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Johns Hopkins-Derived App Helping Patients Stick to Drug Regimens

Johns Hopkins-Derived App Helping Patients Stick to Drug Regimens

Sticking to a drug regimen is about to get a lot easier for people with tuberculosis in California and Washington state. Emocha, a company that makes applications based off licensed Johns Hopkins technology, has secured contracts with a string of health departments to use miDOT, a medication adherence app.

Direct observation is the accepted standard of care when treating TB patients. Traditionally, that has meant a health care worker watching a patient take her medicine—in person. Emocha’s miDOT app saves time and money by letting patients record themselves taking their medication and securely submit the video to their care provider.

MiDOT lets providers watch patients’ videos to confirm their medication adherence and learn of any side effects. It also helps manage large video files and provides customizable analytics, like triaging patients by risk group. 

Fresno, Merced and Contra Costa counties in California, and Seattle in Washington, all signed on to use miDOT in the past four months. Emocha is now working with more than a dozen cities, counties and states to ensure TB patients are taking their meds.

The company is adapting miDOT to manage other illnesses, including opioid addiction. It’s also participating in a two-year, eight-city study that will use miDOT to track adherence in hepatitis C patients. David Thomas, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and epidemiologist Shruti Mehta are heading the Baltimore segment of the study.

Emocha is headquartered at the Johns Hopkins FastForward East business accelerator. CEO Sebastian Seiguer is a former Johns Hopkins Carey Business School student, and several Johns Hopkins faculty members sit on Emocha’s advisory board.

“It’s hard to get medical expertise into software,” says Seiguer. “I think we’ve come up with a way to do it, mostly because of our partnership with Hopkins and being in the Hopkins environment.”

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