CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- An electronically based health information support system developed to help local government units (LGUs) make informed decisions on health concerns has been introduced to Central Luzon on Wednesday.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), in partnership with Ateneo de Manila University, invited LGUs from Central Luzon to use the "eHealth Tablet for Informed Decision (eHatid) making program, a software application currently designed for mobile android devices that offers real-time access to health information among LGUs and medical doctors.

"The project provides local government officials with an electronic medical record mobile application that generates reports for the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and Department of Health and also ensures a more comprehensive patient record system to help save time and effort for both health workers and patients," said DOST Assistant Regional Director Wilfredo Sibal.

With the help of the application, DOST intends to create projects and solutions to the problems based from the records the LGU will encode.

The application's main feature is an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system where patients of Rural Health Units (RHU) record will be installed. It will also feature a "mayor-doctor" communication and graphs and reports, which can be filtered by date or certain disease.

"The eHATID LGU will also have a security feature that requires a username, password, client's secret four-digit PIN for data security, privacy and confidentiality purposes to access the account offline," said Ateneo Project Director Dennis Batangan.

Aside from this, data from the application will also be synched to a central database via the government cloud facilities of the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) of the DOST.

Health workers can use the tablet offline to input patient records and then synch the encoded information to a government cloud facility later in case internet service is unavailable or intermittent, Batangan added.

Simultaneous to the introduction, the DOST and its partners distributed two new Lenovo tablets to each LGU to make the project more successful.

"We will not require any fee for the tablet. We will just have a memorandum of understanding signed by the mayor, DOST and Ateneo that they received the tablet. We will also conduct a project visit to check the efficiency of the technology," said Technical Assistance Provider for Central Luzon Camille Sunglao.

The MOU states that stakeholders must maximize the use of the application and secure the physical aspects of the gadget. It is also stated that LGU must designate a data encoder to sustain the project.

Six LGUs from Pampanga, including Bacolor, Lubao, Minalin, Sta. Rita, Floridablanca and City of San Fernando, participated in the launching of eHatid.

"We invited all the LGUs from the region tapos dapat magpadala sila ng letter of intent that they want to try the technology as confirmation," added Sunglao.

Aside from Pampanga, 26 other LGUs from Bataan, Bulacan and Nueva Ecija participated in the event.

"Sana hindi lang malimit sa 32 LGUs ang project natin. Hopefully this will ignite to a bigger one," said Sibal.

Batangan also urged the stakeholders to maximize the efficiency of the product because this will be a big step in improving health care services. He also said the acquisition of the tablets underwent the bidding process as advised by the DOST. Lenovo won the bidding, physically and technologically wise. Representatives from DOST and its partners also trained the delegates of the LGUs for the proper use of the application.

The eHATID LGU project is funded by the DOST’s Philippine Council for Health Research and Development in partnership with Ateneo de Manila University.