DOST hopes to deploy more RxBox in rural areas

RxBox has the potential to improve healthcare and medical systems in rural areas. The multi-component program includes biomedical devices, an electronic medical record system, and training designed to support maternal and child health care and identification.

When he was the director of UP’s National Telehealth Center (NTHC), Dr. Alvin Marcelo, together with Dr. Luis Sison of the UP Diliman College of Engineering, developed the concept of the RxBox prototype in 2007.

Today, with about  781 units RxBox deployed nationwide since it was released in 2016 to 115 geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and collaborators are hoping to breach the 1,000 mark by the end of March 2023.

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Recently, DOST-CALABARZON held the RxBox 1000: Summit 2023 with the theme “Smarter Healthcare, Healthier Communities” held in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, aiming to raise awareness on the benefits of using RxBox, especially in rural areas and GIDA.

“Through the RxBox multi-stakeholder project, we have immensely contributed to saving lives especially during the height of the pandemic,” DOST Secretary Renato Solidum said in his message during the summit. “Through our courageous and dedicated employees, we were able to reach far-flung and isolated places to deliver S&T interventions.”

RxBox was designed to help reduce the overall cost of healthcare by enabling health workers to diagnose, monitor, and treat patients within a rural health facility. Among the built-in medical sensors in RxBox are a blood pressure monitor, pulse oximeter, electrocardiogram (ECG), fetal health monitor, maternal tocometer, and temperature sensor. 

Solidum revealed that DOST will be proposing a new RxBox deployment project under its “Smart and Sustainable Cities and Communities” program to sustain the traction it has so far gained. 

Categories: Science

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