Montejo said  there has been a problem improving  access to health care due to the archipelagic nature of the country, among other things.

He said people in remote rural areas usually fail to access quality health care services because 90 percent of medical experts are in urban areas.

The DOST’s contribution to the eHealth project include three electronic and information-communication technologies – the RxBox, the Philippine Health Information Exchange, and the  TV White Space technology, popularly known as “Super Wifi.”

“RxBox(es) (are)  telehealth device(s) deployed to rural areas to enable patients and health workers in remote communities to consult with medical experts in urban areas. The device also allows information gathering, storage and processing at the community level,” Montejo explained.

With RxBox, he said, poor people even in the remotest communities may already access health experts.

RxBox, developed by the DOST and the University of the Philippines, is equipped with examinations tools that could be used upon an online instruction by a medical doctor in an urban area. The patient may be assisted by a community health worker.

It also has communication system that feeds the examination results to a central database provided by the PHIE.

The PHIE data base is designed to be the central data base of all patients nationwide so that hospitals and doctors could always access it when patients see them for treatment.  While it provides convenience to patients, it saves patient from spending for unnecessary or duplicate examinations.

The PHIE was jointly developed by DOST Information and Communication Technology Office, and Advanced Science and Technology Institute.

“The PHIE platform would work to ensure that only accurate information are made available to health practitioners and decision-makers,” Montejo said.

He said the RxBox would work even in the remotest islands through the TV White Space technology.

Montejo said they hope to complete their eHealth project by 2016.  (S&T Media Service)