Philippines to expect first On-line Diagnostic Clinic for teleradiology with US university hospitals

Fremont 14 August 2000Global telemedicine company MDvista has signed an agreement with the integrated Internet company PhilWeb.Com Inc. of the Philippines to form PhilWeb-MDvista Inc. This new joint venture will initially consist of two operations, each in the Philippines. The first is a high-tech, secured On-line Diagnostic Clinic to be built in Metro Manila. The clinic will offer on site state-of-the-art teleradiology services, backed up by image interpretations across the Pacific Ocean, from prestigious United States based university medical centres. The second is an MDvista programme offering an "A to Z" Web-enabled set of services for Philippines physicians. PhilWeb-MDvista Inc. also plans Asia Pacific Region roll-outs of these next-generation telemedicine applications.

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The new joint venture PhilWeb-MDvista Inc. will be a Philippine corporation based in Makati City, the Philippines. The Memorandum of Understanding named Mr. Roberto V. Ongpin, Chairman of PhilWeb.Com Inc. and Dr. Antonio Q. Chan, Founder, Chairman and CEO of MDvista as Co-Chairmen of the new company. Both PhilWeb and MDvista will bring their best assets and expertise to the new venture. The Chairmen foresee a broad market for their combined medical, technology and business efforts to introduce remote diagnostic clinics and on-line medical education across several countries in Asia linked to the United States.

"We are pleased to join efforts with PhilWeb to bring to the Philippines, and eventually to other Asian countries, access to always up-to-date medical imaging equipment, diagnostic services as well as medical knowledge", commented MDvista Founder, Chairman and CEO Dr. Antonio Q. Chan. "These On-line Diagnostic Clinics and professional education services represent two of the three pillars of MDvista's telemedicine business model. Furthermore, they represent a critical step in our company's global strategy in the Asia Pacific Region, which also includes MDvista's Greater China efforts."

Dr. Chan, who is also a senior cardiologist at Stanford University, reported that Asia is a large market representing the biggest source of international patients for several US universities, including Stanford and a growing source of international patients for academic institutions such as Harvard and Rush Universities, and the University of Chicago, among others. "Eventually, we will bring the most advanced global health care available in the United States to patients throughout Asia", Dr. Chan went on to say. PhilWeb-MDvista will provide logistical support such as scheduling appointments and arranging all travel and lodging needs and will serve as a referral mechanism by which Philippine and Asia patients can access the medical services of world-class institutions such as these.

For the PhilWeb-MDvista venture, MDvista will recruit company employees, US-based physicians and medical institutions as well as additional strategic partners. Also, it will be responsible for purchasing and leasing the medical equipment required to set up and run the cross-national on-line clinics. Dr. Chan confirmed that the company will provide the highest quality day-to-day administrative operations, medical expertise requirements as well as logistics to ensure accurate, secured data interpretation and storage. The partnering PhilWeb is the leading integrated Internet company in the Philippines and maintains a first mover advantage in its listing with the Philippine Stock Exchange.

According to PhilWeb Chairman Mr. Roberto V. Ongpin, "The Internet company will provide marketing, advertising and sales services to the new venture PhilWeb-MDvista. We equally will lead the efforts to develop the infrastructure for transmission and reception of data. With MDvista, we will design and build-out the Manila-based clinic facility with strategic partners, such as real estate firms and key medical equipment manufacturers." Mr. Ongpin added, "We hope to narrow the gap in quality of care and to provide both the best-in-class medical services and expertise in the Metro Manila area and to all physicians in the Philippines. We strongly believe that by partnering with Silicon Valley start-up MDvista, we can move very quickly towards this goal."

Next steps for PhilWeb-MDvista Inc. include the identifying of good strategic partners and putting in place the communications infrastructure, US-based university radiology, cardiology, oncology and general medicine services, and the human resources needed to move forward. Co-Chairmen Mr. Ongpin and Dr. Chan both see trans-national telemedicine becoming a common health care delivery system throughout Asia and believe that PhilWeb-MDvista will be a major player in that arena. You can find more information on the Asia Pacific telemedicine initiatives by MDvista in this issue's VMW article Hong Kong funding enables MDvista to promote advanced telemedicine applications in Greater China.


Leslie Versweyveld

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