New App for Managing HIV Treatment Failure
Monday, April 27, 2015
A health informatics specialist in Rwanda has developed a computer-based application to help clinicians reduce medical errors in managing HIV treatment failure.
According to Aimable Mbituyumuremyi, the developer, the application translates bulky and time-consuming paper-based guidelines on HIV treatment into a format capable of identifying causes of HIV treatment failure, contributory risk factors and making recommendations on case management.
The innovation, called HIV SMART Project, was unveiled during the 5th Annual East African Health and Scientific Conference in Kampala, Uganda, last month (25-27 March).
Mbituyumuremyi says the product took 12 months to develop, with support from information and communication specialists and clinicians in Rwanda.
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is meant to suppress HIV multiplication in patients.
Mbituyumuremyi notes that in Rwanda, clinicians face challenges in managing transition to a new treatment if HIV is not suppressed, leading to delayed or unnecessary switching between alternative treatments, which could cause drug resistance in patients.
“Most clinicians at health facilities may think that the best option is to switch the patient to a stronger combination, [but] the better option would be to correct risk factors like poor adherence… not switching to a higher level,” explains Mbituyumuremyi, a director at the Rwanda Biomedical Center.