SABTANG, BATANES–When a midwife attached sensors to Rochvelle Gabilo at the rural health unit (RHU) in Sabtang, a sixth-class island municipality south of the Batan main island, two lives were saved.

In labor and hypertensive, the Chavayan village resident was on the verge of a high-risk delivery, said the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) RxBox. She was immediately booked for a transfer-trip from the smallest inhabited island here to the provincial capital Basco, where the expertise and mechanisms were.

Rochvelle is the concrete proof that the technology was serving its purpose in the northern tip of the Philippines, interviewed by Darwin Santos, the project’s supervising special science researcher (SRS), and Diana Jimenez, SRS II, on Nov. 8.

The two compose a team detailed to the science department’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development, assisted in the trip by staff members of the Batanes Provincial Science and Technology Center.

The gadget monitored the expectant mom’s blood pressure while simultaneously monitoring the baby’s heart, so the attending health workers concluded that the baby was in distress — and the new daughter was soon in Rochvelle’s arms.

The RxBox, developed by the DOST with the National Telehealth Center at University of the Philippines Manila, has built-in medical sensors that also assess blood oxygen levels and the strength of a woman’s uterine contraction while giving birth. It also doubles as an electrocardiogram and thermometer.

The wonderbox also has data-saving capacity, which it uses to store and back up the community health information tracking system or CHITS, medical records in electronic form. RHUs may also transmit the data to medical experts in urban areas for virtual consultations through the Internet, directly targeting the  gap in medical expertise in rural areas.

With the multiple functions rooted in extreme societal consciousness, the item is touted as the future of public healthcare.

The DOST hopes the biomedical telemedicine device would facilitate better diagnosis in the country’s remote and disadvantaged areas, ultimately resulting in life-saving impacts  for people like Rochvelle and her baby girl.

 

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