Healthcare outsourcing company taps AIM to streamline operations

QAVALO, a Cebu-based company that provides clinical documentation solutions, partnered with the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) to streamline and automate its operations.

The data architecture project funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) aims to usher in the development of a regulatory framework for home health care (HHC).

“The project would increase portability and ease sharing of data, including patient records, between physicians and institutions,” said Christian M. Alis, an assistant professor at AIM and the project leader of QARE-HHC (Quicker Analytics for Responsive Home Health Care), which will develop backend technologies that indirectly benefit end users with efficient processes, enhanced competition, and improved services.

QARE-HHC is a partnership between DoST’s Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy (CRADLE) program; AIM’s Analytics, Computing, and Complex Systems laboratory (ACCeSs@AIM); and Qavalo, which operates in the HHC industry.

By adopting QARE-HHC, Qavalo will improve its predictive analytics and align company data with its business strategies. The project’s main deliverables are a review of electronic medical record (EMR) providers; pipelines for pre-processing data; an EMR plan based on data collection processes; and deployment-ready artificial intelligence (AI) models.

In the future, mobile applications that improve patient outcomes using a prescriptive AI model for treatment plans could be possible, Mr. Alis said in an e-mail.

“Other possible applications that could be developed include early intervention and screening of diseases and conditions as well as recommending lifestyle interventions for better health,” he added.

Already a mature market in the US (which had more than 11,300 agencies registered in 2018), HHC is a nascent market in the Philippines with few established players.

HHC, or medical services that are delivered to patients in their own homes, intersects with telehealth, the provision of medical services over a distance.

The pandemic has paved the way for this service, according to Christopher P. Monterola, executive managing director of ACCeSs@AIM, at the April 26 launch of QARE-HHC.

“HHC is very new… Even the regulatory frameworks are not in place yet,” he said. “[QARE-HHC] aims to contribute to a robust regulatory regime for it.”

Mr. Alis pointed out that the government encourages home care for mild cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“By encouraging HHC, we can free up some of the hospital beds for more critical cases,” he said. “If we can do it with COVID-19, we can expand it to more diseases, and then perhaps we can mitigate the lack of hospital beds in the country.”

There are 23 hospital beds for every 10,000 people in the National Capital Region while the rest of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao have only 8.2, 7.8, and 8.3 beds, respectively, according to a review of the Philippine health system published in 2018. — P. B. Mirasol