Saturday, July 21, 2012
Philippines - DOH taps wireless technologies for health care
PHILIPPINES – The Department of Health (DOH) and Smart Communications have teamed up to use a range of mobile solutions to help Filipinos get equitable and accessible health care.
DOH Assistant Secretary Gerardo Bayugo cited the need to innovate its communication in the digital age to provide equal and accessible health care for all.
“We are confident that wireless technologies and other innovations enable us to respond immediately to the health concerns of Filipinos,” he said.
Highlighting the initiatives, which were presented during the DOH’s 114th anniversary celebration, is the Infoboard that can broadcast health updates via SMS.
“(Infoboard) technology enable(s) institutions such as the DOH to broadcast health news, updates, health campaigns via subscribed text broadcasts and speedy reporting for citizen concerns, questions, surveys or disease monitoring to Filipinos, straight to the Smart mobile phones of subscribed individual members, anytime and anywhere,” Smart said.
Smart wireless community solutions manager Louie de Guzman said this technology was mainly developed for disaster mitigation and prevention and schools.
However, he said the InfoBoard has several other uses and has been implemented in sports, gated communities, and real estate.
“Now, government agencies such as the DOH can take advantage of the Infoboard to efficiently broadcast timely, relevant, and accurate health care-related information such as advisories on dengue prevention month, vaccination reminders and health seminars,” he said.
Another wireless service is the mobile health (mHealth) program that will enhance efficiency and clinics and health centers.
On the other hand, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), Smart’s parent company, inaugurated its first contact center service with hotline number 165-DOH (165-364) that will merge all phone calls on inquiries on health care concerns and issues.
“This hotline covers all mobile and landline calls from anywhere in the country,” Smart said.
Smart noted it is so far the only wireless services provider in the Philippines that has significantly invested in mHealth services.
In June 2011, it launched its flagship mHealth program called Secured Health Information Network and Exchange (SHINE), a web and mobile based system for health facilities and practitioners.
SHINE allows for electronic medical records, inter-facility referrals, text message reminders and report generation.
“These services are especially relevant now as they are rolling out a lot of programs that will require faster communications and information dissemination. We want to enable people and communities to reach their potential of universal healthcare access for all,” said Darwin Flores, Smart’s senior manager for community partnerships.
Source: GMA News