New platform on digital adherence technologies for tuberculosis treatment

As a part of the Global digital adherence technology (DAT) Task Force, KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of the DAT website. This platform is intended as a resource for national TB programs and other stakeholders, providing a broad overview and covering multiple, detailed aspects of digital adherence technologies and the implementation thereof.

 Besides COVID-19, tuberculosis (TB) still is the deadliest infectious disease worldwide. Unnecessarily, because with the right treatment TB can be cured. Unfortunately, a number of obstacles, including long and complicated regimens with daily intake of medicines, prevent TB patients from successfully completing their treatment.  By leveraging technological and communication advancements, digital adherence technologies (DATs) can enable enhancements to care, improvements to adherence support, and empowerment of patients to self-manage their own treatment.

Digital adherence technologies overview

The digital adherence technology overview looks at DATs in general, and the potential benefits they could have as a tool in TB treatment. The overview takes a deeper dive into three specific adherence technologies – the medication sleeve/label (99DOTS), the smart pill box, and video observed treatment (VOT) – considering various elements related to the technology’s potential target population and the context of implementation, and requirements for implementation.

Implementing DATs in national TB programs

The implementation section of the website takes a phased approach to begin implementing DATs within a national TB program. It looks into phases of planning, such as assessing influencing factors in the context of implementation; designing a robust intervention that is relevant for its context; and budgeting for the intervention.

Phases of finalization are also discussed, looking at customizing the DAT intervention to suit the needs of the local treatment setting; steps to procure the selected technology; and the integration of DATs into the national TB program. At times the various phases overlap, but for as far as possible it follows a step-wise approach to implementation.

Resources and publications related to DATs

An additional objective for the website is that it provides a platform to pool research and news publications about DATs, as well as resources for DAT implementation, gathered from various countries implementing DATs, and from the various DAT Task Force workstreams.

Technical Assistance

KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation offers technical assistance for countries and national TB programs in their planning for and implementation of DATs, which can be requested directly through the website.

KNCV has been fighting TB since its establishment in 1903. Over the past 120 years, the organization has acquired indispensable knowledge and experience in the field of effective TB prevention and care, resulting in pre-elimination in the Netherlands and significant contributions to global evidence generation, policy development and TB program implementation worldwide.

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