eHealth Bill, Data Privacy highlighted in DOST, DOH 5th eHealth Summit

3 June 2016 – PICC Convention Center, Pasay City. Key personalities from the government and private sector collaborate on the next steps for eHealth in the Philippines during the 5th eHealth Summit led by Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Health. With the theme, “eHealth Philippines: Big Data, Big on Privacy,” the summit also tackles the implementation of Data Privacy Act of 2012, the proposed eHealth bill, the next six years research agenda, and health information exchange.

DOST-PCHRD’s Official Twitter posts the summit’s program days before the event.

The Summit gathered information technology (IT) and medical practitioners nationwide to collaborate on the next steps for the Philippine eHealth Strategic Framework and Plan. The Summit also provided a platform for information dissemination of the current development of eHealth in the country.

In the press release by eHealth Philippines, Dr. Jaime Montoya, Executive Director of DOST Philippine Council of Health Research and Development, expressed that,

“We are really hoping that this Forum will strengthen commitments and collaborations for eHealth Philippines.”

Since 2013, DOST and DOH intends to harmonize and advance the implementation and development of eHealth application and services in the country by creating the Joint DOH – DOST National Governance Steering Committee and Technical Working Group on eHealth. Through the Summit, both agencies were able to gather recommendations from health IT experts from both public and private sectors to set the strategies for standardization and implementation of eHealth in the country.

Dr. Jaime Montoya of DOST-PCHRD, Sec. Mario Montejo of DOST, Sec. Janette Garin of DOH and Atty. Alexander Padilla of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation welcomed the guests and delegates with their key messages. All are in agreement that this summit aids in a stronger commitment to develop and improve eHealth in the country.

Comm. Raymund E. Liboro of the National Privacy Commission shared in his keynote speech that,

“The law makes processing of information lawful,” as he pertains to necessary regulations that will protect the privacy of data while healthcare information is exchanged.

Health Information Exchange and Big Data

In the morning session, Prof. Peter Sy of UP Diliman discussed Health Information Exchange, Big Data Research and Data Privacy with Dr. Rajendra Yadav (WHO Philippines), Atty. Ivy Patdu (National Privacy Commission), USec Lilibeth David (DOH), Mr. Jeffrey Scott Williams (HIMAP) and Dr. Teodoro Herbosa (UP Manila) as moderator.

In this session, big data is defined with 3Vs– Volume, Velocity and Variety, based on Doug Laney’s 2001 MetaGroup research publication, 3D data management: Controlling data volume, variety and velocity. Moreover, Variability and Complexity are added to the model to address the valuation of large data sets. It was also tackled that unregulated Health Information Exchange may pose risks to data privacy such as identity theft and patient privacy violation.

While transparent use of data is crucial in the upkeep of a democracy and efficient health information exchange, the use of big data should incorporate data protection measures to ensure that privacy is protected in research.

Comm Raymund Liboro, Prof. Peter Sy, Ivy Patdu and Kit Sumabat at eHealth Summit
With Commissioner Raymund Liboro and Dr. Ivy Patdu of the National Privacy Commission, Prof. Peter Sy of UP Diliman and Kit Sumabat of HealthInformatics, Inc. at the 5th eHealth Summit.


Health Data Analytics and Data Privacy

This session included speaker Dr. Peter San Diego (Philippine Heart Center) as the author of the discussion paper, reactors Mr. Cyrus Bermejo (DOST-ICTO), Dr. Jose Ramon Albert (PIDS), Mr. Kit Sumabat (HealthInformatics, Inc.), Dr. Jacinto Mantaring III (UP Manila Ethics Board) and moderator, Dr. Iris Thiele Isip-Tan.

Data privacy is defined as the protection of confidential nature of patient health information.

Dr. San Diego showcased the use of data visualization systems for healthcare analytics that can potentially do geolocation of patients. Related to this, Atty. Ivy Patdu in the previous session put emphasis on self-regulation for protecting data in health research while the National Privacy Commission is working on the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the Data Privacy Act. Nevertheless, data stewards will be liable for data privacy violations.

eHealth Bill

With issues on big data, healthcare data analytics and data privacy being raised and addressed, reactors and panelists during the discussion recommend that the eHealth Bill should be more patient-centered with patient safety as a priority.

The discussion paper was presented by Ms. Crispinita Valdez (DOH-KMITS) with Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Dr. Eleanor Almoro (Board of Medicine – PRC), Dr. Minerva Calimag (PMA), Dr. Ted Herbosa (UP Manila), Mr. Romeo Marcaida (Philippine Cancer Society), Mr. Jemuel Bornolia (Bataan PHO), and Ms. Jill Lava (Smart Communications) as reactors. Dr. Dennis Batangan (ADMU) moderated the said session.

eHealth Research Agenda

Parallel to the eHealth Bill session is the Assessment of the ICT in Health Research Agenda, 2011-2016 and Drawing Up the Medium-Term eHealth Research Agenda with Dr. Alvin Marcelo of UP Manila. Reactors were Dr. Beverly Ho (DOH), Dr. Jeffrey Domino (St. Lukes Medical Center), Dr. Kristine Magtubo (National Telehealth Center), Ms. Wilma Guillen (Philippine Statistics Authority) with Dr. Regina Estuar as moderator.

Delegates and health IT advocates and followers also took their comments and suggestions on Twitter for the topics raised during the event. Here are some tweets about the event using #ehealthPH and #5thehealthsummitph,



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Featured images courtesy of April Espinosa-Sumabat @efrelespinosa.

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