Filipino medical doctors can now diagnose and recommend real-time treatment or medication to patients in remote areas in the country through telemedicine, a multiplatform electronic technology that runs through a government broadband called PREGINET or Philippine Research, Education and Government Information Network.
“Telemedicine makes it possible for doctors to access and transfer medical data, still images, and live audio and video transmissions” that involves a patient. “This is a health care option that bridges the doctor-patient” geographical separation common in the Philippines, an archipelagic country, Department of Science and Technology Secretary Mario G. Montejo said.
DOST’s Advanced Science and Technology Institute based in Diliman manages PREGINET, a partner of the larger Asia Pacific Advanced Network that broadcasts high quality telemedicine sessions via the Internet. APAN promotes joint medical activities and vigorous medical information exchange in the region, ASTI Director Denis F. Villorente explains.
“Doctors can make decisions and recommendations on a patient’s condition faster through telemedicine”. That’s because doctors could actually hear the medical history and current condition directly from the patient, he added.
Doctors at the Philippine General Hospital recently held a teleconference—a feature of telemedicine—on maternal-fetal medicine, which covered discussions on eliminating congenital or hereditary defects in uterus and prevention of high risk pregnancy. Japan’s Kyushu University organized the teleconference held at University of the Philippines Manila, for the International Fetal Medicine and Surgery Society.
PGH doctors have been participating in telemedicine sessions since 2007. “Through telemedicine, we are able to learn from the experiences of other university hospitals and may adopt some practices that are applicable to our institution,” UP-PGH Department of Surgery chief Dr. Serafin C. Hilvano said.
It also enables simplified and personalized medical administration, and continuing education of doctors, caregivers, and patients. Telemedicine in more advanced societies also allows doctors to do remote or telesurgery, which cuts the often high cost of travel and stay in nursing homes or hospitals while enjoying the unparalleled comfort of warm home environment and family support. [S&T Media Service]