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Sightsavers’ trachoma tracking app wins e-Health award

June 2020
Zakari, a TT tracker, using the device in a hospital.

The Pierre Fabre Foundation has selected the mobile ‘TT Tracker’ for a Global South e-Health Observatory Award.

Sightsavers’ TT Tracker has won an award for its role in the fight against trachoma, a painful and potentially blinding eye disease that is endemic in many parts of Africa. The Android-based mobile application records key information about patients undergoing surgery for trachomatous trichiasis (TT), an advanced stage of the eye infection.

The Global South eHealth Observatory is the leading information and networking platform for digital health projects in low- and middle-income countries. Each year it looks to fund and support the most promising initiatives using technology to improve access to quality healthcare and medicine for people in developing countries.

TT Trackers in action

Read about the mobile app improving the quality of trachoma eye care.

More about the tracker

Trichiasis operations are generally needed most in remote settings where access to healthcare is limited, which can make it difficult to follow up with patients post-surgery and provide aftercare.

To tackle this, Sightsavers developed the app which helps surgeons, assistants and clinic supervisors to collect and analyse information about surgeries and determine when and where follow-up appointments are required for their patients.

Because the data is accessible remotely to field teams, it ensures that a patient’s records are to hand even if the patient has moved away since the operation and is seen by a different medical team.

The TT Tracker also gathers data on patient demographics, medical team activity and surgical outcomes, helping country governments to report, plan and build a more accurate picture of the disease, which makes the app an essential tool in the fight to eliminate trachoma.

So far, our TT Tracker has been set up for use in Benin, Ethiopia, Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal, and the new funding from Pierre Fabre will allow its benefits to go further. As more countries show positive results from the TT Tracker, there is potential to use it in other locations, and for additional eye health interventions or neglected tropical diseases in the countries where we already work. Read more about how we’re using the trackers in Benin.

A lady's eye is examined with a torch

What is 'TT'?

The advanced stage of trachoma is called trachomatous trichiasis (TT). This causes the eyelashes to turn inwards and scrape the eyeball. Not only is this incredibly painful, it can lead to irreversible blindness.

More about trachoma

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