Community Tech

Smart innovation improves delivery of rural health services

Digitizing healthcare with SHINE OS+

Dr. Mimi Bondoc, municipal health officer of Zarraga, Iloilo, has worked in public health service for the past 26 years, and has witnessed how technology has helped in improving the delivery of healthcare to Filipinos, particularly those in underserved areas.

Technology, she says, helped address one of the biggest constraints of public healthcare facilities—lack of manpower.

She recalls how patients would line up for hours for a consult with a health worker. Many of them would go home displeased by the poor quality of public health services. Undermanned, she and her team need to work longer hours so all patients for the day are served.

Shine OS Smart

Digitize patients’ records

Then in 2011, Smart Communications chose Zarraga as one of the pilot sites for its innovation Secured Health Innovation Network Exchange or SHINE, an electronic medical record (EMR) platform that digitizes patients’ records.

With this breakthrough, patients’ records are accessible unlike before when everything is done manually and the health center staff had to spend more time looking for the records of patients.

“We owe the improvement in the public health system to technology. The breakthrough in EMR made our workload lighter and helped address the lack in manpower. We’ve been using this Smart innovation for more than five years,” says Bondoc.

“With a single click of a button, the patient’s record is already there so we get to serve more patients, and they go home satisfied with the services,” she adds.

Open source platform

This story is common for many rural health centers in the Province of Iloilo, where the EMR was piloted in 2011. It has since evolved to become SHINE OS+, an open source platform that allows developers to design modules and plugins to customize it based on the needs of target communities.

To familiarize existing and new users of the new features of SHINE OS+, Smart organized a two-day training workshop in Zarraga last September.

Health workers including doctors, nurses and midwives who represent the municipalities of Zarraga, Leganes, Maasin, Janiuay, Barotac Nuevo, Banate, Calinog, and Carles attended the training. Apart from Zarraga, other existing users are the rural health units (RHUs) of Leganes and Maasin.

The training was conducted by Dr. Reena Estuar, executive director of the Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center (AJWCC), which developed the open-source platform. The training includes introduction on the functionalities of SHINE OS+, and encoding a health record. The Data Privacy Act of 2012 was also discussed to underscore responsible data keeping among the health workers.

Relevant to community

“Developing the SHINE OS+ was in line with the vision of Smart to digitize healthcare down to the patient level. We allow the public to customize the platform to address the specific need of the end-user, making it relevant to a community,” says Estuar.

AJWCC has also developed the SHINE OS+ Mobile to make the platform and its functionalities accessible to health professionals anytime, anywhere, and MySHINE, which was designed as a companion app for patients whose healthcare records are stored in the network.

“We have been optimizing use of technology to make lives better for more Filipinos. SHINE OS+ will help make quality healthcare accessible to underserved, and isolated areas, and at the same time, make it easier for our health workers to deliver quality healthcare,” said Ramon R. Isberto, head of Public Affairs at Smart. (Press release)


Smart’s mHealth innovations take spotlight at global forum

Smart Communications showcased its innovative solutions to improve the delivery of healthcare services at the recent Global Forum on Research and Innovation for Health at the Philippine International Convention Center.

Ramon Duremdes, Jr., adviser for Digital Health Initiatives at Smart, highlighted SHINE, or Secured Health Information Network and Exchange, an award-winning open source innovation platform with core functions of recording, reminding, referring, and reporting.

Used mainly by local government-operated healthcare facilities as an EMR (electronic medical record), SHINE has now evolved into an open sourced health technology solution that is interoperable with other health systems. It allows for the creation of plug-ins and modules that can help the local health IT industry to look into the many gaps and opportunities within the medical system.

Mon Duremdes Shine
Ramon Duremdes, Jr., adviser for Digital Health Initiatives at Smart, discusses or the Secured Health Information Network and Exchange, an open source health platform with core functions of recording, reminding, referring, and reporting.

Working with partners, Smart has also developed mobile screening applications for patients needing prosthesis via ASCENT (Amputee Screening via CEllphone Networking), and for those needing facial reconstruction (Operation Smile). The ASCENT and OpSmile mobile apps and the SHINE OS+ version were developed in partnership with the Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center.

Duremdes, one of the panelists for the session on “Increasing Access to Information on Health Equity and Development,” underscored Smart’s efforts in creating value for consumers and in fostering financially sustainable information and communications technology-based innovations that will improve delivery outcomes for health in the country.

He emphasized the importance of enabling access to information on price, care quality, and outcomes to consumers for a better user experience. Empowering people by educating parents on how to renew eu card in order to secure proper care. He also called on government and the private sector to support innovative digital health startups. (Press Release)