DOST chief bats for ICT-enabled health tools to help improve medical services in PH


Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario G. Montejo recently said that information communication technology (ICT)-enabled products and systems for healthcare will greatly help in improving medical services in the country.


“ICT has changed the way we live, and healthcare is among the areas that could benefit from its capability. DOST sees this opportunity to find innovative solutions and to allow the Mang Juans and Aling Marias in the countryside to receive faster and less expensive type of medical services,” Montejo said.


Montejo spoke of the ICT-enabled solutions during the 34th anniversary of DOST’s Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) last March 17, 2016 at the New World Hotel in Makati City, with the theme “Going Global: Increasing International Partnerships in Research and Innovation for Health.”


One of these innovative solutions is RxBox, a device capable of storing and transmitting patient data to allow health workers in remote communities to consult with medical specialists in urban areas.


RxBox is equipped with a blood pressure monitor, pulse oxymeter, electrocardiogram, fetal heart monitor, maternal tocometer, and temperature sensor.


“Several RxBox units have been deployed in different remote areas in the country,” said Montejo.


“Based on their collective feedback, local officials and health workers in those areas view RxBox as an effective tool in pushing equitable access to quality healthcare by all Filipinos regardless of socio-economic status,” he said.


Montejo also highlighted the eHATID LGU project or eHealth TABLET for Informed Decision Making of LGUs. It is funded by PCHRD in partnership with Ateneo de Manila University.


eHATID LGU is a software application for mobile android devices that offers health Information system and decision-making support to LGUs through an Electronic Medical Record that generates particular health reports for the Department of Health and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation.


Montejo also shared that the first public-private partnership in biomedical research between PCHRD and Orthopedic International Inc. (OII) has resulted in a locally- developed, innovative, and affordable knee replacement system suitable for Asians.


Called the Axis Knee System, it is a knee replacement technology half the price of imported knee implants which cost around P 100, 000 to P 120, 000. The Axis Knee System brings down the cost to P60, 000 in government orthopedic hospitals and P70, 000 in private hospitals.


It is one of the products designed, developed, and manufactured by OII, an  ISO 13485-certified facility based in Cabuyao, Laguna which aims to solve various orthopaedic problems through its technologies.


DOST’s efforts in developing ICT-enabled products and systems for healthcare are among its major contributions to address various issues in the health sector,” Montejo said. Among these issues are the limited number of medical staff, equipment, and facilities in far-flung areas.


Montejo also cited the importance of DOST’s various partnerships with the academe, private sector, and other government agencies to allow innovative ideas for healthcare translated into reality and be used by many Filipinos. (JCA)

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