DOST, The National Telehealth Center and UP-Manila
introduces RxBox2 in Bicol
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in cooperation with the National Telehealth Center (NTHC), University of the Philippines (UP)-Manila, The Health Sciences Center and National Institutes of Health is pursuing the roll-out of RxBox2 in the Bicol Region.
On 19 February 2014, a teleconference via Skype (the third in the country) was conducted with DOST, DOH and PhilHealth at DOST V, Rawis, Legazpi City, that served as brainstorming/discussion on project implementation for the agencies concerned. It was participated in by representatives, Dr. Gladys Escote, Medical Specialist I, Regulatory, Licensing and Enforcement Division, DOH-CHD Bicol; Dr. Myrna Suratos, Medical Specialist III, PhilHealth V; Dr. Pilita O. Lucena, Senior Science Research Specialist, DOST V in behalf of Dir. Tomas B. Briñas, Regional Director, DOST V; Dr. Kristine Mae Magtubo, Research Associate/RxBox2 Project Manager, NTHC and Ms. Alyssa Marie Evangelista, Nurse, NTHC and DOST V support staff, Engr. Sandro Noguera, Ms. Nicole Anne Bejo and Mr. Francis Paul John Castrence.
RxBox2 is a biomedical telemedicine device capable of capturing physiologic signals such as heart rate and blood pressure, and transmitting them to an electronic medical record system where the data can be viewed from a remote location. Implemented in November 2011, this DOST-funded project has a Research and Development (R & D) component whose significant result captures DOST’s priority on its health initiative “No one is left behind especially the poor”. The project is supportive to the Department of Health (DOH)’s mandate for “Kalusugan Pangkalahatan” (Universal Health Care). With main focus on Maternal and Child Health Care. That is also specified in the R & D Agenda of the Bicol Consortium for Health Research and Development (BCHRD), an S & T consortium supervised by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) based at Bicol University, Legazpi City.
The project has produced one hundred (100) devices for development that needs volunteers [with sixty three (63) slots available], preferred one (1) volunteer for every congressional district in the region. A volunteer who possesses computer knowledge/skill may apply in this undertaking. He/she must submit a letter of intent to be endorsed by the Rural Health Unit (RHU)/DOH. As to the timetable, DOH shall send the list of identified RHUs to NHTC on the second week of March 2014. A training for the volunteers is scheduled in May 2014.
At present, the RxBox2 device is undergoing development for the national scale-up to improve health service deliveries in remote areas particularly for mothers, newborns and patients with chronic diseases. NTHC is hopeful that this project to end in September 2014 can be extended until 2015 and onward considering the benefits to be derived by people most especially the pregnant and the sick in the identified municipalities. (Dr. P.O. Lucena, DOST V)