Peer Reviewed Study

Use of Smartphone-Based Video Directly Observed Therapy (vDOT) in Tuberculosis Care: Single-Arm, Prospective Feasibility Study

National Library of Medicine
Holzman SB, Atre S, Sahasrabudhe T, Ambike S, Jagtap D, Sayyad Y, Kakrani AL, Gupta A, Mave V, Shah M

Written By Holzman SB, Atre S, Sahasrabudhe T, Ambike S, Jagtap D, Sayyad Y, Kakrani AL, Gupta A, Mave V, Shah M

Aug 27, 2019


Background: India accounts for nearly one-quarter of the global tuberculosis (TB) burden. Directly observed treatment (DOT) through in-person observation is recommended in India, although implementation has been heterogeneous due largely to resource limitations. Video DOT (vDOT) is a novel, smartphone-based approach that allows for remote treatment monitoring through patient-recorded videos. Prior studies in high-income, low disease burden settings, such as the United States, have shown vDOT to be feasible, although little is known about the role it may play in resource-limited, high-burden settings.

Objective: The goal of the research was to assess the feasibility and acceptability of vDOT for adherence monitoring within a resource-limited, high TB burden setting of India.

Methods: We conducted a prospective, single-arm, pilot implementation of vDOT in Pune, India. Outcome measures included adherence (proportion of prescribed doses observed by video) and verifiable fraction (proportion of prescribed doses observed by video or verbally confirmed with the patient following an incomplete/unverifiable video submission). vDOT acceptability among patients was assessed using a posttreatment survey.

Results: A total of 25 patients enrolled. The median number of weeks on vDOT was 13 (interquartile range [IQR] 11-16). Median adherence was 74% (IQR 62%-84%), and median verifiable fraction was 86% (IQR 74%-98%). More than 90% of patients reported recording and uploading videos without difficulty.

Conclusions: We have demonstrated that vDOT may be a feasible and acceptable approach to TB treatment monitoring in India. Our work expands the evidence base around vDOT by being one of the first efforts to evaluate vDOT within a resource-limited, high TB burden setting. To our knowledge, this is the first reported use of vDOT in India.

Keywords: India; Video DOT; mHealth; medication adherence; mobile phone; smartphone; telemedicine; tuberculosis.

©Samuel B Holzman, Sachin Atre, Tushar Sahasrabudhe, Sunil Ambike, Deepak Jagtap, Yakub Sayyad, Arjun Lal Kakrani, Amita Gupta, Vidya Mave, Maunank Shah. Originally published in JMIR Formative Research (, 27.08.2019.

Peer Reviewed Study
Peer Reviewed Study


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