center Code, Village Code and supervising lab to system. So that when lab sends the result, then system know the respective Health Center and DOTs to send the alert to

  • System ability to record SMS information submitted from health center  for each test case

  • System ability to alert error back to health center if the data submitted was in incorrect format

  • Store the correct SMS received from HC into database by using serial number (included in SMS text) as reference

  • Store lab result by using serial number (included in the SMS text) as reference to previous test information that was submitted by Health Center

  • System alerts the lab result to respective Health Center and DOTs in the village

  • Basic user authentication for online access for national level (National Center for Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control – CENAT) to view patient(s) and test information sent by Health Center with its lab result