Information Technology-Assisted Treatment Planning and Performance Assessment for Severe Thalassemia Care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Observational Study

TitleInformation Technology-Assisted Treatment Planning and Performance Assessment for Severe Thalassemia Care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Observational Study
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsAgarwal, RK, Sedai, A, Ankita, K, Parmar, L, Dhanya, R, Dhimal, S, Sriniwas, R, Gowda, A, Gujjal, P, H, P, Jain, S, J. Ramaiah, D, Jali, S, Tallur, NRayappa, Ramprakash, S, Faulkner, L
Publication NameJournal of Medical Internet Research
Volume7
Paginatione9291
ISSN2291-9694
KeywordsC2C bibliography, C2C full text article, C2C publication, Developing countries, health information technologies, health planning, India, IT, Low- and middle-income countries, patient outcome assessment, supportive care, Thalassemia
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Successful models of information and communication technology (ICT) applied to cost-effective delivery of quality care in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) are an increasing necessity. Severe thalassemia is one of the most common life-threatening noncommunicable diseases of children globally. OBJECTIVE: The aim was to study the impact of ICT on quality of care for severe thalassemia patients in LMIC. METHODS: A total of 1110 patients with severe thalassemia from five centers in India were followed over a 1-year period. The impact of consistent use of a Web-based platform designed to assist comprehensive management of severe thalassemia (ThalCare) on key indicators of quality of care such as minimum (pretransfusion) hemoglobin, serum ferritin, liver size, and spleen size were assessed. RESULTS: Overall improvements in initial hemoglobin, ferritin, and liver and spleen size were significant (P<.001 for each). For four centers, the improvement in mean pretransfusion hemoglobin level was statistically significant (P<.001). Four of five centers achieved reduction in mean ferritin levels, with two displaying a significant drop in ferritin (P=.004 and P<.001). One of the five centers did not record liver and spleen size on palpation, but of the remaining four centers, two witnessed a large drop in liver and spleen size (P<.01), one witnessed moderate drop (P=.05 for liver; P=.03 for spleen size), while the fourth witnessed a moderate increase in liver size (P=.08) and insignificant change in spleen size (P=.12). CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of computer-assisted treatment planning and performance assessment consistently and positively impacted indexes reflecting effective delivery of care to patients suffering from severe thalassemia in LMIC.

DOI10.2196/medinform.9291
PubMed ID30672740