Although many primary care physicians in the United States rarely encounter a patient with active tuberculosis (TB), the disease remains a worldwide scourge. Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates over 10 million new cases of TB in 2016. Over 1 million of these new cases occurred in patients with HIV and nearly 500,000 cases were multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB. Unfortunately, in 2016, over 1.5 million people died from TB making it the most deadly infectious disease in the world surpassing malaria and HIV.

The WHO has been aggressively trying to reverse these disturbing trends in TB. Their current End TB strategy seeks to optimize new tools to prevent TB, create an effective vaccine (by 2025) and dramatically decline the incidence of TB by 95% before 2035. The WHO brought together the world’s experts on TB several times in the past 2 years to energize and disseminate their strategy. Just last month, the WHO held a high-level meeting on TB at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

The WHO describes the first pillar of their End TB Strategy as patient-centered prevention and treatment of all TB patients, including children and those with HIV. The WHO has released an app to further their strategy that includes all of their current policies and guidelines on TB. The app is aimed to aid all stakeholders, including local communities, organizations, and governments. The app can be used by any healthcare provider in the most current, evidence-based diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of TB. It is extensively referenced and includes links to PDFs of all the WHO TB products.

Evidence-based medicine

The WHO Compendium app brings together all of the current policies and guidelines on TB published by the WHO. Each section of the app links to various PDFs and numerous references for each subsection of the app. The app has an appropriate level of detail for most providers to use the app effectively without having to read every PDF. The app’s introductory materials state that the guidelines were created using the GRADE definitions for evidence.

What providers would benefit from this medical app?

Providers who work in dedicated TB programs, public health officials, and care providers for TB patients across the globe.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.

  • Price
    • App is free
    • Comprehensive coverage of TB for healthcare providers
    • Detailed references, links to all WHO policies on guidelines on TB
    • Available for Android
  • Dislikes
    • Information on drug dosing requires linking to PDFs
    • Might be too broad in scope for primary care providers treating at the POC
    • Some of the material is difficult to view on a smaller device screen
  • Overall

    The World Health Organization (WHO) Compendium brings together all of the WHO’s policies and guidelines on tuberculosis. It serves as their self-described pillar to end TB by providing patient centered care on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of TB in all patient populations including adults, children, and those with HIV. The app is well-designed, easy to use, and extremely well-referenced.

  • Overall Score
  • User Interface

    Easy to navigate, appropriate amounts of text with links to larger text-heavy PDFs.

  • Multimedia Usage

    App is packed with links to PDFs of all relevant WHO documents on TB, and extensively referenced.

  • Price

    App is free.

  • Real World Applicability

    For healthcare workers outside of the United States, the WHO Compendium is an indispensable guide to all things tuberculosis. The app contains detailed information on diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of tuberculosis. It is one of the best-referenced, hyperlinked apps that I have reviewed containing all of the applicable WHO policies. For those in the US, it may be overkill, but still worth a look.

  • Device Used For Review

    iPhone 8 running iOS 12.0

  • Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad