Five health technologies that will greatly improve the delivery of public health services have been developed in the Philippines in the past year, and will see widespread use throughout the country this year, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said.
The Department of Science and Technology- Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), the national coordinating body for health research, said the five technologies developed with DOST support are making a difference in local healthcare delivery.
Lower cost knee replacement
Funded by DOST-PCHRD and developed by Orthopedic International, Inc. the Axis Knee System is touted as the first and only knee system designed in the Asean region which allows access to knee replacement for lower-income patients, as the system reduces the costs of the procedure and prosthetic parts by as much as 40 to 50 percent compared with existing systems.
A large part of the cost savings, DOST-PCHRD pointed out, is in the system’s innovative instrumentation and surgical technique, which reduces the training time necessary for surgeons to be qualified to perform knee replacement surgeries. Under existing systems, the necessary training typically requires the doctor to undertake a one-year fellowship or residency program.
Internet-based health data
The RxBox is a device that captures medical signals through built-in sensors, stores data in an electronic medical record (EMR), and transmits health information via the internet.
Jointly developed by the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman and Manila, the device reduces unnecessary travel and hospitalizations as it enables diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of patients from geographically isolated and depressed areas of the country, DOST-PCHRD explained.
The Department of Health (DOH) separately lauded the RxBox as an innovation that supports its call for universal health care, as it offers a remote diagnosis tool for doctors and patients.
Better local health policies
The eHealth TABLET for Informed Decision Making of LGUs (eHATID LGU) is an Android application developed by Ateneo De Manila University, which provides real-time health information and a facility for direct communication between local chief executives and rural health units (RHUs), which are often isolated from government centers.
The device works securely even in the absence of an internet connection, and is intended to provide decision-making support to local government units (LGUs) by providing real-time local health data.
All the eHATID LGU data are synced to a central database via the government cloud facilities of the Advanced Science and Technology Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ASTI), which provides a national-level pool of data.
Cheaper dengue test
Biotek-M, a dengue test kit developed by the UP Manila National Institutes of Health Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, is a confirmatory test for dengue diagnosis, which the DOST-PCHRD said is as accurate as the currently available Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology, yet less expensive as it is locally produced.
The kit is designed to provide a rapid diagnosis of suspected dengue cases, which saves hospitals time and resources and can reduce the number of hospital admittances.
The development of Biotek-M was funded by the University of the Philippines System thru the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-TECHNICOM.
Simple dengue control
The mosquito ovicidal/larvicidal trap (OL Trap) is a simple vector control method to reduce the population of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the carrier of dengue, Zika, and malaria viruses.
The simple trap, which essentially consists of a cup containing an organic solution, works by attracting the A. aegypti to lay its eggs, which are then killed by the solution. The OL Trap was developed by the DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI).
The DOST and the DOH are already collaborating for the nationwide distribution of the OL Traps, DOST-PCHRD said.