The British medical journal, Lancet, discussed XoutTB – the TB therapeutic compliance platform in the context of providing improved healthcare by exploiting mobile communication technology.
An excerpt from the article: Other groups are using SMS messaging in combination with economic incentives to improve treatment adherence. X out TB is an SMS-based system invented by a group of scientists and entrepreneurs with the Innovations for International Health project at the Massachusetts Institute off Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA. Each day after taking their medication, tuberculosis patients urinate on a ﬁ lter paper diagnostic, which detects the metabolites of the ﬁrst-line tuberculosis drug isoniazid and revealsa code. The patient sends the code over SMS where it is stored on a server. Based on accumulated right answers (correct codes) at the end of the month, patients receive rewards. In the ﬁrst trial in Nicaragua, patients received $2 worth of mobile phone minutes each month. “We are concerned people just don’t behave rationally in conditions like DOTS”, said Jose Gomez-Marquez, programme director of Innovations for International Health. “If they can shortcut something, they’ll do it. But if there’s an economic reward involved, there’s a bigger incentive to follow the rules of the programme.” In the next X out TB trial in Pakistan, Khan will target patients attending DOTS clinics. He said X out TB would like to compare compliance between the routine DOTS programme and one with X out TB integrated into it.