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‘New software can turn Pinoys into topnotch radiologists’

Rainier Allan Ronda
 

 

MANILA, Philippines - A software developed by a Filipino health tech startup can make Filipinos topnotch radiologists amid a global shortage of radiologists.

Dr. Eric Schulze, chief executive officer of Lifetrack Medical Systems based in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, said that the LifeSys radiology information systems and picture archiving and communication system software allows off-site and offshore delivery of scans and x-rays through cloud so one radiologist or team of radiologists in one location could provide diagnosis to another team in a distant location.

The LifeSys software, Schulze said, includes Data Analytics technology that greatly helps a radiologist make a diagnosis with Big Data.

Schulze said that this was made possible by their patented RadNav system, a radiologist guidance system powered by Amazon Web Services cloud computing capability.

“When you’re doing radiology, there’s a lot of information that you have to remember,” Schulze pointed out. “So if we want to create radiologists who can leverage that knowledge base, then we make that available… It doesn’t matter if it’s a US or a Filipino radiologist.”

He said this patented context sensitive approach “makes them better… They can actually produce reports that will be better than most US reports, based on the way the software is engineered.”

With its big number of medical schools, the Philippines can become the premier place for doing teleradiology and take the lead in harnessing the potential of LifeSys, he said.

“There’s not enough doctors in the world, especially in emerging markets,” the Harvard Medical School-Massachusetts General Hospital-trained radiologist and radiology professor said. “It turns out the Philippines has more medical schools than any other country in the region per capita.”

The country, he pointed out, was also highly skilled in English, which he said was the language of medicine.

The Philippines is estimated to have only 1,500 radiologists to provide help to 100 million Filipinos, while in Indonesia, with a massive population of 250,000,000, there are only about 1,000 to 1,500 radiologists and fewer than 2,000 hospitals.

Even in developed regions, the shortage of radiological services is acutely felt. A recent report revealed that 230,000 patients in England wait over a month for results of scans and x-rays.

Schulze said that Amazon Web Services’s cloud platform was critical in their development of both LifeSys and RadNav system.

By using the AWS cloud platform, Lifetrack Medical Systems can quickly roll out innovations. Updates and new features that used to take at least six months to set up can now be deployed within 30 minutes across multiple geographic locations, facilitating radiological diagnosis and speeding up response time to doctors and patients anywhere in the world.

To further facilitate services to its clients, the company recently started using Amazon CloudFront, which accelerates content delivery.

The cloud-based infrastructure has also enabled the company to reduce its monthly operational costs by 10 times compared to previous years, which helps Lifetrack Medical Systems to in turn lower its fees for clients, thus making its solutions more affordable.

In the Philippines, Lifetrack Medical Systems has been making inroads in the medical community as it recently established partnerships with Ayala Corp.’s FamilyDOC retail health clinics, Healthway Medical and other local institutions for use of the software.

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