Evaluation of miLINC to shorten time to treatment for rifampicinresistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis

J. E. Farley, J. McKenzie-White, R. Bollinger, H. Hong, K. Lowensen, L. W. Chang, P. Stamper, L. Berrie, F. Olsen, L. Isherwood, N. Ndjeka, W. Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Achieving the 90-90-90 targets for tuberculosis (TB) will require interventions that enhance diagnosis, linkage, treatment and adherence to care. As a first step in the process, our team designed a suite of smartphone applications known as miLINC to improve time from diagnosis to treatment initiation in drugresistant TB patients. SETTING: Three clinical locations in a large, peri-urban district in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. OBJECTIVE : To assess the acceptability, feasibility and impact of the miLINC mobile health applications as a solution to reducing the time from presentation to treatment initiation of rifampicin-resistant (RR) TB patients. METHODS : We used a prospective, observational quality improvement evaluation of miLINC's impact among newly diagnosed patients with RR-TB. RESULT S : A convenience sample comprising details of 6341 patients with presumptive TB were entered into miLINC. Of the 631 TB-positive sputum specimens, 41 (6.5%) were found to be RR-TB. The mean time from clinical presentation to RR-TB treatment initiation was 3 days, 21 h, 17 min. CONCLUS ION: This is the first study to suggest that the time from presentation to diagnosis and to treatment initiation for patients with RR-TB can be significantly improved using an integrated approach combining technology with appropriate human resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)980-988
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • Linkage to care
  • Mhealth
  • South Africa
  • Treatment initiation
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of miLINC to shorten time to treatment for rifampicinresistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this