There are very few places around the world where the mobile phone has not reached. With digital technology revolutionizing virtually every aspect of life, the humble mobile phone has become an important enabler in innovating healthcare delivery.
In the Philippines, around 2,000 new leprosy patients are diagnosed each year.
The Leprosy Alert and Response Network System (LEARNS) is the Philippines’s first mobile phone-based leprosy detection system, which aims to address some of the challenges of diagnosis by allowing frontline healthcare providers to send images of suspect leprosy lesions and symptoms to a specialist via SMS or an app. This helps to reduce delays in diagnosis and treatment.
LEARNS has proved to be a good tool for screening, with a 83% sensitivity to correctly identify suspect lesions as leprosy and a 77% specificity to exclude leprosy.