The spread of COVID-19 in the country brought a lot of challenges to the Philippine healthcare system.  Community members, patients, and health workers alike remain vulnerable to the fatal disease. Despite the months-long lockdown restrictions, the cases continue to exponentially grow, with the World Health Organization (WHO) reporting a total of 424,297 confirmed cases as of November 27, 2020. As such, movement — and consequently — access to healthcare services continue to be limited. To address these concerning issues, two local startups. SeeYouDoc, Corp. and Pivotal Peak Digital Health Solutions, Inc. joined together in providing digital solutions for the healthcare system.

SeeYoudoc and Pivotal Peak's partnership aims to create an integrated telemedicine system powered by electronic medical records to provide a safe, secure, and accessible healthcare service for all Filipinos.

Startups empowering the Filipino

The two tech startups introduced their plans last November 24, 2020, on the second day of the PH Startup Week 2020. A collaborative initiative between the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), QBO Innovation Hub, and other private entities,  the five-day virtual conference featured the ingenuity of up and coming businesses from various industries.

Like the other community partners of the event, SeeYouDoc and Pivotal Peak in their joint virtual conference facilitated by Dr. AJ Rosario, Co-founder and CMMO of SeeYouDoc as well as Pivotal Peak’s CEO, highlighted how they powered up Filipinos as they adapt to the new normal. Hoping to make healthcare more accessible in the country, the two companies introduced data management and eHealth solutions during the event.

Boosting accessibility with electronic medical records

Pivotal Peak showcased their Community Health Information Tracking System (CHITS), an electronic medical record (EMR) system. Developed in the University of the Philippines back in 2004, CHITS underwent extensive research and development throughout the years, becoming one of the most user-friendly, DOH- and PhilHealth-compliant EMR systems in the country. The EMR improves the clinical workflow and provides clinicians a more focused environment for caring. As an organized collection of patient data in digital format, CHITS is also capable to securely share health information across different health systems in the country based on agreed standards.

Dr. Geohari Hamoy, Co-founder, Vice President, and COO of Pivotal Peak notes, “the use of technology to enhance health service delivery through data management and transmission of health data information has long been used in the Philippines but has not been established well in the healthcare system due to limitations in policies, availability of 'champions,' limited experience and resources for needed technologies and infrastructure.”

The Community Health Information Tracking System (CHITS) by Pivotal Peak Digital Health Solutions , Inc. will be integrated with SeeYouDoc.
The Community Health Information Tracking System (CHITS) in-use. Photo from: Pivotal Peak

However, the unprecedented effects of the pandemic turned the former underrated practice into a widely-explored alternative. Now, “both the department of health and the private sector have scrambled to utilize telehealth to provide consults and information to a nation hit hard by anxiety and uncertainty,” he continues.

CHITS has been integrated into several eHealth platforms, providing help for both Filipino doctors and patients — even those based in far-flung island and mountain communities. And this year, it will also be incorporated into the integrated telemedicine platform of SeeYouDoc.

Strengthening the integrated telemedicine system

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant, SeeYouDoc currently allows patients to book both face-to-face and virtual consultations and enables doctors to issue e-prescriptions and lab requests. The platform has also onboarded with medical facilities like Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center (ARMMC) and Metro Antipolo Hospital and Medical Center so they could facilitate the telemedicine services they offer with ease.

Doctor using laptop for integrated telemedicine platform.
More doctors will be able to treat their patients wherever they may be with SeeYouDoc's integrated telemedicine platform. Photo by Chang Duong / Unsplash

When powered by the longest-running EMR system, SeeYouDoc will be able to strengthen the telehealth services they offer. Noel del Castillo, SeeYouDoc Co-Founder and CEO says, “Soon more than a hundred healthcare centers powered by CHITS will be able to provide telemedicine services to everyone.”

Healthcare for all

CHITS, when bundled with SeeYouDoc, can provide doctors and medical facilities training complete with telemedicine certifications and CPD units. In time, more and more health professionals will be well-equipped to serve and provide the care their patients need no matter the distance.

“With this partnership,” he added, “we envision to build an integrated health platform that will connect patients, doctors, clinics, and hospitals [sic].” Working together with the DOH and PhilHealth they aim to achieve a universal healthcare system for Filipinos through their fortified platform.