The RxBox program is designed to provide better access to life-saving health care service in isolated and disadvantaged communities nationwide. It is one among the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) efforts for a “Smarter Philippines”.

In 2007, RxBox played a very important role in the development of the National Telehealth Service Program (NTSP), currently one of the Department of Health’s (DOH) efforts towards Universal Health Care.

The RxBox program consists of a biomedical device and builds capacities of frontline health workers on telemedicine, the use of electronic medical records and the RxBox telemedicine device.

The RxBox supports the country’s race towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on improving maternal and neonatal health services. It supports also the campaign to control Non Communicable Diseases, major causes of death and diseases in the country.

WHAT RxBox Does?

  • Blood Pressure Monitor – measures the patient’s blood pressure and detect heart and blood vessels problems, especially hypertension, a disease which can also worsen other chronic lifestyle disease conditions.
  • Pulse Oxymeter – assesses the level of oxygen in the patient’s blood and can help detect lung and heart problems, the leading causes of death of Filipinos.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) – monitors the heart’s movement to pump blood throughout the body. This is helpful for those with acute and chronic heart problems, including pregnant mothers with heart disease.
  • Fetal Heart Monitor – measures the baby’s heart rate while in the womb. It can help detect the baby’s difficulty at critical times of the pregnancy and delivery.
  • Maternal Tacometer – assesses the strength of contraction of the mother’s uterus especially during delivery. It can detect problems that can lead to distress to both the mother and her baby.
  • Improves documentation of patient information using its CHITS-electronic medical record.
  • Through telemedicine, as part of the National Telehealth Service program, links the remote primary care health workers with clinical specialists in hospitals for better patient care.
  • Reduces unnecessary travels and hospitalizations of patients.
  • Improves the health referral system in their area through telemedicine CHITS-Community health Information and Tracking System.

  • Lack of medicines and other life-saving technology.
  • Maldistribution of health workers.
  • Geographic isolation.
  • Commercialized medicine: expensive and out of reach of the poor Filipino.


SOLUTION: Maximize established benefits of Information & Communications Technology in Health Care             

-maximizes use of health technology, enables communication and connects patients and health providers. 


Leading the cutting of the ribbon ceremony were Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, Executive Director of Philippine Council for Health Research & Development (PCHRD), Dr.Maria Lourdes K. Otayza,Chair of Region 1 Health Research & Development Consortium (R1HRDC), Dr. Jose B. Orosa III, Chair of R1HRDC-Research & Development Commi- ttee, Dr. Vicente Y. Belizario, Jr., Executive Director of the National Institute of Health(NIH), and Dr. Amelia Guevara, Undersecretaryfor Research and Development, Department of Science & Technology (RD-DOST).

Around 500 participants from the 17 regional health research organizations arrived on Wednesday morning at Plaza Del Norte Hotel & Convention Center in Barangay Balacad, Laoag City and attended the 7th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week Celebration.

Hosted by the Region 1 Health Research and Development Consortium (R1HRDC), the theme of the event was: “People at the Center of Health and Health Research”.

The event served as a platform for various stakeholders to come-up with health solutions by way of research and discussion.

R1HRDC Chair, Dr. Maria Lourdes K. Otayza, said that, “the celebration paves way to the different stakeholders in health to interact and share information and experiences in providing a research-based solutions to health problems.”

“Let us take this opportunity to come together and learn from each other as we pursue a common goal of making a difference in the lives of our people” she added.

The PNHRS's core agencies namely the Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Council for Health Research & Development – Department of Science & Technology (PCHRD-DOST), Commission on Higher Education (CHED-1), and National Institutes of Health (NIH) – University of the Philippines Manila joined the said event.

Each region from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao were well-represented by health research organizations and various students from the different medical and nursing schools.



The conference staged a three-day activity from August 7-9, 2013 which includes fora for the health specialist, students and professionals research presentation competitions and poster exhibits organized by the consortia.

The competition were classified into two, these were the poster-making exhibit and oral presentation.













Participants were from the category of students, professionals and consortia from the 14 participating regions whose research papers were pre-judged by the evaluation/ review panel.

From a total of 28 papers from each category of students and professionals, there were ten qualifiers for the oral presentation and ten for the poster exhibit, all for student category.

In professional category, six were admitted for the oral presentation and eight for the poster exhibit.

For the consortia category, the poster-making contest was undertaken in line with this year’s theme “People at the Center of Health and Health Research” showcasing their activities.

Meanwhile, the DOST-PCHRD GRUPPO MEDICA conferred award for outstanding undergraduate thesis in herbal medicine to wit: (1) Neutrotonic Effect of the Alkaloid Extract Capsule of Kangkong (Ipomoea aquatica Forsk) on the Treatment of Alzheimer ’s Disease (San Pedro College, Davao City); (2) Antiangiogenic Activity and Toxicity of Crescentia cujete Linn. (Calabash) (Notre Dame of Dadiangas University, General Santos City); (3) Antibacterial, Toxicological and Mutagenic Evaluation of Formulated Ointment of Knobweed (Hyptis capitata Jacq, Lamiaceae) Leaf Extract Against Methicilin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (University of Immaculate Conception, Davao City)



Technology-driven products through the assistance of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) were showcased during the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week on August 7-9.

The DOST organized a techno-bazaar for Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) which are beneficiaries of their assistance program to introduce Ilocano products among visiting regions here.

Jonathan Viernes, Provincial Director of the DOST in Ilocos Norte said, “the products were assisted by the DOST to improve its packaging by the use of technological equipment mainly to boost its marketability.”

Among the native Ilocano products seen at the fair were the mouth-watering ‘bagnet and longganisa’, chichacorn, banana chips, rice coffee, and the famous ‘inabel’ cloth of Ilocos.

“This might also generate employment because the SMEs will get to hire additional workers for their booth” Viernes added.

The DOST, together with the Department of Health (DOH) has established the PNHRS on 2003 and have been working for a bill that will institutionalize the PNHRS as well as the establishment of a subsidy funding for its projects.

The DOST and DOH established the PNHRS through a Memorandum of Understanding signed on March 2003.

The celebration of PNHRS Week every second week of August is pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 1309 in 2007.





The Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research & Development (DOST-PCHRD) in collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH) is pleased to announce the availability of the Outstanding Health Research Award (OHRA) for the year 2014.


The Award gives recognition to a research program or project that has demonstrated the link between research and practice through the utilization of research findings in the health delivery system.

Any health research program or project may be considered for the Award. Nominations will be done by any institution; members of the consortium; scientific; technological and professional societies or associations; research institutes; universities and colleges; and individuals. Self-nomination is not allowed.

Two awards will be given: one for the biomedical research category and another one for the health services research category. A cash prize of Php500, 000 and a trophy await the winner for each category.

All members of  Region1 Health Research and Development Consortium (R1HRDC) are requested to submit nominations to the R1HRDC secretariat, Ms. Christina Llaguno of Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital & Medical Center (077--3133792) on or before March 28, 2014 and it will be reviewed and short-listed by the consortium. Short-listed entries will be submitted to the Philippine Council for Health Research & Development (PCHRD) on or before April 4, 2014.

A copy of the 2014 OHRA Guidelines, Nomination Form and list of Regional Consortium Secretariats can be downloaded at the "downloads" option.





The theme of the conference is "Higher Education: Forerunner in Meeting Diverse Global

Challenges" which aimed to promote healthy exchange of ideas from researchers of diffe-

rent disciplines throughout the country, and to broaden understanding on the important

role of higher education coping with the many challenges of the present time. This confe-

rence facilitated the evaluation and dissemination of research output and identified and

formulated policies and action plans that would address said concerns.

One of the Guest Speakers was Dr. Maria Lourdes K. Otayza, Chief of Hospital III of

Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital & Medical Center (MMMH&MC), City of Batac, Ilocos

Norte and the present Chairman of the Region 1 Health Research & Development Consor-

tium (R1HRDC). She focused on the topic, "Enhancing
Practical Solutions on Health Problems Through Conventional Biotechnology in Drugs and

Medical Plants" and elaborated on its rationale when she discussed about the PCHRD's

National Unified Health Research Agenda for 2011-2016 which covers Drug Discovery &

Development, Development of Diagnostic Kits for
Priority Diseases, Genomics and Molecular Technology, Functional Foods, Hospital Equip-

ment and Biomedical Devices, ICT in Health and Chronobiology.

The main objective of her talk was to challenge the audience, composed mostly of state

university faculties and academic researchers all over the Philippines to encourage their

students in health - related research.

From left to Right: Dr. Mary Lu Magno, Chair of Ethics and review Committee; Ms. Lucila Roja and Ms. Carina Rebulanan, representatives from PCHRD; Dr. Ma. Lourdes K. Otayza, new R1HRDC Chair; Dr. Jose B. Orosa III, Chair of Research and Development Committee; and Dr. Unity Cortez, Chair of Capability Building Committee conferred the plaque of recognition to Dir. Leonardo N. Quitos, Jr. (center).




The members of the Region 1 Health Research and Development Consortium (R1HRDC)  recognized the sterling leadership of former consortium’s chair, Dir. Leonardo N. Quitos,  Jr., of the National Economic and Development Authority – Cordillera Administrative  Region (NEDA-CAR) in a Turn Over Ceremony of Region 1 Health Research and  Development Consortium (R1HRDC) Chairmanship and CY 2011 Performance Assessment  and CY 2012 Work Planning Workshop held last 19 January 2012, at the Nueva Segovia  Consortium of Cooperatives (NSCC) Plaza, Caoayan, Ilocos Sur.

Dir. Quitos was formerly the NEDA 1 Regional Director before he was reassigned to NEDA-CAR last November 28, 2011. Serving as the longest chairperson of the consortium for eleven years, he had contributed in the growth and development of the R1HRDC by revitalizing its operation in 2000, crafting its operations manual (first RHRDC to develop among the RHRDCs across the country), pushed for the trainings of pool of health researchers in the region, chaired the Search Committee for Northern Luzon for the Best in Health Mentor Award of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) for several years and among others. The officials of the consortium together with the representatives from the Philippine Council for Health Research and development conferred the plaque of recognition to Dir. Quitos.

Dir. Quitos although now reassigned at the NEDA Cordillera Administrative Region had still opened his service to the consortium especially in facilitating the conduct of team building activities for the R1HRDC.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ma. Lourdes K. Otayza of the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMH&MC) of Batac City, Ilocos Norte was installed as the new chair of the consortium via unanimous decision. She will be assisted by her co-chairperson, Dr. Leo B. Solis of the Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation (VMUF) of San Carlos Pangasinan.

The R1HRDC is the region’s steering body for health and health-related research and concerns. It serves as the regional arm of the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) and it is mandated to strengthen the system of health research collaboration in the region to develop, enhance and capacitate institutions to engage in health research to help improve the health conditions of the people. To know more about the consortium you may contact the office of Dr. Ma. Lourdes K. Otayza at telephone number 077-792-3133/3144.

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