A remote patient management tool using video, texts, email could help TB patients

What started as a Johns Hopkins Hospital program to train healthcare workers to treat HIV in Uganda has evolved into a multimedia platform for adherence, clinical trials and chronic diseases rolled into a healthcare startup, Emocha. In a presentation at DreamIt Health Baltimore’s demo day, CEO Sebastian Seiguer talked about the company’s origins at Johns […]

What started as a Johns Hopkins Hospital program to train healthcare workers to treat HIV in Uganda has evolved into a multimedia platform for adherence, clinical trials and chronic diseases rolled into a healthcare startup, Emocha. In a presentation at DreamIt Health Baltimore’s demo day, CEO Sebastian Seiguer talked about the company’s origins at Johns Hopkins University Hospital and its relevance for both developing and industrialized countries.

Tuberculosis is one area where the connected care platform has an interesting application. In 1995, the World Health Organization required that TB patients be observed taking their medication by a medical professional — referred to as directly observed therapy. About 10,000 people were diagnosed with TB in the U.S. in 2012. To save the time of people visiting a healthcare facility every day, it developed a telemedicine component for the app. It gives a countdown so users know when to take their medication and films that action. Then they can transmit it to their physicians.

Emocha is working with the South African government to roll out its mobile health platform to healthcare workers at patient clinics around the country to combat drug resistant tuberculosis.

It is also working with the National Institutes of Health on pilots that focus on adherence once patients are discharged. In addition to TB, other conditions supported by its app include smoking cessation, weight management and diabetes.