Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario Montejo has said the agency’s efforts in developing information and communications technology (ICT)-enabled products and systems are among its major contributions to address various health concerns.
“ICT has changed the way we live, and healthcare is among the areas that could benefit from its capability,” he added.
As these products and services will greatly contribute to the improvement of medical services in the Philippines, Montejo said the DOST saw the opportunity to find innovative solutions to help those in the countryside receive faster and more affordable type of medical services.
Montejo cited RxBox as one of these innovative solutions. It is a device capable of storing and transmitting patient data to allow health workers in remote communities to consult with medical specialists in urban areas.
The device is equipped with a blood pressure monitor, pulse oxymeter, electrocardiogram, fetal heart monitor, maternal tocometer, and temperature sensor.
Several units of RxBox were already sent to remote areas in the country.
According to Montejo, based on collective feedbacks, local officials and health workers consider RxBox as an effective tool in pushing for equitable access to quality healthcare by everyone, regardless of social status.
The DOST chief also noted the eHATID (eHealth TABLET for Informed Decision Making of LGUs) project which was funded by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) in partnership with Ateneo de Manila University.
A software application for mobile android devices, eHATID LGU offers health information system and decision-making support to local government units (LGUs) through an Electronic Medical Record that generates particular health reports for the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
Meanwhile, 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—the Axis Knee System.
Axis Knee System is a knee replacement technology which costs half the price of imported knee implants that cost around P100,000 to P120,000. He also said that Axis Knee System costs around 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 orthopedic problems through its technologies,” he remarked.
Montejo emphasized the importance of DOST’s partnerships with the academe, private sector and other government agencies in making these innovative healthcare ideas into a reality.