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Smartphones Are Helping Health Workers Combat Tuberculosis

Mobile technologies devised by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, and Johns Hopkins are allowing patients to use their phones to record daily medication intake. The encrypted videos are sent to public health workers who can watch them from their cubicles, instead of traveling long distances every day to visit patients at their homes or workplaces.

It is a simple but elegant solution to a central challenge of controlling TB, one of the world’s deadliest diseases and a killer of 1.7 million people globally in 2016. Patients infected with the disease must be carefully monitored for a minimum of six months, and often much longer, to ensure they are not missing doses that could allow the infection to survive, mutate into drug-resistant strains, and spread across highly populated areas.

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