Announced on World AIDS Day — Study to evaluate and optimize a virtual care model for the delivery of HIV PrEP medicine to help prevent patients from getting HIV
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#HIV—Audere, a digital health nonprofit developing software to improve global health, announced that it will participate in a study with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Jhpiego, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, MYDAWA, and University of Washington to develop and evaluate an ePharmacy platform for HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) delivery in Kenya. The study is funded by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Oral, once-daily PrEP medicine is prescribed to patients at risk of contracting HIV, and when taken as prescribed, is up to 99% effective at preventing HIV from sex and up to 74% effective at preventing HIV from injection drug use.1 With 190 million people tested for HIV in 2018,2 there is considerable opportunity for PrEP therapies to prevent HIV in high-risk patient populations. The virtual self-care model evaluated in this study aims to maximize the impact of PrEP therapies by increasing their accessibility through channels that avoid in-person health facility visits, while enabling more privacy for patients.
As part of this study, HIV self-tests will be examined as a tool to determine eligibility for PrEP. Individuals will purchase WHO-approved HIV self-tests from MYDAWA, a licensed ePharmacy based in Kenya. Audere’s HealthPulse technology will seamlessly integrate with MYDAWA portals to assist individuals with HIV self-test administration and test result photo capture, while supporting pharmacists with test result interpretation, resulting in high quality, trusted test results. Powered by artificial intelligence, HealthPulse products provide easy-to-use solutions to prominent global health problems— improving rapid test accuracy, while expanding the availability of self-testing.
“Throughout my career in global health, I have seen how digital health tools can accelerate and improve access to patient care. Audere’s innovative technologies provide individuals with the ability to better utilize, interpret, and connect a self-test result to their PrEP preventative care. Audere is eager to work with its study partners to explore the boundaries of how to expand, innovate, and improve care delivery for HIV.”
– Dr. Dino Rech, Chief Executive Officer, Audere
This study involves partners across the global health space that will jointly design and execute a new end-to-end virtual care delivery model for HIV. The University of Washington, in partnership with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, will lead the study’s research design, data collection, analysis, and dissemination. MYDAWA will create the virtual self-care model to provide individuals with online access to HIV testing, while connecting them with remote clinicians to initiate PrEP therapies. Jhpiego will provide technical assistance for PrEP services implementation and policy advocacy support. Lessons learned from this study will help support broader adoption of this virtual care model approach, connecting more at-risk patients with preventative HIV PrEP.
Audere is a Seattle-based digital health nonprofit developing software to improve global health outcomes in the world’s most underserved communities. Our team of passionate, innovative minds advances health equity by revolutionizing the detection and treatment of diseases, such as malaria, COVID-19, and HIV. Through a deep understanding of key global health needs, Audere combines smartphone technology, computer vision & machine learning, and the best of cloud-based services to deliver tailored healthcare technology solutions worldwide. Development of our projects is funded by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Justworks. Learn more at auderenow.org.
About Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Fred Hutch), home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other life-threatening disease. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, the Fred Hutch houses the nation’s first and largest cancer prevention research program and is the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network. Learn more at fredhutch.org.
Jhpiego – an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University – has implemented HIV prevention, testing, care, and treatment programs for 20 years, and is a global leader in the introduction and scale-up of self-care interventions for health. Jhpiego works to take biomedical HIV prevention interventions from research and demonstration projects to public health scale. For example, more than 5 million men have now been safely circumcised at Jhpiego-supported sites in 12 African countries. Jhpiego’s expertise in all aspects of HIV program implementation—from strengthening health systems to reducing the burden of disease—ensures that its global efforts to scale-up oral PrEP are as successful, high quality, efficient, and cost effective as possible. In addition to its clinical work, Jhpiego has also contributed to the establishment of national service delivery standards, clinical training materials, and resource packages; supported development of training materials and delivery of capacity building to health workers; conducted ongoing studies on client segmentation and PrEP continuation to inform decision-making and scale-up; and delivered media training and advertisements to cultivate an enabling environment for PrEP scale-up. In addition to the Jilinde Project in Kenya, Jhpiego currently implements PEPFAR-funded PrEP programs in Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria and Rwanda; these PEPFAR-funded projects have all benefited from lessons learned and insights gained by the Jilinde Project.
About Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology
The Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) is a leading university in Kenya in the fields of Agriculture, Engineering, Technology, Enterprise Development, Built Environment, Health Sciences, Social Sciences and other Applied Sciences. JKUAT has several schools including the School of Public Health which focuses on community outreach, multidisciplinary research, health education and practice. This is to create the much-needed solutions to present and emerging public health challenges. The staff include experienced experts in a range of areas, such as Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Environmental Pollution, Pharmacology, Toxicology, Health Economics Disease Surveillance, Health systems, Family and Reproductive Health, Nutrition, Social and Behavioral Science. Learn more https://www.jkuat.ac.ke/
MYDAWA is the leading e-pharmacy in Kenya and the first licenced e-retailing pharmacy to be fully regulated by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board in Kenya. It is an e-commerce service that enables consumers to conveniently purchase authentic high-quality medicines, health and wellness products through an App or a web portal. It is a solution developed in Nairobi, Kenya in partnership with a diverse array of healthcare practitioners and suppliers. MYDAWA aims to bridge the gaps between healthcare providers and patients thus improving quality and cost of care. For more information, visit www.mydawa.com
About University of Washington
The University of Washington was founded in 1861 and is one of the preeminent public higher education and research institutions in the world. The UW has more than 150 members of the U.S. National Academies, elite programs in many fields, and annual standing since 1974 among the nation’s top five universities in receipt of federal research funding. Learn more at uw.edu.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/prep/prep-effectiveness.html
2 World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/themes/hiv-aids