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More AI Being Deployed in the Philippine Healthcare Sector

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a crucial requirement for digitalising healthcare, enabling people to transform care delivery, expand precision medicine, and improve the patient experience. Individuals around the globe are encouraged to adopt healthier behaviours by using technology applications and apps, which aid in the proactive management of a healthy lifestyle and gives consumers control over their health and well-being.

Furthermore, AI improves healthcare professionals’ ability to understand the day-to-day patterns and needs of the people they care for, and with that understanding, they are able to provide better feedback, guidance and support people to stay healthy.

The Philippines has recently developed AI technology that would help aid healthcare during the COVID-19. The two COVID AI technologies were included in the list of the agency’s AI technologies and programs developed and implemented amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The first app seeks to determine whether a patient has contracted coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or simply viral pneumonia. The other app, agender-responsive COVID-19 Cases Monitor, was one of the two COVID-19 Artificial Intelligence technologies unveiled on June 24 by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

The Executive Director of the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) presented the Retrospective Study on the Accuracy of AI-Powered Chest X-Ray Reading in the Diagnosis of COVID-19 Pneumonia in a Tertiary Hospital. The study also aims to simplify and expedite the workflow in detecting COVID-19 infection by utilising AI-powered technology that will serve as a screening tool through the analysis of COVID-19 patients’ chest X-ray images.

Moreover, the technology will be able to assist medical professionals by providing an alternative, scalable, and efficient mechanism that would supplement hospitals’ and testing centres’ current workflow to screen for possible COVID-19 infection among suspected patients. This could pave the way for a completely different healthcare future in the Philippines.

The AI gender-responsive COVID-19 Cases Monitor device maintains COVID-19 related indicators that are relevant to decision making and appropriate response of the LGU managers such as congressmen, governors, mayors, barangay captains, and LGUs’ health service providers.

These include the site, gender, age, unique cases such as pregnant women, the severity of infection (asymptomatic, mild, severe), number of deaths, number of recoveries, the health status of front-liners, and bed capacity of hospitals.

AI is also being used in the telemedicine health sector to ease communication between doctor-patient for purposes of medical consultation during extraordinary times or in cases where distance is an issue for the patients. An article from OpenGov Asia reported that with AI’s expanding use in telemedicine, doctors will be able to easily analyse, screen, and diagnose various illnesses from afar. When remote checking and AI are combined, good progress can be made with less specialised labour. This is because AI has the potential to reduce hospital wait times and other processing inconveniences.

There is an increasing global demand for smart healthcare, which includes telehealth and telemedicine. Telehealth is one of the newest industries to make extensive use of AI, from the distribution of electronic medical cards to personal consultations. The role of AI in telemedicine will grow significantly as the field of telemedicine and telehealth evolves with increased adoption.

Consider all the vast amounts of data that AI has the potential to harness – from genomic, biomarker and phenotype data to health records and delivery systems. Decisions in data-intensive specialities such as radiology, pathology, and ophthalmology are already being supported by the technology. AI technology is increasingly going to perform a plethora of tasks autonomously in the future, allowing medical practitioners to concentrate on better patients outcomes.


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