Video monitoring linked to better TB treatment adherence, researchers find

Video monitoring may promote medication adherence among tuberculosis patients and help eliminate the disease, according to a study published in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

For the study, researchers from UC San Diego's School of Medicine assessed medical adherence for 274 patients using video directly observed therapy and 159 patients using in-person directly observed therapy for a median of 5.4 months in five rural health districts in California.

Patients in the first group used a cellphone and HIPAA-compliant application to record each time they took their medicine and sent videos to their physician. These individuals took 93 percent of their medications on schedule, while individuals using in-person observation only took 66 percent of medications as scheduled.

"Most patients report that it is less burdensome to make a video in private at a convenient time. … VDOT also allows health workers to observe doses taken at night, on weekends, and holidays. This saves the health department in travel costs and shortens treatment duration by not having to make up missed doses," Richard Garfein, PhD, lead study author and a professor in the UC San Diego department of medicine's Division of Global Public Health, said in the press release.

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