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UP College of Medicine launches ‘telepresence computers’ to help COVID-19 patients talk to their families

A collaboration between UP Diliman, UP Manila, and Xavier School, the project is a perfect example of the Filipinos’ bayanihan spirit!

Aside from fighting for their lives in the hospital, COVID-19 patients also bear the burden of having their families constantly worry about them. These patients are not able to speak to or see their loved ones due to the contagious nature of the disease. They are left to fight the coronavirus alone, and their families at home in distress thinking of their relative’s situation.

This is what the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Medicine wants to address. To ease the patients’ loneliness and their loved ones’ worry, the College of Medicine developed the “Telepresence Computers”—computer systems where patients at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and their families can talk and check up on each other.


Also Read: GMA News’ Howie Severino recovers from COVID-19, shares his eye-opening experience


Photo source: GMA News


“Ang mga pasyenteng may COVID ay hindi lamang numero o statistic, sila po ay taong may nagmamahal at may minamahal na pamilya. Pwede na po nila makausap ang mga mahal nlla sa buhay habang nasa ospital,” the college said in a Facebook post. Doctors and other medical staff can also use the telepresence computers to monitor the patients so that physical contact can be lessened.

Experts from UP Diliman and UP Manila collaborated to bring this project to life. The computers were donated by Batch 1975 alumni of Xavier School. The telepresence computer is one of the projects that definitely show the bayanihan spirit of Filipinos during this health emergency.

Previously, the PGH also launched “Tele-Kumusta,” an app that enables COVID-19 patients to contact their families through laptops available at the hospital. The only limitation is that the app can only be used by patients who have mild to moderate symptoms.

UP-PGH is one of the designated COVID-19 referral centers in the country.


Text by Katie Rojas.

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