5th National R&D Conference to showcase breakthrough technologies in health

The 5th National Research and Development Conference (NRDC) is set to feature some of the latest advancements and breakthrough technologies in health that were supported by the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) in a virtual event on 9-11 November 2020.

With the theme, “Research and Development: Making Change Happen,” the 5th NRDC aims to bring together researchers, technology adopters, and industry leaders and present to them the latest technologies supported by DOST and other agencies, especially those that have impacted the government’s response against COVID-19. The different DOST Council heads will also be presenting updates on the Harmonized National R&D Agenda during the event.

Technologies and programs that will be featured under the health sector are:

GenAmplify Corona Virus 2019 (COVID-19) rRT PCR Detection Kit
Developed by Dr. Raul Destura from the University of the Philippines Manila – National Institutes of Health (UP – NIH), this diagnostic kit was locally developed to detect the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) with high specificity and efficiency through a one-step multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) platform. Priced significantly cheaper than its foreign counterparts, it provides accessible and affordable COVID-19 testing for Filipinos and expedited the process and turnaround period for COVID-19 testing in the Philippines.

Feasibility Analysis of Syndromic Surveillance using Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological Modeler
Designed and developed by researchers from the Ateneo Center for Computing Competency and Research (ACCCRe), in collaboration with the University of the Philippines Manila - National Telehealth Center (UPM-NTHC) and the Department of Health – Epidemiology Bureau (DOH-EB), FASSSTER is a web-based disease surveillance platform that uses deterministic compartmental modelling to facilitate understanding of the effect of specific interventions to the spread of diseases. Relative to the pandemic, the Department of Health (DOH) officially adopted FASSSTER as the national data hub to support real-time decision-making for the COVID-19 crisis.

SOLIDARITY Treatment Trial: Multicenter Randomized Trial of Additional Treatments for COVID-19 in Hospitalized Patients
A global collaborative effort on the effectivity of repurposed antivirals in supporting the recovery of people who contracted COVID-19. This may be adopted in the official management protocol of COVID-19 patients, especially those who are critically ill.

In Vitro Study on the Efficacy of Lauric Acid and Deliverables Against SARS-CoV2
Led by Dr. Fabian Dayrit of the Ateneo de Manila University, the study aims to investigate whether coconut oil compounds, monolaurin and lauric acid, can be used as antiviral agents against COVID-19. Based on previous studies, these compounds are effective at killing viruses.

Tuklas Lunas Program: Drug Discovery and Development from Philippine Biodiversity
Recognizing the potential of the country’s natural resources for the discovery of novel drug compounds and local expertise in drug development, the DOST-PCHRD established the Tuklas Lunas Program. The priority conditions to be addressed includes cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and diabetes mellitus, and important communicable diseases such as tuberculosis and drug-resistant infections.

Tuklas Lunas Development Center: Mushroom Technologies
This research program on myko-mining and myko-pharming, headed by Dr. Renato G. Reyes from Central Luzon State University, works on the discovery and study of wild edible and poisonous mushrooms in Luzon Island, Philippines for their medicinal properties, and to develop functional food products from prioritized species of mushrooms. To date, the program was able to produce mushroom-based chips and shing-a-ling, generation of three bioactive extracts, and optimization of cultivation processes for priority mushroom species. 

Improving Neurocognition through Dance and Kinesthetics (INDAK)
Headed by Dr. Jaqueline Dominguez and implemented by the Institute of Neurosciences of the St. Luke’s Medical Center -Quezon City, the INDAK program embraces the ability of dance, specifically ballroom dancing, to stimulate cognition, and physical and social activity. Currently, INDAK is conducted as an individualized home-based program, or facility-based program at the Institute for Dementia Care Asia, for elderly with mild cognitive impairment. 

The 5th NRDC is hosted by the DOST in collaboration with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). 

Register now at http://nrdc.dost.gov.ph/.