A tool kit for patients to self-manage the treatment of cutaneous Leishmaniasis in low access areas in the pacific coast of Colombia.

Student’s work:

Students: Kelly Urango and Daniel Arenas
Course: Graduation project
Involvement: Chair supervisor
Partner: CIDEIM – International Center for Medical Research and Training. Cali, Colombia
Period: January 2019 – December 2019.

Key words: Leishmaniasis, self-treatment, social inclusion, personal informatics, rural areas.

Colombia as a geographically diverse and tropical country with a high prevalence of vector-borne and infectious diseases, there ́s a large amount of population at risk that still faces access barriers to healthcare. In the current Colombia ́s ongoing epidemiological transition, making healthcare accessible to all as a basic human right poses a myriad of challenges. Thus, Colombia ́s health profile encompasses a series of scenarios in need of innovative solutions to deliver healthcare to its population regardless of access, literacy and/or economic barriers. This is the case of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CD) in remote areas of the pacific coast, where there is a high prevalence of CL in the south and mid-western region of the country. Beyond new case detection, the recommended treatment poses a big adherence problem since they are expensive, have long duration with severe side effects, and care professionals have access barriers to provide a correct following-up treatment.

CURACAO was conceived as a concept design that seeks to ease patients’ adherence process to the Miltefosine® treatment by simplifying the monitoring and self-administrated drug intake process of patients suffering from CL in scattered rural settlements. The proposed solution involves the community leader, empowering key actors of the local population to oversee the treatment progress. As such, the approach used by this tool leverages the potential of human infrastructures in order for the tool to function within the context of the community. This allows the patient, communal leader and CIDEIM to share information of how the patient treatment was carried out.

The final concept served as backpack, with a form factor inspired by the shape of Cocoa pod and a Cununo, both a typical fruit and instrument used in the pacific coast of Colombia. This shape provides a structured and scheduled provision of medicine based on the Miltefosine prescription. CURACAO also serves the purpose of making easier the data collection process regarding the patient ́s treatment. Therefore, this prototype uses sensors to collect information about the patient’s behaviour using the treatment, a self-reporting strategy to inform possible adverse effects and it functions as an alarm that reminds the patient when to take the medicine.