Using Webcam Connected Microscope to Improve Diagnostic Accuracy and Reduce Malaria Treatment Delay in Mae Hong Son

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Using Webcam Connected Microscope to Improve Diagnostic Accuracy and Reduce Malaria Treatment Delay in Mae Hong Son

Postby jufel » Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:57 am

Varabhorn Bhumiswasdi, Nardlada Kantikhun, Aungkana Saejeng



Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment is the basic for the management of malaria and key to reducing malaria mortality and morbidity. Despite all the advantages, microscopy had its shortcomings. In 2011, a high percentage of misdiagnosis for malaria occurred especially in Mae Sarieng. The reporting of results took more than 20 days from the day the blood slide was obtained. Which obviously resulted to delayed treatment or worst some patients die for. These is known to contribute to drug resistance increasing the spread of malaria. Therefore, we developed and initiated webcam connected microscopes to improve accuracy of malaria diagnoses and to reduce treatment delays.
Based on the mission of the ODPC 1 Chiangmai, two main issues related to malaria are: 1) to increase malaria diagnostic accuracy; and 2) to reduce malaria treatment delay by improving the Malaria QA system and training of field microscopist. Timely quality control was introduced by using a high-resolution Webcam Connected Microscope (WCM). Two modes WCM were applied to the field work. The first application is to enable real-time microscopic consultation of difficult or equivocal diagnostic cases. The second application of WCM is to save video files of blood films. The files were uploaded onto a centralized computer system at the end of each day. Then cross-checker at a regional laboratory re-examines the videos of blood films and give comment.
The key benefits resulting from this initiative contributes to lives being saved in remote areas. During 2013 – 2014, there were 24,314 people that were involved and 1,133 were malaria positive and received appropriate treatment within 1 hour. 100% of these patients completed drug compliance, and returned for drug monitoring. The length of time involved in the quality control system was drastically reduced to 10 minutes, and no loss of patients for appropriate treatment. It is also noticeable in the reduction of people that were hospitalized. The number of malaria deaths fell to zero in 2014. This innovation promote harmony in communication by increasing positive learning experiences as well as, boosting confidence and motivation in field microscopists.

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