MINERVA BC NEWMAN
CEBU CITY— The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will soon distribute 100 units of RX Boxes or telehealth devices to government hospitals in the four provinces in Central Visayas in September this year as part of its COVID-19 support interventions.
According to DOST-Negros Oriental Provincial Director Atty. Gilbert Arbon that RX boxes are telehealth devices that are used to measure the patient’s temperature, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, heart rate, and electrocardiogram readings and uterine construction, among others.
Arbon said that the intention was to originally deploy these boxes in remote places where there are few doctors but because of COVID-19, this was repurposed and now being deployed in selected hospitals.
“Some 20 units of RX Boxes will be deployed at the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital (NOPH),” Arbon bared during the regular Kapihan sa (PIA) Philippine Information Agency recently.
He added that since the device is remote-operated and attached to a computer, it will minimize the contact between the patient and the nurse or doctor, the latter can just monitor the patient’s vitals in a separate room.
Arbon went on that the RX box is a product of DOST’s collaboration with the University of the Philippines-National Telehealth Center (UP-NTHC) in Manila, University of the Philippines-College of Engineering in Diliman Campus, Quezon City, and the Department of Health (DOH).
In similar development DOST is also enhancing its Feasibility Analysis of Syndromic Surveillance using Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological Modeler (FASSSTER) as part of its COVID-19 support interventions, Arbon said that this is a web-based platform that could provide tools for modeling disease spreads in the country.
“Through FASSTER, local officials can determine areas of a possible outbreak of COVID-19 cases. It tracks cases then it makes a scenario. It’s a simulation that could be used to determine if an area can be upgraded to General Community Quarantine or Enhanced Community Quarantine GCQ or ECQ, and DOST will soon introduce this to the LGUs in the country,” Arbon said.
FASSTER was developed by Dr. Ma. Regina Justina Estuar of Ateneo de Manila University and her team in partnership with DOST-Health Research and Development (PCHRD). (Photo: PIA-NegOr/Roi Lomotan)