February 24, 2024

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Successful Deployment of AI in Ophthalmology in the Philippines

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more prevalent across the world in all sectors. Robots and cutting-edge AIs process information much faster than humans, increasing efficiency. It can even help with misdiagnosis and medical errors to some extent. Furthermore, scientists and medical practitioners are continuously using technology to treat previously incurable diseases such as AIDS, lupus, polio and cancer.

In 2018, the Asia Pacific AI healthcare market was valued at US$149 million, with rapid growth driven by the accelerating adoption of AI across a growing number of applications. Overall, AI promises to improve diagnostic and treatment accuracy, increase operational efficiency, and provide better patient care. However, a report predicts that the global AI market will grow by 40% a year through 2021.

Southeast Asia is at the forefront of AI healthcare innovation, given the rising demand for medical services and a surge in health-tech start-ups and investment. The Philippines has also been working to adopt technology across the healthcare sector.

The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) has described its latest effective implementation of a validated artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm for diabetic retinopathy screening last week as a “significant milestone,” highlighting the country’s first use of AI in ophthalmology. The Philippine Eye Research Institute (PERI) collaborated with the Queen’s University of Belfast in the United Kingdom to develop an AI-based algorithm for diabetic retinopathy screening on September 21.

This is a significant milestone in Philippine ophthalmology and is a step towards establishing an inclusive program for diabetic retinopathy screening that has the potential to eliminate diabetes-related blindness.

– Philippine Council for Health Research and Development

The Newton-Agham programme REACH-DR (UK-Philippines Remote Retinal Evaluation Collaboration in Health: Diabetic Retinopathy) seeks to set a diabetic retinopathy screening programme (DRSP) in the country. The initiative aims to create a local DRSP to aid in the timely identification of eyes at risk of diabetes-related blindness and visual loss.

To accomplish this, REACH-DR plans to analyse and validate existing telemedicine technology to develop the necessary infrastructure for a local DRSP. The programme also aimed to adapt the selected technologies to the Philippine context and complete the technology transfer to the Philippine stakeholders

“Evaluating retinal images is a highly skilled process, which requires training, continuous quality control, and maintenance of a specialised skill set. As trained retinal image readers are costly and difficult to train with limited numbers worldwide, it has become a necessity to seek automation processes in ocular telemedicine to increase throughput while maintaining cost-effectiveness and accuracy,” said a Harvard Medical School Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology.

According to the DOST-PCHRD, retinal screening is being done in underprivileged areas in Metro Manila and Central Luzon. The screening is expected to be completed by June 2022 by the REACH-DR team.

In addition, the Philippines have established an eHealth Strategic Framework Plan for 2014 to 2020, which is being implemented by the DOH and DOST with WHO guidance, to support the delivery of health services and the efficient management of health systems. As a result of these efforts, the DOH has issued administrative issuances that establish mandatory health data standards to ensure interoperability and to identify the respective roles and responsibilities of the relevant government agencies.

OpenGov Asia reported that 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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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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