JICA software to boost PH medical record system during disasters

  • April 20, 2016
  • Jerome R. Paunan

MANILA,  April 20 (PIA) -- The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is developing a software that could be of good use to the Philippines during natural disasters and emergencies.


The software-based operating system would be capable of collecting and collating emergency medical records in real time, the JICA said, adding that the iSPEED Disaster Medical Mission Operating System in Philippines project will be implemented until February 2017.


The project, made possible through the agency’s collaboration program with the private sector for disseminating the Japanese technology, kicked off during a recent meeting participated by officers from Department of Health (DOH).


The support agency said Japanese firm Tokyo Electronic Systems Corporation is in-charge of developing iSPEED, which is the code name of the product under development.


It said the system uses a smart phone and a computer server where health care providers can enter medical information in real-time. The software can also be stored in a portable case with other devices for setting up wireless local area network (LAN) to allow rapid, simple, and secure operations at emergency medical sites during disaster situations.


“As part of the emergency medical support during Typhoon Yolanda, the nearly 77 medical teams and over 1,200 medical personnel from the Philippines and abroad carried out medical activities on the ground. In the early phase of the medical support, medical examination status was either reported verbally or through handwritten notes because there was no unified way to record and convey medical information in a timely manner,” the JICA said.


“This chaotic and random recording of medical examination status during the emergency medical relief operations after Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 prompted the Japan Disaster Relief Team (JDR) to lobby for a system in the Philippines that will help report medical records of typhoon survivors fast and aid decision makers in disaster risk reduction management,” it said.


“The JDR, dispatched by the Japanese government to the Philippines after Typhoon Yolanda, suggested that all medical personnel then summarize information in the Surveillance in Post Extreme Emergencies and Disasters (SPEED) system which was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Philippine government to collect necessary information swiftly and precisely,” it added.


“With this experience, the concept of SPEED was brought back to Japan and the Japanese version of SPEED (J-SPEED) that suits the needs of Japan was developed. In 2014, Japan adopted the Japanese version of SPEED concept called J-SPEED as its standard recording system of disaster-related medical care,” it said.

“iSPEED was born from this concept that features an electronic format of medical information for J-SPEED. Japan is sharing the technology with the Philippines to also help the country prepare for the international standardization efforts of medical information by the WHO,” it added.


“Japan and the Philippines share common experiences when it comes to natural disasters. Through JICA’s partnership with Japanese private sector, we aim to help address some of the key development challenges, including those that affect vulnerable population during disasters,” the JICA said.


“By sharing Japanese know-how and experiences, we hope to help the Philippines create a reliable and resilient health system when disasters or a significant health crisis or pandemic strikes,” the agency added.


Since the 1960s, the JICA has been supporting disaster risk reduction and response efforts in the Philippines through various structural like river improvement, dike construction, and through non-structural measures such as capacity building, disaster warning systems, hazard maps, evacuation drills and policy development.


The JICA is Japan’s comprehensive development institution, which handles technical cooperation, ODA loans and investment, and grant aid, as well as cooperation volunteers and disaster relief programs.


The JICA is one of the world’s largest bilateral aid agencies with its volume of cooperation amounting to about USD 12.3 billion for JFY 2014 and a world-wide network of almost 100 overseas offices.


For more information on the JICA and the JICA Philippines’ activities, please log on to http://www.jica.go.jp/english and http://www.jica.go.jp/philippine/english/index.html.


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