ASTI and VMMC spearhead telemedicine session
By: Renz Cerillo, March 8, 2017

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Health practitioners and medical experts from the Veterans Memorial Medical Center convene to participate in international telemedicine session

Information has become the lifeblood of a globalized economy and facilitating its exchange across time zones has been a challenge practitioners seek to exceed. Fortunately, the rise of ICT has advanced fields such as education, business, law, and agriculture- driving faster services and prompting effective management.

The Department of Science and Technology- Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) recognizes this capacity and integrates it with medical applications as part of its telemedicine initiatives. To put simply, telemedicine is the facilitation of medical information through ICT platforms which ultimately eases the digital-divide between medical experts and patients.

On February 15, 2017, DOST-ASTI provided the technical framework for a two-part telemedicine series on the diagnosis and treatment of ocular inflammatory diseases. Organized by Dr. June Mendiola, Head of the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) – Department of Ophthalmology, and Dr. Shuji Shimizu, Director of the Telemedicine Development Center of Asia and Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Advanced Network (APAN) Medical Working Group, the session engaged several practitioners across India, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Nepal, and Japan.

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Doctors and experts from Hue Central Hospital, Vietnam, participate in telemedicine session

The teleconference linked practitioners from a number of institutions such as the India Habitat Centre, VMMC, Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology, Hue Central Hospital (HCH), Universitas Brawijaya, Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, Dhulikhel Hospital, and Patan Academy of Health Sciences.

Further, key members of the conference include Dr. Mendiola of VMMC as Chair; and Dr. Mai Van Tuan of HCH, and Dr. Rey Carlo Naraval of VMMC as Co-Chairs. Also, part of the key members list are engineers from different research institutions and universities namely Mr. Alvin M. de Gracia- DOST-ASTI, Mr. Shunta Tomimatsu- Kyushu University, Mr. Mohamad Zahir Ahmad- University of Malaya, Mr. Mohammad Nabil Fadhil Bin Hairodin- Singapore General Hospital, and Mr. Mohamed Ishaq- Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research.

Mr. de Gracia kicked off the conference by securing connections among all participants. This was followed by Dr. Mendiola’s opening remarks and subsequently by Dr. Vicente Ocampo’s presentation on the diagnosis and treatment of ocular inflammatory diseases. Dr. Ocampo also elaborated on the Standardized Uveitis Nomenclature and how it is used to diagnose uveitic diseases.

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Doctors and experts from Universitas Brawijaya, Indonesia, engaging in teleconference session

Dr. Pham Nhu Vinh Tuyen then presented his lecture titled Uveitic Glaucoma: Pathophysiology and Management. This part also covered two cases of scleritis with uncommon associated systemic conditions. Processes relevant to the diagnosis, management, and treatment results of patients were also discussed. Further, Dr. Ovi Sofia presented the last lecture on the diagnosis and treatment of ocular toxoplasmosis.

The conference was capped by closing remarks from Dr. Mendiola and Dr. Mai Van Tuan, both of which highlighted the importance of telemedicine applications in delivering real-time diagnoses, medical information, and researches through ICT platforms in order to overcome physical shortcomings.

As preparation for the teleconference, eight (8) stations were connected. The two and a half convention used vidyo system as its connection method, which included Vidyo Room, PC, with bandwidth running at 2-4 Mbps.