MANILA— A group of clinicians and engineers from the University of the Philippines launched Wednesday a program under which they have developed health devices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UP Surgical Innovation and Biotechnology Laboratory (UP SIBOL) is composed of engineers from the state university's Diliman campus and clinicians from its Manila campus, who have come together to develop Filipino-made health devices.
These devices include the Sanipod, a disinfection cubicle that health care workers can use after exiting COVID-19 wards, allowing them to "safely remove their personal protective equipment without risk of contamination."
UP SIBOL also developed a disinfecting device for laryngoscope blades that are used for intubation, a respirator that "protects user from contaminants in the air," and a reusable face mask that fits the Filipino face contour.
The team also created My Beshie (My Bot Ensuring Safety and Health in Isolated Environments), a telepresence robot that connects patients in isolation with health workers and loved ones through videoconferencing without requiring internet connection.
While the UP SIBOL was formally launched only this Wednesday , the team has been meeting and developing the devices as early as March 2020, program leader Dr. Edward Wang said at the virtual launch.
Wang said the team came together following the deaths of their friends who were medical frontliners during the pandemic.
"Everyone was of the same mindset to protect the health care worker and the Filipino," said Wang, an orthopedics professor at the UP Manila College of Medicine.
The program secured funding from the Department of Science and Technology's Philippine Council for Health Research and Development and private donors.