Through the innovative use of mobile phones and Internet access provided by Smart Communications, Inc. , medical specialists based in Cagayan de Oro hospitals can now effectively manage the treatment of patients in four provincial hospitals located in different parts of Misamis Oriental.

Doctors are able to do this via online consultations, said Dr. Ramon Nery, Co-chair of the Technical Working Group for hospital operations. He explained that online consultations form part of the efforts of the Misamis Oriental provincial government to use wireless technologies to improve surgery services in its hospitals under its Mobile Surgery Services Project.

Through online consultations, a young patient diagnosed with meningocoele at the Misamis Oriental Provincial Hospital-Balingasag, for example, can have remote consultations with a neurosurgeon stationed at the Provincial Health Office located Cagayan de Oro. A general practitioner from the provincial hospital facilitates the consultation which is done via the OOVOO application using a webcam.

Dr. Maximo Simbulan, head of the Mindanao Consortium of Surgeons, said information gleaned from online consultations, as well as data sent using the eight 3G phones provided by SMART, enables members of the mobile surgery team to improve pre-operation preparations and ensure the efficient delivery of surgical services at the different provincial hospitals.

The online facility also eliminates the need for patients to travel long distances to consult the specialists based in Cagayan de Oro City.

The Mobile Surgery Services Project is a collaboration of the Misamis Oriental provincial government under Gov. Oscar Moreno, and Dr. Ignacio Moreno, Provincial Health Officer for Misamis Oriental, and the Mindanao Consortium of Surgeons. The program was showcased today at the Misamis Oriental Provincial Hospital – Balingasag.

SMART is providing free one-year Internet connectivity to all seven provincial hospitals of Misamis Oriental to support the development of the Mobile Surgery Services Project. First to have internet access are the provincial hospitals of Gingoog, Talisayan, Balingasag and Manticao.

The telco’s technical support include training for medical staff and personnel who will be involved in the computerization of hospital operations. So far, SMART has already trained nurses and doctors on basic computer literacy and troubleshooting as well as the use of basic connectivity tools like email and the webcam. Future trainings include those aimed at improving frontline skills and hospital operations.

This project with SMART is in line with the Province-wide Investment Plan for Health, under which Misamis Oriental has been rehabilitating the buildings and upgrading the facilities and medical personnel services of its seven provincial hospitals.

SMART’s support of this undertaking is part of its telehealth efforts which is under its community partnership program called Kabalikat.

PHOTO: A young patient with meningocoele at the Misamis Oriental Provincial Hospital-Balingasag is having a remote consultations with a neurosurgeon stationed at the Provincial Health Office in Cagayan de Oro via OOVOO application using a webcam. Assisting the on-line consultations are Dr. Ramon Nery, co-chair of the Technical Working Group for hospital operations, Smart Communications Head of Public Affairs Ramon Isberto, and Dr. Mateo of the Balingasag Hospital.

article from Business Week Mindanao

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