RxBox and telemedicine saves lives and transportation costs in a Pangasinan island

Santiago Island

The Rural Health Unit II in Santiago Island is 1 1/2 hour away from the nearest district hospital in Bolinao by boat and by land (Photo by: RL Macabasag)

BOLINAO, PANGASINAN– Nurse Melanie Gatchalian reported that because of RxBox, three patients, a 69-year old female, a 60-year old male, and a 50-year old female, were saved. Aside from the capability of the RxBox to record ECG for diagnosis, Dr. Roman Aldo Reyes, rural health physician and a doctor-to-the-barrio in Bolinao, was able to consult specialists in the Philippine General Hospital using the system.

ECG screenshot from RxBox

An example of an ECG reading screenshot from the RxBox

Dr. Reyes and Nurse Gatchalian, based in the rural health unit II of Santiago Island Bolinao, were two of the health workers trained on how to use the RxBox and its components, along with 114 other municipalities and health facilities where RxBox is now deployed. The RxBox is a device with 5 sensors (blood pressure monitor, pulse oximeter, ECG, maternal tocometer and fetal heart monitor), and is capable of storing data in an electronic medical record, which is CHITS (Community Health Information Tracking System). The RxBox is also implemented with the telemedicine services of the National Telehealth Center. With telemedicine, physicians in rural and remote areas in the country can send teleconsultations to clinical specialists in PGH through SMS or Email. In this case, Dr. Reyes sent the recorded images of the ECG from the RxBox to an expert through email.

“Tapos malaking tulong din po yun financially kasi minus pa yun sa gastos nila (It is financially helpful for them because it reduces their [transportation] costs),” Gatchalian said. “Karamihan kasi dito hindi na nagpapa-ECG kasi walang pera pero dahil sa RxBox, na-e-ECG na sila nang di na nila kailangang gumastos (Many of the patients here do not undergo ECG because they don’t have money, but because of the RxBox, they can now make use of the service without spending anything).”

The RHU II in Santiago Island is 1 1/2 hour away from the nearest district hospital in Bolinao by boat and by land.