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Hello+@UM: Revolutionizing TB Treatment and Monitoring with Integrated Electronic Health Platform

No rocket science here—just easy-to-digest info:-

We have developed Hello+@UM, an electronic health platform that aims to improve tuberculosis (TB) treatment and monitoring. Traditionally, TB patients have to visit clinics daily to get their medication, which can be inconvenient and risky during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our platform replaces this with Video Observation Therapy (VOT), allowing patients to record themselves taking medication and report any side effects. The platform also includes features like a calendar, drug delivery services, an AI chatbot for teleconsultation, and appointment bookings. Hello+@UM aligns with advanced technologies like AI and deep learning, bringing personalized healthcare management to patients. By using our application, patients can conveniently report their medication intake and side effects from home, saving time and minimizing costs. Healthcare providers can remotely monitor patients, reducing the need for physical interactions. This is especially important during the pandemic. Our system fills a crucial gap in Malaysia's healthcare infrastructure, improving patient healthcare quality and allowing patients to take control of their health.


Tuberculosis (TB) up to this day, accounts for the greatest number of deaths from a single pathogen with an estimated 1.5 million deaths and 10 million incident cases in 2018 alone globally based on the World Health Organisation (WHO). Traditionally, patients are required to attend DOT clinics daily to obtain their medication personally for tuberculosis treatment, which is both time consuming and inconvenient with a high risk of being infected by the COVID-19 virus. All these factors contribute to poor TB treatment compliance among patients.


We propose creating an integrated electronic online health platform, Hello+@UM that will use Video Observation Therapy (VOT), replacing the conventional Direct Observed Treatment (DOT) whereby patients will be able to record themselves taking their medications and report any side effects. Features like calendar, drug delivery services, AI chatbot for teleconsultation and appointment bookings are integrated into the application for patients. This platform aligns with IR 4.0 where connectivity can be increased and thus improving health access between patients, doctors, and researchers. We are gearing up for the future, and we believe that Hello+@UM is the way forward as personalisation of management of individual patients are made possible by AI and deep learning, which will bring us into IR 5.0, where customisation and personalisation of machines and applications are prioritised according to needs.


A patent search on Google Patents and Lens.org show no results found for a fully integrated system for tuberculosis VOT in Malaysia. This explicitly shows that the Malaysian society is currently underequipped with this electronic health application as we do not have a fully integrated system to screen, diagnose, treat, and monitor patient’s compliance. Evidently, a streamlined automated electronic health resource is crucial in improving the quality of patient healthcare which is what we are aiming to achieve through Hello+@UM.


The proposed TB reporting and monitoring system, Hello+@UM will minimise cost and be more time-efficient for patients. They can report their medication intake and any side effects from the comfort of their homes. Furthermore, it will also be cost-effective for healthcare providers to monitor the patients as the system handles the monitoring task automatically, especially during the COVID-19 era, where physical interactions must be reduced. There is an urgent need to produce an integrated e-health system in tackling the issue of remote monitoring for patients’ compliance͕ which requires close monitoring for better treatment outcome. It will also protect and save more lives by reducing face-to-face contact and COVID-19 risks as it is designed to allow patients to complete their treatment at home, while not visiting the hospital regularly. This benefit is not only urgently required but also necessary for a long term if the pandemic does not show any sign of abating, especially with the latest Omicron and IHU variants on our shores.


By using our application, patients can now have an improved quality of life and spend more time with their loved ones. Most importantly, patients are now able to own their health.

 




Dr. Ng Kee Seon
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
ngks@um.edu.my
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