Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Health Level 7 Philippines: Pushing the Philippine Health Industry into the 21st Century

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ever wondered how come that you made a transaction from an ATM that is from another bank aside from your own bank and your account is updated in realtime? Unlike during the time when bank ATMs were stand alone and not interconnected from other banks. This was during the time of the late 70s to the early 80s. One really needs to go and search for one’s own bank for withdrawal and deposit transactions. Now, it is not even thought about much less worry about having one’s account updated and balanced.

Health is Wealth

Should people’s health be considered assets too? Sure! Although health is not a “hard” asset, it can also be considered as  currency since productivity of each person’s health is the basis for being productive and creative. That is why health can also and must be a part of “Account Management”, such as what is done in banks. The Philippine Health industry can also be likened to the banking industry wherein “Health Accounts”  are managed.

What can be done for the Philippine Health Industry?

During the early days of computer science in the Philippines, there was this subject called Data Communications. This is where the “protocols” for communication between computers were taught. One has to learn how the Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC) between 2 computers were made to validate the integrity of the data shared between them. Basically, it is a series of “divisions” that will arrive at the same quotient that must be checked. If any one cares to remember the error code Bad CRC, one will know what it means.

With the introduction of automation and information systems in almost all industries, each healthcare provider be it hospitals, clinics and laboratories have their own systems and methods. They have their own customized information and communications system within their own institutions. These have proven to be highly beneficial to all stakeholders in the healthcare industry and served as a boon to all concerned with the efficiency and responsiveness to the needs of patients and health professionals.

But with all the vagaries of geography, circumstances of patients and medical and allied professionals, the next level of healthcare automation and information communications technology is needed to match up with the demand for healthcare services by a growing population with developing needs based on economic and social dynamics.

That means healthcare providers must be like banks and must share data due to evolving demands.


Health Level 7 or HL7 Provides the Answer

Health Level 7 or HL7 refers to a set of international standards for the transfer/transmission of clinical and administrative data between healthcare institutions that have their own software in the information systems management. These international standards serve as the infrastructure wherein software applications used by different institutions can convey data and information.

HL7 serves as the interface between these institutions. This “interface” is the Health Level Seven International, an organization for international standards organization whose standards are adopted by other standards issuing organizations such as the American National Standards Institute.
Health Level Seven International was founded in 1987. It is a not-for-profit, ANSI-accredited standards developing organization  providing a comprehensive infrastructure and related standards for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information that supports clinical practice and the management, delivery and evaluation of health services. HL7 has the support of more than 1,600 members from more than 50 countries that  includes more than 500 corporate members representing healthcare providers, government stakeholders, consulting firms, vendors/suppliers and even pharmaceutical companies.

HL7 in the Philippines

HL7 Philippines officially became a member of HL7 International on 2014 and has its Vision and Mission as follows:


HL7’s vision is to create the best and most widely used standards in healthcare.


HL7 provides standards for interoperability that improve care delivery, optimize workflow, reduce ambiguity and enhance knowledge transfer among all of our stakeholders, including healthcare providers, government agencies, the vendor community, fellow SDOs and patients. In all of our processes we exhibit timeliness, scientific rigor and technical expertise without compromising transparency, accountability, practicality, or our willingness to put the needs of our stakeholders first

HL7 Philippines Series of Roundtable Discussions

HL7 Philippines on its second of its series of roundtable discussions noticed an increase in attendance from a wide field of industry participants in the Philippine Health IT and IT Industries. This recent discussion was held at the PLDT Building and participants ranged from Telcos to software development firms, educational institutions and even government.

This is evidence that the introduction of Hl7 in the Philippine Health Industry is sparking an unprecedented interest in the cooperation between previously unrelated stakeholders into a cohesive group of diverse stakeholders moving towards interoperability.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Software Freedom Day: The Dawn of Juan Konek

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, September 29, 2015
As published in the DOST – Information and Communications Technology website

Since 2010, the Philippines has been part of a worldwide event that is reshaping our technologically-dependent world. This movement is called the Software Freedom Day; a campaign that was founded by the Digital Freedom Foundation (DFF). The DFF is an NGO that acts as the official organizer of the movement which aims to “empower all people to freely connect, create and share in a digital world that is participatory, transparent, and sustainable.”

Human Rights Protection

According to its former president, Pia Waugh, the organization’s main advocacy is to preserve our human rights in a technological perspective. What does this mean essentially? As Waugh points out, the basic set of human rights declare that all human beings should live to a certain standard that was convened upon by the United Nations; however, with the rapid influence of technology in our lives, there have been no new standards implemented to protect users from the possible exploitation of their rights.

She cites an issue from 2005, namely the Sony Scandal, wherein the company installed anti-piracy software in their CDs. The anti-piracy software produced hidden folders into users’ personal computers, and saved information unbeknownst to them. This mode of installation and the inability of the users to remove the software is very similar to “rootkits,” which are used by hackers to control computers. In layman’s terms, Sony basically put tracking devices on the users’ computers and any attempt of removing this software would render the users’ CD-ROM useless.

This sparked discussion amongst individuals, asking what proprietors really embed into the everyday software and systems that we buy from them. A good point that she raised is the digitalization of our votes, which has been a recent point of debate involving the PCOS machines. If we don’t know what the source code of the PCOS machine actually does, how can we ascertain that these machines provide us the accurate information for the elections?

Transparency and Sustainability as a means of Freedom

The organization’s answer to this is the practice of open data and open software; which questions the lack of transparency between software companies and their consumers.  By giving a space wherein people can freely discuss and share upcoming open technologies, the activity makes the consumers more aware of their rights to know what a certain technology does, and how it relates to their lives.  This way, the movement can gain proper recognition and political support to produce the changes to protect our technological human rights.

Equally important is their campaign for sustainability of software programs. For years, consumers have subscribed to the fact that as a certain product changes its version or changes its format, they have to adapt to it. As such, data that people work hard for becomes incompatible, or worse, obsolete in the face of these products, rendering the consumers no choice but to continue purchasing new products in the market. In a sense, this “proprietary data format” impedes people’s access to knowledge, which is what Software Freedom Day is fighting for.

As the dawn of Juan Konek (Free Wi-Fi project) draws near, we have to keep in mind that our rights as Filipinos not only translate to material rights, but also translate to our identity, intellectual property, and access to information. The practice of Software Freedom in the Philippines is definitely something we should celebrate as we look towards a new generation of Filipinos connected to the world.


Synergy of Healthcare and Technology

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The digital revolution  has been going on for almost 30 years and it has no signs of stopping or even slowing down. In fact, the pace on which technology is has been breathtaking. In the last 30 years, technology and the way we live has grown exponentially that what has transpired technologically between the years 1900 to 1950 can be measured in the technological evolution of the last 5 years.

Such leaps in technology was not only confined to the military-industrial complex but has included in its march the realms of manufacturing, agriculture, travel, education, governance and even health. It is said that we are now experiencing the fifth  wave of the industrial revolution. That apart from creating electronic products for infinite uses, the linking of such products is the current step.

Health and Education

In this regard, Health and Education can no go beyond the  four corners of the classroom or the walls of the universities. By combining established and dynamic curricula, there is now a way to more efficiently reach out to more students and health professionals that will cross the limits brought by geography.

Introducing MedX Philippines

MedX is the 1st and only Philippine eLearning platform , for Medical, Allied Medical and Nursing courses and other healthcare related training programs offered by premier universities, professional organizations, hospitals and healthcare facilities.

HealthInformatics, Inc. (Hii), developers and implementers of Health Information System solutions and the first and only  solutions company that 100% online Health Informatics Courses. Hii is in the business of providing solutions for healthcare productivity as well as education of healthcare professionals.

Hii os an affiliate of Electronic Health Records International , Inc. Of Sebastopol, California, USA.

The Basic Features are the following:

1.       Customizable URLsd for Partner’s Own Subdomains

2.       Dasjhboards

3.       Learning Managemenmt System

4.       Gradebooks and Workbooks

5.       Mobile, 100% Responsive

MedX is suited for

Academic Institutions
Professional Organizations for Certification and Updates
Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities for Employee Training

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Smartphone and Personal Security Application Made Easy

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, September 24, 2015
Did you ever wonder how you can secure the data on your phone in the event it gets lost or stolen?  We'd like to introduce you to TARA

Theft Apprehension & Asset Recovery Application (or TARA) is an advanced, complete Anti-Theft Technology for mobile phones. This mobile phone application renders the handset useless in case of theft via the full system lock feature. This proudly Filipino application is the first in the world technology of its kind.

Why have such an application?

The Philippines belongs to the top mobile phone users in the world. Unfortunately, mobile phone theft is just as prevalent as mobile phone users. There is a mechanism with the National Telecommunications Commission on how to deal with mobile phone theft but the procedure and process is labyrinthine and by the time the process has been completed, the stolen phone would have been sold by the thieves.

Kill Switch

Although in the US, there are already “Kill Switches” that are available but in the Philippines there are a dearth of such applications. That is why this Android App has been developed so as to respond to the need for mobile phone security.

What does TARA do?

As an anti-theft service software, it is compatible with the Android Operating Systems. It transmits via the GSM (Global System for Mobile communications or Groupe Spécial Mobile), 3G (Third Generation) and 4G (Fourth Generation) standards. The product has two versions: Firmware TARA, which is embedded in devices at the chipset level; and TARA SOS (Save Our Smartphone), the downloadable version.

Although more recognizable as an anti-theft tool, TARA is strategically developed to provide services that save and enhance users’ lives. At present, it also incorporates an emergency notification solution that enables phone users to send text messages to a pre-set secondary/emergency number using their phone’s motion sensors. Unlike most other anti-theft applications, TARA is supported by a Customer Service Center (TARA HOTLINE) that facilitates the use of available solutions. With a dedicated Call Center, TARA is able to give phone users fast, reliable and straightforward response in case their phones are stolen or misplaced.

After the establishment of TARA’s anti-theft support, the next phase would be the development of its mobile insurance; and emergency notification and assistance services for a substantial population of phone users. In due course, TARA is prepared to expand its network to even include enterprise-driven services.

Features-wise, TARA stands with the rest of the anti-theft apps in a competitive level; its solutions – LOCK/UNLOCK, SIM CATCH, LOCATE PHONE, and DATA WIPE – had been tested to work 100%.TARA is embedded in some devices at the manufacturing level (Firmware TARA), and requires user registration for ownership verification. Non-embedded phones can also download TARA via the Internet.

For the average users, activating TARA is simple and hassle-free since it’s done right on their phones as soon as they tap on the icon. After typing a few important details, especially a unique 6-digit PIN, the information is sent via SMS and the system replies with a confirmation message that the phone is indeed registered. TARA even simplifies user access to its features. If the phone is stolen or lost, the owner may use another phone to turn on the ‘kill switch’ via SMS and turn it off in the same manner if the phone is recovered. Or else, the owner may call the hotline to ask a Call Center agent to execute any or all of the anti-theft tools. The Inbound and Outbound Customer Service Center are available 24/7, with assured network stability, to manage requests by users.

Apart from a dependable Call Center support, TARA is distinguishable for its user-focused approach. Whereas some anti-theft apps, like Norton Mobile Security or Avast, are packaged together with anti-virus software, TARA incorporates an emergency notification service, a shortcut mode for users to ask for help in exigent circumstances. After all, a phone will never be as important as its owner.

1.      Lock/Unlock
2.      SMS Catch
3.      Locate Phone
4.      Data Wipe

Contact Details for TARA:
Level 29, Joy Nostalg Centre, ADB Avenue Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Philippines

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Philippine Strategic Development in the 21st Century Through Innovation

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Photo shows (clockwise, from left) Academician Alvin B. Culaba of the National Academy of Science and Technology-Department of Science and Technology (NAST-DOST) and Chair of the 2015 Philippine Innovation Summit; Alen Peacock, co-founder and technology leader of Space Monkey; Dr. Joel L. Cuello, Professor of Biosystems Engineering of the University of Arizona; and Douglas Hockstad, Senior Director, Office of Technology Transfer Tech Launch Arizona, University of Arizona, exchanging views during the NAST 2015 Philippine Innovation Summit with the theme “Toward an Innovation Economy: Building the Philippine Innovation Ecosystem” held at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Ortigas Center, Quezon City on Monday (Sept. 21, 2015). (PNA photo by Ben Briones)

The Philippine Innovation Summit

The Philippine Innovation Summit aims to bring together innovation professionals from the Philippines and the U.S.  It is designed as days of dynamic discussions and exchange of ideas for the creation of inclusive economic development utilizing innovation strategies and tools. An expected 350 delegates will constitute the attendance of the summit.

2 Parallel Conferences

The summit was composed of 2 parallel conferences that approached the topic from 2 directions. These are the following:

Conference 1: Seeking to Increase Innovation Throughput in the Philippines

This conference was organized in collaboration with the Intellectual Property Office Philippines (IPOPHIL) with the aim of sustaining innovation in science and technology. Its objective is to attract individuals working at the intersection of university and industry innovation. This will provide the necessary space  for incubating partnerships and collaborative projects.

The panel of resource speakers for this conference were the following:

1.       IPOPHIL Deputy Director General Atty. Allan Gepty

2.       RTI International Senior Director of Innovation Advising Services  Don Winfield

3.       Former President of the U.S. Association of Technology Managers John Fraser


Conference 2: Toward an Innovation Economy: Building the Philippine Innovation Ecosystem

This conference  presented a range of innovation ecosystem models and assessments while drawing from the expertise and experience from the Philippines and the U.S. There were examples of successful ecosystems  presented and an assessment of the Philippine ecosystem. These were followed by specific presentations relating to Life Science BPM Innovation Cluster.

The conference was attended by innovation strategists and life science practitioners that identified improvement pathways which is a key element in the economic growth of the country.

The resource speakers for this conference were the following:

1.       Arizona Tech Launch Arizona Senior Director Douglas Hockstad

2.       Grove Labs Co-Founder and CEO Gabriel Blanchet

3.       Massachusetts Institute of Technology Deshpande Center for Technical Innovation Executive Director Leon Sandler

4.       University of Arizona Global Institute for Strategic Agriculture in Dry lands Director  Dr. Joel Cuello

5.       ADP Pharma Corp. Director for Research and Development Dr. Isagani Padolina

The summit concluded on September 21, 2015 at the Crown Plaza Hotel, Quezon City

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