Dr. Nitika Pai

HIVSmart! is an award-winning smartphone application that allows self-testing for HIV. Available for smartphone, tablet or web-based (Android, iPhone, and iPad) this software app was developed by Dr. Nitika Pant Pai and her team at the RI-MUHC with funding from Grand Challenges Canada. It informs, interprets and stores data confidentially but, most importantly, it links users to counselling or care quickly and encourages the user to stay in care.

In a new study published in BMJ Global Health Dr. Pai and her collaborators showed that HIVSmart! not only successfully linked participants to counselling services and care, but also detected new infections and increased referrals to self-test compared to conventional HIV testing.

Nearly all of the people who received a positive diagnosis, then went on to seek clinical care, counselling, and treatment afterward, and learned about disease prevention which never happens usually with our base programs. The second most exciting thing was women became change agents in our project. They were the ones who came forward to get self-tested, and that sets the stage for greater involvement of women in diagnostics initiatives. —Dr. Nitika Pai

CTV News has published an article and a video interview with Dr. Nitika Pai. An article was also published on the McGill University Health Centre webpage.