TOMO: Mobile App Innovation to Support the Successful Treatment of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis (TB) is a substantial national health problem in Indonesia, as seen from the high mortality burden of this infectious disease throughout the country. One of the main challenges in TB treatment programs in both global and national settings is the increase of multi-drug-resistant TB, a kind of TB infection that becomes resistant to anti-tuberculosis medications.
Thanks to mobile technology such as smartphones, many mobile app innovations have been developed and marketed in the health sector (mHealth), particularly apps for chronic diseases. Unfortunately, mHealth applications for TB today are still minimal. Some of the available apps that you can find right now weren’t designed to empower patients when managing their medications, missing features such as follow-up reminders, medication schedules, and side effects monitoring. On top of that, these apps don’t facilitate interactions with healthcare providers to allow patients to receive clinical consultations or psychological support.
2018 – 2021
Riris Andono Ahmad
The Center for Tropical Medicine UGM developed TB-El. This mobile app supports the successful comprehensive treatment of drug-resistant TB using hospitals’ electronic medical records systems. The TB-El research seeks to develop, try out, and expand this mobile app to help improve the quality and effectiveness of drug-resistant TB healthcare services in Indonesia. Through this research, an Android-based mobile app called TOMO was born. Integrated with the drug-resistant TB information system that the Indonesian Ministry of Health has developed, TOMO will provide relevant and accurate information to patients regarding TB, give reminders, and become a consultation forum with doctors in hospitals.
TB-EI targets various group users: drug-resistant TB patients, TB officers in public health centers, TB case managers in hospitals, and TB clinical staff.
After a series of tests, including alpha testing, beta testing, and usability test, our researchers have identified and solved various possible issues that might impair the app’s ease of use and effectiveness in the healthcare service setting. TOMO will go through a limited-scale tryout in Moewardi Hospital Surakarta working areas, particularly in Sragen Regency and Surakarta City, to further assess the readiness of this mobile app for the public. Hopefully, TOMO will be implemented in healthcare facilities and adopted by health departments in Surakarta and Yogyakarta to improve the medication adherence of drug-resistant TB patients around the area. Our researchers believe that TOMO has a promising potential as a technological solution for the challenging treatment of drug-resistant TB in Indonesia, primarily if this app is implemented on a national scale. By utilizing mobile technology and integrating drug-resistant TB data from existing information systems, Indonesia will adequately treat and prevent the spread of drug-resistant TB throughout the country.
The Project Team