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Ayala group helps boost fight against Covid-19

The corporation has come up with new innovations to bolster the country’s health system—a health app and a breathing aid device 

The Ayala group, led by its healthcare unit Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (AC Health), has committed to further increase its efforts to support the government in the fight against Covid-19, 

Many corporations have stepped up to the plate to be of great help in the health crisis, proving that everyone is worthy of their service, even in the industry’s challenging state. One of them is the Ayala Group, which went beyond their corporate responsibilities to give back in solidarity. 

Given the grave situation in hospitals due to the constant increase of cases and limited space, Ayala led the construction of treatment and quarantine facilities and provided booths for swabbing centers. And as it renews its commitment to support the government in the fight against the pandemic, the group has put in place digital initiatives in its business to help aid the healthcare system.

“We remain committed to protecting our fellow Filipinos and will continue to invest and look for even more innovative ways to help,” says AC Health president Paolo Borromeo in a recent webinar hosted by Manila Bulletin. “This is a tremendous challenge, but we are one with the government in fighting this deadly virus.” 

The new innovations, he says, include a digital teleconsultation platform developed by Globe Telecom and AC Health that will help decongest healthcare facilities, and an FDA-approved, lower-cost breathing aid device from Integrated Micro-Electronics, Inc. for Covid-19 patients. 

One tap away

The recent heightened interest in telemedicine gave way to HealthNow, a mobile health app by AC Health’s tech arm Vigos Health and Globe’s 917 Ventures.

HealthNow application

“With this app, we are allowing Filipinos an easy way to access healthcare—they can consult a doctor anytime, anywhere through video call without having to visit a hospital,” says 917 Ventures managing partner Issa Guevarra-Cabreira. “It will also help address the pain points that have long discouraged Filipinos from seeking proper medical care.” 

Prior to the pandemic, she says, seven out of 10 Filipinos said long waiting periods, high cost of medical bills, and limited availability of doctors prevented them from seeking medical attention. 

“There is also a shortage of doctors in the country, with a ratio of one doctor to 33,000 Filipinos—a far cry from the global ideal of one doctor for every 1,000 individuals,” Cabreira says. 

With HealthNow, doctors can extend their patient care online. And by September and October, respectively, users will be able to have medicines delivered and book clinic and lab appointments through the app.

“We’re proud to say that the video consultations are supported by doctors from KonsultaMD, FamilyDOC, and Healthway. To make things easier, the medicine delivery will be handled by Generika Drugstore, and payments can be made through GCash,” Cabreira adds. 

HealthNow, which was released in Google Play Store on Aug. 10, will be available soon in the Apple Store.

Ventilation system to be produced in PH

In support of the hospitals’ call for the local sourcing of low-cost ventilators, Ayala-led Integrated Micro-electronics, Inc. (IMI) brought a UK-developed ventilator in the country. 

UCL Ventura Flow Generator

“In May, our UK subsidiary Surface Technology International Limited, Inc. was already making ventilators for patients overseas. And since the majority of the cases here are mild, we wanted to locally manufacture the product,” says IMI president Arthur Tan

The product, called UCL Ventura Flow Generator, is based on an existing off-patent continuous positive airway pressure system.

IMI engineers examining the generator

“It can help Covid-positive patients with respiratory conditions breathe better and prevent the need for an intubated ventilator treatment,” Tan says. “It has also been reported in the UK that the use of UCL Ventura has resulted in a 60 to 70 percent success rate in preventing mild cases from becoming severe.” 

Unlike invasive mechanical ventilators, CPAP devices like UCL Ventura don’t require intubation or sedation. It helps patients breathe by providing a mixture of oxygen and air at constant pressure (slightly higher than normal atmospheric pressure) through a face mask.

It is also designed to optimize oxygen consumption and reduce the spread of aerosols, helping keep health workers safe from infection. 

Licensed by the University College of London Hospital—and now FDA certified—IMI is set to produce the UCL Ventura Flow Generator in its Laguna facility, and will make these units available at a competitive price.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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