CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Rural health units (RHU) from five Northern Mindanao provinces have started incorporating technologies in a bid to promote e-clinics via telemedicine and bring closer medical services to hard-to-reach underserved communities and even to remote communities shut for weeks by natural calamities such as landslides and flood.
Introducing the Rx-Box Telehealth technology, it is a customized communication device capable of measuring patients’ vital signs such as Cardiotocograph (CTG), Fetal Heart Rate Monitor, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Blood Pressure Monitor, Pulse Oxymeter, and a Temperature. The device allows the diagnosis of the health conditions of the patients in the RHUs, then transmitting the data through wired and wireless connection systems.
RxBox was developed by the University of the Philippines National Telehealth Center and UP Diliman College of Engineering. The project, “Roll-out of 1000 RxBox Telehealth Devices in Selected Rural Health Centers in the Philippines” was funded by DOST Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD).
The Department Of Science and Technology (DOST) in region 10 has recently deployed a total of 54 RxBox device to selected healthcare facilities in the region. Eleven devices were rolled out in Bukidnon, three in Camiguin, 16 in Lanao del Norte, ten in Misamis Occidental, and 14 in Misamis Oriental.
The RxBox is a multi-component program that includes a biomedical device, electronic medical record systems, and training designed to provide better access to health care services.
It can reduce healthcare cost by enabling health workers to diagnose, monitor, and treat patients within the rural health facility.
DOST personnel can remotely monitor the use of the RxBox devices through a multi-component application software called “RxDeteC” which consists of an android application that gathers and transmits daily usage reports and a website that stores and displays the utilization and status of the RxBox units.
This multi-component device can store data in an electronic medical record and transmit health information via the internet to a clinical specialist in big urban hospitals for expert advice. It also catalyzes improvement in the local referral system by facilitating teleconsultations (audio-video conferences) within the National Telehealth Service Program.
Through RxBox, patients from the rural areas may avail of free medical consultation by logging on to the Facebook Messenger application and sending a message of the diagnosis results from a hospital’s department who shall answer their concerns
Melca, an expecting mother being one of the beneficiaries of RxBox in their health center in Barangay Taglimao, Cagayan de Oro City said, “Pwede ra nila ma monitor ang kondisyon ni baby sa akong tiyan bisan wala ang doctor kay pwede ra nila ipadala online.” She shares that the presence of RxBox has helped them, especially the pregnant women and the senior citizens, save hospital fees, fare and time.
Recipient rural health units and hospitals were provided with free capability training on the handling and preventive maintenance of units. Each beneficiary healthcare facility was provided with technical assistance and a complete set of computers and routers for the integration of electronic medical records.
*People’s Daily Forum would like to give thanks to DOST-10 for lending us the RxBox feature video*
(By: Giovanni Flaviano)