Monday, December 11, 2023

Gov’t exploring immersive technology in healthcare

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it is exploring immersive technology in healthcare systems together with the Healthcare Information Management Association of the Philippines (HIMAP).

DTI and HIMAP representatives recently visited the AXEL (Augmented eXperience E-health Laboratory) Research Group of the University of the Philippines at the UP Camp Immersive Technology Laboratory, Manila, to “test” the system. 

AXEL is a dynamic research lab that designs and develops immersive technology systems such as virtual reality for healthcare applications.

Current prototypes include Head Mounted Device System for ImGTS-BPSD, ImGTS-CP, ImGTS-CM, ImGTS-PD and Semi-CAVE System for ImGTS-BPSD and ImGTS-CP.

Its goal is to serve Filipinos with disabilities by providing therapy through virtual experiences in a fun and engaging manner.

Dr. Michael Tee and Prof. Jaime D.L. Caro of AXEL welcomed the DTI representatives composed of undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba, together with assistant secretary Glenn G. Peñaranda, and Maria Teresa S. Loring, and Shayma G. Carim-Musor from the Export Marketing Bureau, and JL Botor of HIMAP.

The visit aimed to explore areas of cooperation in innovation and technology and in the promotion of healthcare and creative services. services. 

According to Vantage Market Research, the global virtual and augmented reality healthcare market value is projected to reach $18.7 billion by 2028 and is expected to grow at 30.2% between 2022 to 2028.

During the visit, AXEL expressed interest in tapping DTI’s assistance in the commercialization of immersive technology systems in healthcare in the areas of intellectual property and business development.

They are also interested in enhancing capabilities to participate in international trade and the global value chain.

DTI assistant secretary Glenn Peñaranda trying out the same prototype

Aldaba acknowledged that despite AXEL’s groundbreaking work, there are still significant challenges that the team has to surmount in taking their products to the commercial market. These include financial constraints, limited resources, and a lack of expertise in business and marketing.

“Innovations in the academe that revolutionize and transform the industry, particularly on healthcare, provide a catalyst upon which the DTI is able to strengthen our niche in the global market. The development of new technologies like AR and VR positions the country to shift to higher value services while further enhancing customer experience and the care culture Filipinos are known for,” Aldaba said. 

As part of efforts to bridge these gaps, DTI said it is committed to support initiatives that aim to promote locally developed technology to compete in the international market.


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