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Harnessing mobile phones to stop the spread of HIV: an international collaboration

Home > New and events > Harnessing Mobile Phones Stop Spread Hiv International Collaboration


i-sense have teamed up with the Wellcome Trust Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies and The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at UCL to harness the power of mobile technologies and link newly diagnosed HIV patients to treatment.

As part of this new international collaboration, researchers will work to develop an innovative, digital public health dashboard and mobile phone app, with the ultimate aim of improving care provision for all newly diagnosed individuals.

The research builds on a major Treatment as Prevention (TasP) trial in Kwazulu-natal, South Africa and CASA's vast experience building dashboards to nowcast events and visualise big data. The TasP trial, hosted by The Africa Centre, aims to show the crucial role regular home-based HIV testing and immediate treatment for the newly diagnosed has in reducing HIV incidence. Researchers will use a sample of volunteers from this trial to assess the impact of i-sense's mobile technologies including our app, in interpreting and reading out rapid HIV tests and connecting these results directly into public health systems.

CASA will build a real-time health dashboard that will combine the information from these mobile phone-connected tests with data from clinics, helping researchers to track the progress of the TasP trial and identify areas where further support is needed.

South Africa has the highest burden of HIV infection worldwide and, despite rollout of antiretroviral therapy, has a 3% incidence of HIV amongst 15-24 year old women. This project represents a crucial first step in assessing the impact of i-sense's emerging technologies in developing countries and a positive step forward in tackling the global challenge of HIV.

People: Kobus Herbst, Rachel McKendry, Dickman Gareta, Ed Manley, Steven Gray, David Concannon, Eleanor Gray, Benjamin Miller, Deenan Pillay and Andy Hudson-Smith.