Telemedicine in Primary Care for Underserved

Communities in the Philippines

Presented by: 
Hilary Tang
Pre-medical student
ABC's for Global health
Hilary Tang, Arthur Gallo MD, Julieta Gabiola MD

ABC’s for Global Health, U.S. & Philippines

Stanford School of Medicine

Abstract:
Access to healthcare in the Philippines, especially in remote areas, is challenging as the majority of healthcare providers pursue work in urban areas, abroad, or in non-medical call centers for higher wages and benefits. Socio-economic, geographic, and cultural barriers prevent many Filipinos from obtaining appropriate healthcare. The ABC’s for Global Health (ABCGH) Telemedicine Project addresses these issues in underserved Filipino barangays by connecting patients with remotely located doctors through telecommunication. ABCGH utilizes Doctorgram kits containing Bluetooth-compatible medical equipment such as a stethoscope, thermometer, pulse oximetry, EKG, and its combined mobile application enabling video connection. By training barangay health workers on the usage of the telemedicine toolkit, we can effectively deliver primary care to patients, transcending geographical barriers by directly connecting doctors and patients for synchronous, virtual visits. Our pilot program will select three communities, the control being a community already receiving the standard monthly care visits by our medical mobile clinic. The two intervention communities will be selected from each of our partner Philippine medical schools, and will receive standard care and additional Telemedicine training and services. Biometric information will be tracked such as blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, adherence to treatment, and frequency of medical visits. Projected findings are increased health visits, better control of chronic diseases, improved health literacy amongst patients, and decreased numbers of hospitalizations and emergency visits. Stanford Quantitative Sciences Unit and our statistician will analyze collected data. Longterm, we envision the mass production of Doctorgram kits and program expansion in underserved regions in the Philippines. 


 

Keywords: telemedicine, health technology, mobile application

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