Electronic Care Key wins Grand Prize for UST students at Student Innovation Awards

A group of five students from the different faculties and colleges of University of Santo Tomas won the St. Luke’s Medical Center’s (SLMC) Student Innovation Awards: Innovations Developed for Excellence & Advancement (IDEA) 2018 for an “Electronic Care Key,” a patient assistance system which seeks to improve efficiency of patient care through providing an integrated card, a mobile application, and a kiosk.

The winning team from UST was composed of: Isabella G. Dimaguila, fifth year Physical Therapy student from the College of Rehabilitation Sciences; Joaquin Angelo M. Cruz, first year Doctor of Medicine student from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery; Juan Miguel C. Roman, fourth year Computer Science student from the Institute of Information and Computer Science; Emily Jean U. Obiena, fourth year Industrial Engineering student from the Faculty of Engineering; and Brent John A. Ciriaco, first year Advertising student from the College of Fine Arts and Design. The students were under the guidance of Physical Therapy faculty member and CRS Secretary Ms. Roxanne Fernandez and Physical Therapy faculty member Mr. Donald Manlapaz. With the theme, “A Safer, Sustainable, and Connected World,” the contest culminated in an awarding ceremony held on April 3, 2019 at the Henry Sy Sr. Auditorium, SLMC, Bonifacio Global Center, Taguig.

Through a series of brainstorming activities participated in by the team, they were able to come up with the complete idea of ECKey.  Juan Miguel Roman, the Computer Science student mostly covered assessing the programming feasibility of ECkey while the Industrial Engineering student, Emily Jean Obiena, worked on helping find ways to improve the existing processes alongside Physical Therapy student, Isabella Dimaguilla and Med Student, Joaquin Cruz who both contributed medical-related inputs. Advertising student Brent Ciriaco developed the interface of the app and kiosk to make it user- friendly and visually appealing.

According to Obiena, “ECkey started with an idea inspired by Grab but it rather books you an appointment with a doctor instead of hailing drivers. It was then improved by incorporating the one tap data base type system that is used at the UST Health Service and better diversified through addition of several other features. The effort of creating ECkey was started at around mid-October of last year and was finished and submitted by the end of the same month.”

The multi-disciplinary team collaborated to develop the “Electronic Care Key.” The application will help enhance the system through its main features. Security – Each user will have a profile upon accessing the system which gives St. Luke’s Medical Center a better tracking system for people, thereby giving them better management of their patients’ records. Efficiency – The device helps enhance the efficiency of the current system through the presence of the following: online directory, online booking feature for doctor’s appointments, and notifications for real time updates which keep the processes running smoothly while maintaining a high level of service. Accessibility – E-charts are to be updated in patients’ online profiles. This will then help patients view their medical records with ease and aid doctors with open access to the different test results of their patients. Emergency Response – Through a simple tap on the patients’ smartphones, an emergency incident can be reported immediately to SLMC without delays and redirections thereby providing better assistance and attention to the people in need.

The contest aimed at involving students in the quest of producing innovative breakthroughs in areas of medicine, technological advancements, or healthcare solutions, which can provide significant improvements in existing products and services.

Participating teams submitted a project proposal with a 60-second promotional video.

The eighteen participating teams from different schools were judged through five main criteria, including: Novelty (20%) – The initiative demonstrates a leap in innovativeness and introduces a substantially new technology or process concept; Robustness (20%) – Innovativeness has achieved solutions strong enough to withstand intellectual challenge, and produces unanticipated benefits; Impact (20%) – Initiative potentially addresses any issues or areas of concern; Adaptability (20%) – The proposal responds to changing circumstances and environment; and Clarity (20%) – The innovation can easily be understood and followed, is accessible to St. Luke’s Associates, and conveys compelling solutions that can easily be adopted.

More than the recognition and the prestige of winning the IDEA 2018, the competition showed that concrete change in the current system used in institutions such as hospitals can be improved. This kind of integration through innovation resulting in efficiency, stability and security in hospital management system that benefits the patients can be achieved. According to the UST team, “competitions such as Student Innovation could help turn their ideas into a reality, keeping in mind the objective of achieving a high quality of patient care and services through the Electronic Care Key that provides easy and accessible tools for all patients leading to a safer, sustainable and connected world.”

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