drug monitoring

The Case for SmartTrack

Posted by LeighJaschke on Jun 27, 2009
The Case for SmartTrack data sheet 1953 Views
Levine, Brian; Hopkins, Mary Ann; Rapchack, Barbara; Subramanian, Lakshminarayanan
Publication Date: 
Apr 2009
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Nearly 40 million people in Africa suffer from HIV/AIDS. African governments and international aid agencies have been working to combat this epidemic by vigorously promot- ing Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART) programs. Despite the enormous subsidies offered by governments along with free Anti-RetroViral (ARV) drugs supplied by agencies, the introduction and implementation of HAART programs on a large scale has been limited by two fundamental problems: (a) lack of adherence to the ARV therapy regimen; (b) lack of accountability in drug distribution due to theft, corruption and counterfeit medication. In this paper, we motivate the case for SmartTrack, a telehealth project which aims to address these two problems facing HAART programs. The goal of SmartTrack is to create a highly reliable, secure and ultra low-cost cellphone-based distributed drug in- formation system that can be used for tracking the flow and consumption of ARV drugs in HAART programs. In this paper, we assess the potential benefit of SmartTrack using a detailed needs-assessment study performed in Ghana, using interviews with 516 HIV-positive rural patients in a number of locations across the country. We find that a system like SmartTrack would immensely benefit both patients and healthcare providers, and can ultimately lead to improved patient outcomes and better accountability.


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