Baltimore tests mobile app for monitoring TB patients

The Baltimore City Health Department is piloting a mobile app that helps  patients adhere to their medication regimen while reducing the burden on clinicians of monitoring those patients.

The app, called miDOT, was developed by a company called emocha Mobile Health Inc., which is working out of the Emerging Technology Center, near Baltimore’s Highlandtown neighborhood.

Federal regulations require that a clinician actually observe tuberculosis patients taking their medication every day for at least six months. This is called Directly Observed Therapy (DOT). The miDOT app serves as a proxy for the clinician.

The app enables patients to record themselves taking their medication. It then submits the video to a secure server, where a clinician can view it to confirm that the meds were taken.

Emocha officials said the app makes it easier for patients to comply with their medication regimen and the DOT regulations, while also reducing the financial burden on health departments of making clinicians available for the in-person verifications.

“We believe that the miDOT app will increase the health department’s capacity to provide quality care for TB patients while freeing up clinician time for other critical TB-control activities,” Dr. Patrick Chaulk, the acting deputy commissioner for communicable disease at the city health department, said in a statement.

Emocha’s mobile health management platform can be used for a variety of “remote patient management” applications, company officials said. The platform has been implemented in nearly a dozen countries, according to the company.

“Emocha’s miDOT has gained traction nationally and internationally for a simple reason: It solves a major problem for patients and clinicians,” the company’s CEO, Sebastian Seiguer, said in a statement.

About Alissa Gulin

Alissa Gulin covers health care, education and general business at The Daily Record.

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