By Halyn Lunel Gamboa
Last March 2, 2023, project representatives from various DOST Regional Offices, project partners and collaborators gathered at the Metrocentre Hotel and Convention Center in Tagbilaran Bohol to celebrate the near completion of the project, “Roll-out of 1000 RxBox Telehealth Devices in Selected Healthcare Facilities in the Philippines” funded by the DOST Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD).
Specifically, the activity was attended by project representatives from the various DOST Regional Offices, the University of the Philippines Manila National Telehealth Center (NTHC), the UP Diliman Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the DOST-PCHRD, the Department of Health (DOH) Knowledge Management and Information Technology Service (KMITS), the Ionics EMS Inc. , and some of the RxBox device's end-users and technical panels from the De La Salle University and the Testech Group.
DOST key officials also extended their support by gracing the event and delivering their warm messages including DOST Secretary Renato Solidum, Jr.; Dr. Leah J. Buendia, DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development; Engr. Sancho A. Mabborang, DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations; Dr. Jaime Montoya, Executive Director of the DOST-PCHRD; and various DOST Regional Directors including the host region's RD, Engr. Jesus F. Zamora Jr. of DOST VII.
Towards a Smarter Healthcare
The 2023 RxBox Summit aims to provide an avenue for RxBox leaders and staff to discuss the learnings and different perspectives in implementing the RxBox 1000 Project in their respective home regions.
As presented by Ms. Emelita P. Bagsit, Regional Director of DOST-CALABARZON and the Project Leader of the RxBox 1000 Project, a total of 971 (97%) RxBox Devices were delivered to the 16 DOST Regional Offices and MOST - BARMM with 781 RxBox devices deployed to various health facilities nationwide as of January 2023.
Various speakers also discussed the RxBox in terms of their perspectives and insights. Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, Executive Director of PCHRD, shared his organization’s challenges and insights in navigating the ways forward of the RxBox 1000 Project. Meanwhile, Engr. Catherine Manuela Lee-Ramos, Technical Panel Member from the De La Salle University, discussed the process involved in the RxBox Test Protocol Validation.
Dr. Portia Grace Fernando-Marcelo of the UP College of Medicine and the Primary Investigator for RxBox Research discussed the RxBox's Commercialization and Sustainability, while Dr. Jake F. Ballares from Ionics EMS, Inc. imparted the company’s insight regarding their input in manufacturing the RxBox.
Furthermore, Ms. Cherrie D. Esteban, eHealth Systems Divisions Chief, of DOH KMITS talked about the integration of Iclinicsys in the system and Dr. Geohari L. Hamoy, Project Leader of for Telemetry of UP SIBOL, on the RxBox Telemetry System. A press conference was conducted to address the questions and concerns raised by media participants.
Towards the end of the program, winners of the RxBox Summit Video Contest were awarded, where they showcased the positive impact the RxBox has done for their community. The following are the winners of the 2023 RxBox Summit Video Contest: DOST Region VIII as the overall champion; followed by the DOST Region 2 at 2nd Place; and DOST-Central Luzon at 3rd Place. In case you missed it, you may watch the entries here: https://bit.ly/2023RxBoxVideoContest.
For Healthier Communities
DOST-CALABARZON, together with other Regional Offices, joined the project visits to various rural health units (RHUs) in Bohol last March 3, 2023. Also present were Engr. Sancho Mabborang, DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations and Dr. Jaime Montoya, Executive Director of the DOST-PCHRD. The RxBox had been deployed in the said RHUs, located in geographically isolated and diasadvantaged areas (GIDAs) in the following municipalities, namely: Dauis, Bilar, Batuan, and Carmen, Bohol.
During each visit, RxBox end-users, specifically doctors and health workers shared their experiences upon using the RxBox device, and how it continues to help in monitoring their patients’ vital conditions especially in the pandemic.
“Simula po nung nagkaroon kami ng RxBox sa aming birthing center ay naging kampante po kami sa pagpapaanak ng aming mga pasyente,” said Noreen Galleto Becera, a midwife of 25 years from the municipality of Bilar, Bohol. She shared, “Napakalaking tulong po nito lalo na sa aming mahihirap na di po afford magpa-ultrasound. Ang pinakamaganda sa RxBox ay ‘yung nalalaman namin na buhay pa ang bata sa loob ng sinapupunan.”
Note: The RxBox is a portable biomedical monitoring device developed by UP Manila and UP Diliman and supported by the DOST - Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD). Through the RxBox 1000 (“Roll-out of 1,000 Telehealth Devices in Healthcare Facilities in the Philippines”), the DOST through its Regional Offices has been deploying the device to different healthcare facilities in the country. For more information, follow us on Facebook via @DOST CALABARZON or visit our website at region4a.dost.gov.ph.