BALTIMORE, March 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- emocha Health, the leading digital medication adherence platform that serves over 450 public health departments nationwide, has worked with Alameda County, California's Tuberculosis (TB) program to support its patients since 2017. Last week, a team presented results from this partnership at the 25th Annual Conference of The Union-North America, providing data on the reach and effectiveness of video Directly Observed Therapy (video DOT) for TB treatment in an urban public health department setting.
The Alameda County Health Department implemented video DOT, beginning with a pilot in 2017, to increase flexibility and meet patient-specific needs. In 2018, the department introduced video DOT for routine use, and this study examined the impact of its implementation from 2018 to 2020. The researchers focused on two metrics: reach, the proportion of patients initiated on video DOT vs in-person DOT, and effectiveness, the proportion of prescribed doses with verified administration.
94 patients out of 163 -- all of whom were confirmed TB patients -- total received video DOT, with more than half exclusively using video DOT. Patients were instructed to self-administer doses on the weekend, which were not observed by clinic staff. The effectiveness, measured as the proportion of prescribed doses with verified administration, was higher with video DOT (68%) than with in-person DOT (54%, p<0.001). On average, patients were able to transition to video DOT less than 2.5 weeks after beginning treatment. These results indicate that a busy urban TB program was able to successfully implement a video DOT program that achieved higher rates of medication verification that in person DOT. Expanding video DOT offerings to include weekend administration has the potential to further improve these metrics.
The emocha software has been clinically validated to achieve adherence rates comparable to in-person DOT, reduce cost of treatment, and expand public health resources. A case study with Fresno County Department of Public Health showed that adoption of emocha's platform saved the department time, reduced miles of driving, avoided carbon dioxide emissions, and eliminated costs, while helping patients adhere to their medication regimens. Other research validating emocha's model includes an NIH-funded study in which emocha secured 94% average adherence and saved ~$1,400 per patient, and a CDC report detailing emocha's activities during Hurricane Harvey and a recurring TB outbreak in Puerto Rico.
emoha complements in-person DOT—alleviating burdens for patients and TB programs. "Video DOT provides Alameda County TB patients and the TB program with a patient-centered option for ensuring adherence, monitoring, and engagement with patients throughout treatment," says Dr. Amit Chitnis, Tuberculosis Controller and Section Director at Alameda County Public Health Department, TB Section. Andrew Chin, Acting Senior Program Specialist at Alameda County Public Health Department, TB Section, states: "One of the main benefits of participating in the study and working with emocha has been the fact that our Alameda County TB team could provide input and feedback regarding the application, and suggest potential upgrades that would help both patients and staff."
About emocha Mobile Health
emocha empowers patients to take every dose of medication through video technology and scalable human engagement. Patients use a smartphone application to report side effects, communicate with providers, and video record themselves taking medication at every dose. Providers or emocha's clinician-led Adherence Solution team use a secure web portal to assess compliance adherence and engage with patients. The platform is being used by public health departments, hospitals, health centers, and managed care organizations across the globe to radically improve medication adherence for patients with diabetes, tuberculosis, opioid use disorder, asthma, COPD, hepatitis C, and other chronic and infectious diseases. Learn more at www.emocha.com.