April 11, 2020

PEOPLE want to believe that the use of telemedicine in the fight against the corona virus at this point hinges on the greater consideration that modern technology should benefit the patients and the doctors.

This is why we commend Sen. Sonny Angara for saying that the development of telemedicine as a viable alternative to physical visits to doctors should be pursued while we are trying to halt the spread of the deadly virus.

Noting that the transmission of the virus is potentially dangerous for certain individuals, Senator Angara said technology is likely to bridge the gap between patients and healthcare professionals, notably physicians.

Aware that the dreaded COVID-19 is highly-contagious, the boyish-looking legislator said physical visits to medical doctors is being discouraged, which makes the situation even more difficult for the Filipino people.

Of course, we share the view of Angara that patients afflicted with COVID-19 could easily spread the virus to health professionals and the latter could then infect other patients.

Angara said “it is a vicious cycle which could prove to be fatal not only for the patients, but the health professionals as well.”

During these trying times, when COVID-19 continues to claim the lives of more and more patients, telemedicine is seen to help bring the necessary health care to the people and, more importantly, save lives.

Indeed, artificial intelligence plays a significant role in facilitating the delivery of health services to the people, including those in far-flung communities throughout the Philippines.

Telemedicine is not a new concept. Back in 2010, Angara’s father, the late Senate President Edgardo Angara, mentioned that telemedicine could be a game changer in this impoverished nation.

As chairman of the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering, the elder Angara said that telemedicine will also create the foundation for digital medical records.

Today, we must also promote the use of telemedicine if we are to address the lack of doctors and other health professionals in the country, particularly in far-flung communities.