BAGUIO CITY – (11 March 2021) – The first Artificial Intelligence (AI)-assisted Baguio Health Information Assistant and Vaccine Management System is formally launched today wherein Baguio residents may enjoy free online medical consultation and other medical-related inquiries directly to doctors by visiting using a Desktop PC/Laptop or Mobile phone browser.

The telemedicine portal can be accessed at using a Desktop PC/Laptop or Mobile phone browser. Look for the Baguio Seal at the lower right of the webpage and click the Baguio logo at the lower right portion of the screen.

Members of the medical community, representatives from the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) communications, and the local government of Baguio as represented by Mayor Benjamin Magalong together with Department of Health Cordillera Assistant Regional Director Amelita Pangilinan launched the telemedicine.

Speaking before a socially-distanced audience, Mayor Magalong emphasized that the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and reimagined medicine keeps health workers and the public safe, as it provides early intervention through right information, a distanced, properly managed and strengthened health system for the prevention of deaths.

The success in fighting the Covid-19 virus depends on leaders’ unwavering commitment, serious consideration and ability to focus on changes and technology, with telemedicine as part of the Covid-19 response, the mayor said.

Telemedicine’s overseer Physician-Pulmonologist Ruel Revilla pointed out that the Covid-19 pandemic opened new avenues through creation of sites for digital platforms to serve the public through telemedicine, or contactless/distanced medical care.  

Responses or conversations could then be chosen as to the physical or emotional needs of the client; Revilla noted. Since the fear of social stigma may present an unseen barrier for reaching out, telemedicine provides a sense of privacy for queries from a client, Revilla further said. 

Automatic responses may be given, though these are directed to the proper channels such as a voice box, an e-mail address, and a live agent/physician. Frequently asked questions may be answered, a self-service triage, medical appointment or emergency destination could be processed, Revilla said. The client may also be referred to medical practitioners, a nearby health facility or hospital for immediate care.

Feedback may also be given, including vaccination information, and the language used may be translated to Tagalog or Ilocano in the near future, Revilla assured.

In addition, a vaccination simulation procedure was done on site, with a volunteer going through registration, screening, vaccine administration, monitoring and observation. – Julie G. Fianza