X out TB: Mobile Phones for Combatting Tuberculosis

Posted by CorinneRamey on Jun 20, 2008

The numbers should speak for themselves. In 2006, there were 9.2 million new tuberculosis (TB) cases and 1.7 million TB deaths. Of these cases, 5.3% were a tough strain of TB that is resistant to treatment (known as MDR-TB, or multiple drug resistant tuberculosis). The total cost of TB control programs in high burden countries is estimated to be about $2.3 billion in 2008. A team of students and faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has come up with an innovative response to this problem that uses mobile phones as both a reporting mechanism and incentive program.