Sunday 26 May, 2019         

DrOTS Project

 

 

Nepali Drone Observed Therapy System (DrOTS) is a pilot project that aims to improve case finding by linking community health workers (CHWs) with state of the art diagnostic tools (GeneXpert) via unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) (aka “drones”). The purpose of this project is to assist the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) and National Tuberculosis Center (NTC) by generating the data necessary to assess the suitability of the approach for nationwide expansion. The project began from October 2018 and it’s being implemented in Pyuthan district.

 

Objectives:

 

Primary Objectives

  1. Establish an “on-demand” drone service in the mountainous/hilly area, which includes an appropriately equipped and staffed base camp and a cadre of health workers who are able to request a drone when appropriate, manage the drone and related technology upon arrival, and launch the drone for its return flight.
  2. Remotely Diagnose TB: The same cadre of health workers will be trained to recognize TB symptoms in people, explain to them the need for testing, and safely obtain quality sputum samples to be flown via drones for TB diagnosis with rapid molecular diagnostics.
  3. Remotely Observe TB Therapy and improve case holding– By combining conventional health provider interaction and innovative technologies, we will monitor patients during their TB treatment for adverse drug reactions, ensure medication adherence, and assess trends in symptoms. We will implement patient-centred care for the entire follow-up period, so as to reduce case loss during the period after which a patient feels better.

Secondary objectives 

Our secondary objectives are (i) to educate and empower local partners to assume full ownership of the DrOTS program, so as to ensure its sustainability after the project ends; and (2) to generate evidence regarding the feasibility, acceptance, and cost-effectiveness of the DrOTS program, with a focusing on informing an eventual scale-up of its services nationwide.

 

Project location:

Pyuthan

 

Target groups and beneficiaries:

People with TB, TB contacts, women and marginalized

 

Donor:

The Nick Simon Foundation

 

Partners:

National Tuberculosis Centre

We Robotics

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

DroNepal

Nepal Flying Labs

Nick Simons Institute

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