MANILA, Philippines – Telepresence devices will allow the staff at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) to connect patients to their family and their doctors while keeping the patient isolated in a coronavirus treatment ward.
This technology communications solution was developed by the University of the Philippines Manila-College of Medicine Surgical Innovation and Biotechnology Laboratory or UPM-CM SIBOL COVID Task Force.
The task force is made up of collaborating clinicians from UP Manila and engineers, scientists, and artists from UP Diliman, with the project being funded by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD). The task force is composed of 3 teams working on Disinfection, PPEs, and Telemonitoring. (READ: UST engineering faculty designs robot to lessen contact between frontliners, patients)
The telepresence devices are meant to allow for clear commnication among patients, doctors, and a patient’s family while limiting potential coronavirus exposure and conserving personal protective equipment (PPEs) needed by hospital staff.
The computers are programmed to automatically answer calls from authorized accounts which use available teleconferencing and remote-control applications, thus allowing for the use of the devices without a lot of technical knowledge required. (READ: Robots are playing many roles and offering lessons in the coronavirus crisis)
“COVID-19 is projected to require a massive inventory of medical supplies. This was the impetus for us to convene the SIBOL COVID Task Force,” said Dr Edward Wang, lead of the SIBOL team.
These telepresence devices are the first SIBOL product used by the team at PGH following two weeks of collaboration.
“Inspired by triage booths initially set up to screen ambulatory patients, the team led by Dr Nathaniel Orillaza Jr (Orthopedics), Dr Pros Naval (Computer Science), and Dr Luis Sison and Dr Roel Ocampo (Electronics & Electrical Engineering Institute) assembled devices which allowed healthcare workers to connect to patients remotely,” added Wang. – Rappler.com
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