News: Filipino invention uses mobile tech to help indigent amputees -
05 Aug 2010
Indigent amputees in Tondo, Manila are now able to undergo medical assessment towards getting new prosthetic limbs without going to a hospital, thanks to a unique Filipino invention.
The "Walking Free Program", an advocacy of the Physicians for Peace-Philippines (PFP-Philippines), uses a first-of-its-kind mobile- and web-based application designed to make the screening process more convenient for both patients and doctors.
PFP-Philippines uses "Amputee Screening via CEllphone NeTworking (ASCENT)" technology to assess the readiness of indigent amputees for artificial limbs.
The cell phone acts as the primary source of input data. Using the phone, prosthesis reports —made up of the patient's profile, medical information and contact details, and photos of the amputated limb— are sent to a central server via GPRS/3G.
The data in the central server can then be accessed via the Web. Doctors can view the reports remotely and evaluate a patient’s condition immediately. They can then also send instructions to the health worker’s mobile phone, including data on bandaging, rehabilitation, wound care, and medications for the patient.
Dr. Josephine "Penny" Bundoc, coordinator and program head of PFP-Philippines said, "the most important thing is we can monitor with the cell phone what happened after we gave the prosthesis. Despite the fact that we are not able to see the patients, we are able to give advice."
PFP-Philippines is a franchise of the international non-profit organization that has been conducting screening and prosthesis service missions in the country since 2005.
PFP-Philippines, together with the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) has given indigent patients access to low-cost physical therapy and prostheses or artificial limbs.
ASCENT was developed by the Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center for Smart Telecommunications, PFP-Philippines' program partner. –VVP/TJD, GMANews.TV