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Verizon Foundation awards grant for phone-based TB treatment monitoring

The Verizon Foundation has provided the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine with a $300,000 grant to help the university's researchers more quickly scale up a mobile phone-based solution to monitoring tuberculosis patients throughout their treatment.

The approach, called “video directly observed therapy,” is headed by Richard Garfein, a professor in the Division of Global Public Health, Department of Medicine at UC San Diego, according to a release.

Traditionally, health care providers personally observe patients taking their medication ó an approach with many barriers, including high cost and human resources and transportation challenges, particularly in rural areas. With the new approach, patients are observed for treatment adherence via videos sent on mobile phones. 

If proven successful, this approach could be a cheap and effective way to assure medication adherence in remote areas, where in-person monitoring is difficult and labor-intensive.

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