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New tech platform launched for real-time monitoring of TB patients


GUWAHATI, July 24 - With the country setting its goal on tuberculosis (TB) elimination by 2025, technology has come to assist the fight against the dreaded disease in the matter of tracking and monitoring TB patients in real time.

�Swasthyaa� � one such technology platform supported through a software interface for health administrators, medical officers and health workers to track and monitor TB patients in real time � was launched by Dr R Bhuyan, Director of Health Services, Assam, at a function at Guwahati Press Club today.

Dr Bhuyan informed the gathering that the State Tuberculosis (TB) Cell, Government of Assam, and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, have jointly developed Swasthyaa, which would be implemented in Kamrup (Metro) and Nalbari districts in a pilot mode.

Dr NJ Das, Additional Director (SP)-cum-State Programme Officer, Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP), said the software would help in tracking dropouts among presumptive TB patients (people having symptoms of TB) referred by healthcare providers to the designated microscopy centres.

Principle investigator of the Swasthyaa and Associate Professor of IIT Guwahati Dr Keyur Sorathia said the software could be used by health providers from their mobile phones to record information of patients.

Associate Professor of IIT Guwahati Dr Pratul Kalita, one of the investigators, assured that once phone numbers of the people having symptoms are recorded, they can be motivated to go to the health centres by sending audio messages.

Kaliash Kartik, Joint Secretary, Finance, Government of Assam, who was also present in the meeting, lauded the efforts of IIT Guwahati and State TB Cell towards the initiative.

Nava Thakuria, general secretary of Guwahati Press Club, in his address, stressed the proactive role of media on health programmes and called for better coordination and cooperation between mediapersons and the Health department to address issues like the wide prevalence of TB in the State.

On the occasion, the State TB Cell felicitated and awarded certificates of appreciation for their role on spreading public awareness on TB to senior journalists Sivasish Thakur and Sanjoy Ray of The Assam Tribune, Bhabesh Medhi of Dainik Asam and Utpal Bhawagati of Dainik Janambhumi.

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