Telehealth helping treat communicable disease
Telehealth is about using technology to enable new ways of providing health care when patients
and care providers cannot be in the same place.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious and potentially life threatening disease but one that is highly treatable. The treatment involves people taking multiple antibiotics every day for at least six months and, in some cases, up to two years.
As the treatment involves several medicines, which may be not well tolerated by the client, and the treatment has to continue over a long time when the client may no longer have any symptoms or be infectious, there is a high risk of poor adherence to TB treatment.
Poor adherence means the client fails to take the right medicines, in the right dose, at the right times, or fails to complete the medication course, resulting in treatment failure. Inadequate or partial treatment of TB increases the risk of new drug-resistant TB strains arising, as well as not curing that particular person's TB, therefore posing a potential a risk to others in the community.