DOST-ASTI’s PREGINET supports PH telemedicine endeavors
By Joy Luza
The Department of Science and Technology - Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI), through its Philippine Research, Education and Government Information Network (PREGINET), continues to provide the underlying information infrastructure, which enables and sustains valuable collaborative scientific research and development (R&D) and capacity-building activities and applications in the country.
A good example is the recent video conference lecture delivered by neurologist Dr. Teofilo San Luis on “Controversies on Imaging in Nuclear Neurology and Nuclear Radiology” held on 10 August 2017. Through the high-speed connectivity provided by PREGINET and the video conference server hosted locally at the DOST-ASTI, the participants consisting of medical doctors and staff from University of the Philippines (UP) Philippine General Hospital (PGH), Dagupan Doctor Villaflor Memorial Hospital, Baguio General Hospital (BGH), St. Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC), and the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) were able to view Dr. San Luis' lecture live.
The high speed connectivity enabled the participants from physically dispersed hospitals to collaborate, come together and accelerate their learning process on new and upcoming developments in the medical field. The excellent video and audio quality facilitated meaningful interaction and seamless exchange of views during the session.
This information infrastructure is envisioned to further promote and advance the state of telemedicine or telehealth in the country by enabling Philippine hospitals to keep abreast of any new medical diagnostics and treatment options that can be delivered to their patients. Patients may then be able to get world-class treatment without having to travel abroad.
Hospitals which participated in the recent telemedicine event had different link capacities. BGH, NKTI, and UP PGH had 1 Gbps link to the Government Network (GovNet), while the SLMC had 100 Mbps link to the Philippine Open Internet Exchange (PhOpenIX). The Dagupan Doctors Villaflor Memorial Hospital used a backup internet service provider with direct connection to the PhOpenIX. Both GovNet and PhOpenIX infrastructures are connected to DOST-ASTI’s PREGINET, which is connected to larger international research and education networks.
The domestic and international links, which have already been established by PREGINET provides the critical components in enabling the "Philippine telemedicine network" and these include:
- A 10 Gbps link going to the core of the PREGINET (www.pregi.net), which connects some major government hospitals across the country;
- A 10 Gbps link going to the core of the PhOpenIX, a local internet exchange (IX) also operated by the DOST-ASTI. This IX connects some private hospitals, i.e., St. Lukes, to the network;
- A 10 Gbps link going to the Asia Pacific Advance Network (www.apan.net), which connects the Philippines to other research institutions and hospitals in Asia Pacific and the United States; and
- A 1 Gbps link going to the Trans-Eurasia Information Network (www.teincc.org), which connects the Philippines to other research institutions and hospitals in Southeast Asia and in Europe.
Written by: Dr. Joel Joseph Marciano & Katherine B. Ramos | DOST-ASTI