Mapping the role of digital health technologies in the case detection, management, and treatment outcomes of neglected tropical diseases: a scoping review

Posted on 23.02.2021 - 05:14
Abstract Background Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a diverse group of communicable diseases that principally impact the world’s poorest people. The use of digital health technologies is an emerging and promising way to improve disease prevention, diagnosis, case detection, treatment delivery, and patient follow-up and facilitating health facility appointments thereby improving health outcomes. While the growing implementation of digital health technologies is evident, there is a lack of comprehensive evidence on the impact of digital health technologies in the control of NTDs. The main objective of this review was to map different pieces of evidence on the use of digital health technologies for case detection, management, and treatment outcome of the neglected tropical diseases. Methods We conducted a scoping review guided by the Joanna Briggs Institute guidelines. The studies were searched using electronic databases like MEDLINE (PubMed), Science Direct, Cochrane Library, and manual searching engines. Two authors extracted the data and compared the results. Discrepancies were resolved by discussion or the third reviewer made the decision. We produced the distribution of geographical locations, residents (setting), types of publications, and digital health technologies used on neglected tropical diseases using tables and graphs. Findings A total of 996 potentially relevant studies were generated from the initial search, and six studies were found to satisfy all the inclusion criteria and included in the final review. The review found that telehealth, eHealth, mHealth, telemedicine, and electronic health record were used digital health technologies to assess their impact on case detection, disease management, and treatment outcome of neglected tropical diseases. Mobile health was a feasible digital health technology for lymphatic filariasis patient identification and mHealth, eHealth, and electronic health records found to improve the service access, outcomes, and monitoring of visceral leishmaniasis at the community health system. Conclusion The scoping review identified that there were limited studies to see the impact of digital health technologies on case detection, management, and treatment outcomes for neglected tropical diseases. We also found that digital health technologies like ehealth, electronic medical linkage, telemed, and telehealth were practicable for patient identification, for treatment and diagnosis through contact with health professionals and teleconsultation, and support in improving health service delivery at the community-health system for managing the disease in both rural and urban settings.

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Tilahun, Binyam; Gashu, Kassahun Dessie; Mekonnen, Zeleke Abebaw; Endehabtu, Berhanu Fikadie; Angaw, Dessie Abebaw (2021): Mapping the role of digital health technologies in the case detection, management, and treatment outcomes of neglected tropical diseases: a scoping review. figshare. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.5315059.v1
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