Mobile app enables amputee screening in remote areas

By Anna Valmero

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA—Anew mobile application developed locally makes amputee screening accessible even for patients in far-flung communities.

Dubbed Amputee Screening via CEllphone NeTworking or ASCENT,  the mobile application was developed in 2010 and has been deployed in various medical missions throughout the country.

ASCENT allows doctors to give real-time evaluation and advice on prosthesis use for amputees via the Smart mobile phone.

As an example of its practical application, another twenty-eight amputee patients were successfully screened this month for prosthesis fitting using the ASCENT mobile application in a recent medical mission in Brgy. Talipapa, Quezon City. The activity was organized by nonprofit Alay Kay Inay ng Lungsod Quezon Foundation Inc.

Through ASCENT, doctors and other health professionals can receive data, including photos of the amputee via GPRS/3G.

Data from the field are sent via Smart mobile broadband to a website that can be accessed by volunteer doctors from Physicians for Peace (PfP-Philippines) to plan medical missions together with UP-PGH.

Prosthetic devices are one of the most important components of rehabilitation and support services for people with physical disabilities.

In the Philippines, there are over a million amputee patients who are in need of these devices. UP-PGH, in partnership with the Walking Free program of PfP Philippines, is addressing this growing demand by providing low-cost prosthetic limbs.

With its demonstrated capability, the mobile application developers Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center (AJWCC) and Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) were awarded Outstanding Partners by Physicians for Peace (PfP-Philippines) during the National Disability Month.

“ASCENT is a very good example on how appropriate mobile technologies can be used for enabling communities for social development, in this case, for health profiling and service delivery,” said Ramon R. Isberto, Smart public affairs group head.

Dr. Reena Estuar of AJWCC said that ASCENT is one of the mobile applications developed under the Ateneo Department of Information Systems and Computer Science since its establishment in 2003.

“Frequent communication with those in the field and those using the app helped us get to where we are now. We are now working on the next phase of ASCENT,” said Estuar.

The Ateneo executive said that they will welcome if the technology becomes part of the natural workflow of the medical community.

(Photo from Smart Communications)


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