ICT innovation opens opportunity to improve healthcare in the Philippines

‘ICT has changed the way we live, and healthcare is among the areas that could benefit from its capability,’ says DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo.

By Adrian M. Reodique
April 5, 2016


The continuous innovation in the ICT industry brings in new opportunities to other sectors to improve their services -- one of which being the healthcare sector.

"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," said Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario G. Montejo  at the 34th anniversary of DOST's Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD).

Montejo discussed some of the innovative solutions to improve the healthcare industry in the Philippines.

One of these is RxBox, a device equipped with a blood pressure monitor, pulse oximeter, electrocardiogram, fetal heart monitor, maternal tocometer, and temperature sensor. It is capable of storing and transmitting patient information to allow the healthcare workers in remote communities to consult with medical specialists in urban areas.

"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 added.

Montejo also underscored the eHatid LGU project or eHealth TABLET, an application for Android devices that offers health information system and help local government units (LGUs) make decisions through an Electronic Medical Record that generates health reports for the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation. This project is funded by the PCHRD in partnership with Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU).

The Secretary also talked about the first public-private partnership in biomedical research between the PCHRD and Orthopedic International Inc. (OII). The partnership resulted to the Axis Knee System-a knee replacement technology-which brings down imported knee implants (which cost around P100,000-P120,000) to P60,000 in government orthopedic hospitals and P70,000 in private hospitals. 

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