The Philippines is testing an app designed for tablets using Google's Android operating system, that will speed up delivery of health services to hundreds of remote island communities, informed the the science department. Using the app, the health officer of a remote town can upload medical records and clinical information of a patient, which can then be viewed anywhere by doctors and nurses.
Vincent Tablos, the project coordinator for the government's Department of Science and Technology, said, "This is for communities that are isolated, remote and hard to reach. Its chief advantage is its portability. If it is adopted widely by our local health (workers), then we can consolidate it as part of our national health system. Once they go to the health center, they will have all their records available. Instead of waiting two hours just filling out forms, they go straight to the doctor."
Tablos further added, "If a person moves to another town, his existing health records can be viewed immediately through the app. The communities targeted are all located far from major cities, where health centers are not readily accessible to local populations, making it difficult to send or receive patients' information."
So far, about a 100 tablets preloaded with the locally-developed application have been distributed by the ministry to towns in four islands to test its viability. If successful, about 450 remote towns in the archipelago will get their own tablets. Under the pilot scheme a mayor and health officer each get one tablet loaded up with government health forms, including the health insurance, via the app. This will make it possible to track the area's health needs using the data obtained. The tablets also include a communication system that allows for easier data sharing between the local health officer and mayor.
Tablos said, "This will help in decision-making. The mayor can chart any outbreak or see any rise in dengue or malaria. He can see what kind of medicines have to be bought, what they must prioritize for next year."