The concluded one-day Stakeholders’ Forum on ICT & Health headed by the Information Communication Technology (ICT) on Health Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Regional Health Research and Development Consortium XI (RHRDC XI) was held at the Grand Pavillion, Apo View Hotel last October 28, 2015. This activity involved various groups of health care providers and both budding and expert researchers. The conduct of the activity is to primarily encourage researchers to conduct studies using ICT in addressing health problems as well as to identify specific researchable topics for them.
The activity was formally opened by Dr. Warlito Vicente, RHRDC XI Chairperson. Dr. Vicente emphasized that ICT cuts across all professions. He encouraged participants to think on how ICT can propel not only on the whole country towards better health but specifically on Region 11. Four distinguished speakers were invited covering ICT Research agenda, ICT on health funded projects and research implementation concerns.
Ms. Merlita Opeña, Chief Research Information Communication and Utilization Division (RICUD) of Philippine Council of Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (PCHRD-DOST) started the morning session by giving the Research Agenda on ICT in Health. Afterwards, eHealth Data Privacy & Other Emerging Research Themes was discussed by Dr. Peter Sy from College of Social Science and Philosophy UP Diliman. During the session, he gave emphasis on the ethical concerns on conducting researches especially when it involves the patients and their health problems.
The last two speakers both talked about their PCHRD funded projects. Ms. Rose Ann Caliso, Project Manager of eHatid Project discussed about the program. Currently, eHealth tablets were deployed from various municipalities in the Philippines were through its android-based application, Mayors and health professionals was able to get local electronic medical record and local patient data ehich aids the local government in their decision making. The application also has a Mayor-Doctor Communication System. Dr. Kristine Magtubo, project Manager of RxBox on the other hand discussed how the project RxBox was created as well as the contribution it gave to the communities. It is a biomedical telemedicine devise wherein through its built-in sensors, it can capture medical signals. These signals will be transmitted to the clinical specialists making health care cost-efficient as it reduces unnecessary travels and provides smarter diagnosis. Also, Dr. Magtubo’s team mentioned that they have encountered patent concerns in the course of the program’s implementation. However, she stressed out that these issues should never impede a researcher in conducting studies and helping the society.
During the afternoon session, there was a Focus Group Discussion wherein 4 groups were given time to discuss what are the health-related thematic areas, available solution/s involving ICT and what are the space for improvements and/or identified gaps. Dr. Peter Sy, who facilitated the discussion highlighted that apart from the vision of the impact of the study to the society, researchers should also focus on the literature reviews and the specifics needed during its conduct.
Atty. Samuel Matunog, ICT on Health TWG convenor finished the activity by challenging researchers to think out-of-the box and even open themselves to crazy ideas as long as it can contribute to new knowledge and not recycled one.
Powerpoint Presentations of the guest speakers can be downloaded at http://region11.healthresearch.ph/ Downloads Section.