DevAccelerator Spotlight: Liwanang Technologies
Empowering patients to gain control over their own health data in the Philippines
This is a part of a series highlighting the work of developers on the Oasis Network through the new DevAccelerator Program. Go here to learn more about the program and apply.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Eduardo Jr Punto, Co-founder and CEO of Liwanag Technologies.
The Liwanag Technologies team is composed of three (3) graduating Electronics Engineering (ECE) students from the Philippines. The team envisions itself to “provide technology to help humanity”. Everything started two years ago when the team wanted to solve the problem regarding Retinal Disease. We presented our research in an international conference considered to be the golden standard for Electrical and Electronics Engineering researchers entitled 2018 IEEE 10th International Conference on Humanoid, Nanotechnology, Information Technology, Communication, and Control, Environment and Management (HNICEM).
Recently, we also joined the event “Techstars Global Online Startup Weekend Unite to Fight Covid-19 Philippines” and was enlisted as a finalist (Top 1–10).
And a bit about your project?
Amidst the pandemic, Liwanag Technologies is currently developing BAT4COVID or Basic Assessment Tools for COVID-19 as part of Project ASCLEPIUS. It is an AI-based predictive model that can identify people who are likely to be at risk of the virus through overall health assessment. The main purpose of it is to assess an individual’s vulnerability to COVID-19 through previous and current illnesses. Basically, BAT4COVID is like GRAB for DIGITAL HEALTHCARE.
BAT4COVID has 3 product models interconnected to each other, PUBLICUS for the vulnerable people, MEDICUS for medical experts, and POLITICUS for local government units.
Most of the industry is adopting blockchain technology to innovate the way they operate. It is impossible to state the importance of blockchain to the Healthcare industry. Having said that it is easily one of the slowest industries for adopting change with regards to the patient experience. Hospitals function pretty much the same way they did twenty years ago while vertical innovation for the healthcare industry is growing rapidly over time.
Additionally, information blocking is posing unreasonable constraints on the exchange of patient information. Blocking takes place because of policies that prevent the sharing of information and also practices that make sharing impractical. By using blockchain technology which is decentralized, transparent, and immutable these problems could be resolved.
With the help of Project Asclepius, the patient will gain control over his/her health data and on the contrary, the healthcare industry will gain reliable data.
Can you explain what decentralized electronic health record is and how it’s different from the current status quo?
In the Philippines, I believe we have excellent healthcare but compared to other countries it’s average; and, as is the case in other countries, healthcare in the Philippines is not accessible to the majority of its citizens.
Nevermind decentralized — most hospitals in the Philippines are still dealing with paper records, not electronic medical records. This means every time a patient visit a new clinic or hospital, they are required to fill-out patient registration forms. This is a repetitive task for the patient and since these forms are physical files, the physician’s assistant needs to run through numerous records first before finding the right one.
When and why did you first get excited about blockchain technology?
Giving healthcare providers the ability to share, search, and query health records is a top priority for providers and lawmakers. The inability to reliably identify patients leads to a reduced quality of care and an increased chance of patient harm. Statistics show that up to one in five patient records are not accurately matched even within the same healthcare system. As many as half of the patients are mismatched when data is transferred between healthcare systems.
We got excited when we found out that basic coordination of care is a major problem affecting the healthcare industry because this use case is exactly what blockchain was made to solve.
Can you share how blockchain might improve the patient experience?
To improve the patient experience, Liwanag Technologies launched Project Asclepius which proposes a technology not new to other countries but a breakthrough to ours. Project Asclepius aims to create a universal electronic health record wherein the records are encrypted and stored in the cloud that only the patient could grant access to a physician especially when it’s their first meeting.
With the help of Project Asclepius, the patient will gain control over his/her health data, and on the contrary, the healthcare industry will gain reliable data. It will also open up new opportunities for research. This will mean that anyone who wants to study trends or effects of certain treatments could easily access it but with granted permission from patients.
What made you interested in building on the Oasis network?
Our team believes that with Oasis Protocol, we can enable features on our product so patients and physicians can confidently share and analyze sensitive data without any risk of accidental leaks or violating privacy.
Any big milestones coming up for your project that our readers should know about?
On the 26th of April, we launched BAT4COVID, a fully integrated healthcare technology that bridges the gap between ordinary citizens, the government, and the medical industry in order to address healthcare concerns in the most efficient manner and to create timely programs and responses for everybody.
The problems we’re trying to solve are (1) Continuous inclination of the number of cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines and other countries, (2) Unawareness of the general public of their risk levels against COVID-19., and (3) Difficulties of having face-to-face medical consultation of the high-risk individuals.
As the Health Department in the Philippines drops ‘persons under monitoring’ or PUM classification because of evidence of local or community transmission in the country, all residents are assumed to have been exposed.
Our team focuses on a risk assessment application that also has the capability to have an on-call doctor which provides medical consultation to the patients. What makes us different is that we’re promoting prevention instead of tracking the COVID-19 positives because we believe that if we protect the vulnerable population to the virus, we can help stop or flatten the curve of the positive cases of the COVID-19 virus.
How can others try out your product? Learn more about what you’re up to?
We’re under development on BAT4COVID and Project ASCLEPIUS.
Anything else you’d like to share?
We’re thrilled to be a part of the DevAccelerator program!