Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Wired News Examines How Text Messaging Helping Patients in Developing Countries Manage HIV/AIDS Treatment
Wired News on Thursday examined how HIV/AIDS treatment counselors in countries where health care systems are "overburdened" and doctors are "scarce" are using cell phone text messaging to alert health care clinics about HIV-positive patients' difficulties with their antiretroviral drug regimens. The Sizophila Project -- an HIV/AIDS treatment program located in a township near Cape Town, South Africa -- uses a system called Cell-Life, which combines a "comprehensive database" that includes patients' histories and lab results with a messaging service. Program staff, doctors and treatment counselors -- who make unannounced visits every four months to patients' homes to check on their regimen adherence -- use the Cell-Life text-messaging system to communicate. Sizophila coordinator Lulu Mtwisha said that patients participating in the program have maintained a treatment adherence rate of more than 95%. The Cell-Life system was developed by civil engineering faculty and students at the University of Cape Town and Cape Technikon (Lindow, Wired News, 11/4).
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