The Role of Telehealth in Disaster Management: Lessons for the Philippines

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29086/JISfTeH.6.e5

  • Kristine Mae Magtubo National Telehealth Centre, National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila
  • Monica Sunga National Telehealth Centre, National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila
  • Manuel John Paul Gaspar National Telehealth Centre, National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila
  • Portia Grace Fernandez Marcelo National Telehealth Centre, National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila
Keywords: telehealth, disaster management, low resource setting, Philippines

Abstract

According to the WorldRiskIndex 2016, the Philippines is the third country most at risk of disasters in the world. Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest on local record, caused widespread destruction to life and property. Current disaster management strategies in the country do not include telehealth as a formal tool in disaster mitigation, response, or recovery. This study reviewed research incorporating telehealth in disaster management from multiple low and lower middle income countries like the Philippines to address this gap by identifying lessons the country might be able to adopt. Studies show that most initiatives centre on evaluating telehealth’s effectiveness during the response phase. Unsurprisingly, mobile technology and satellite communications predominated, and most projects were launched using donor funding. Use of telehealth in disaster management in the Philippines could begin by recognising and including telehealth in formal government protocols. The government could leverage the National Telehealth Service Program of the University of the Philippines National Telehealth Center. Documentation and systematic research on telehealth’s expected positive contributions to disaster preparedness and response should also be initiated.

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Published
2018-03-29
How to Cite
Magtubo, K. M., Sunga, M., Gaspar, M. J. P., & Marcelo, P. G. (2018). The Role of Telehealth in Disaster Management: Lessons for the Philippines. Journal of the International Society for Telemedicine and EHealth, 6(1), e5 (1-9). Retrieved from https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/JISfTeH/article/view/490
Section
Special Theme: Disaster eHealth