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A Step Forward for Healthcare in the Far East
4 September 2019
12:30—14:00
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Statistics reflect the accomplishments of the Russian healthcare system

We increased our life expectancy by 0.8 years over the current six months, i.e. we are ahead of schedule. Of course, these are averages, but they still reflect the trend — Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation.

Clearly, changes in the country's healthcare can be indirectly assessed by the inbound medical tourism numbers. At the end of 2016, I reported to the President that we had 35,000 foreign patients in the country. In 2017 it was 120,000; it reached 300,000 in 2018; and 530,000 in the first half of this year. The flow of Russians to Germany and Israel decreased 6 to 12 times depending on the treatment focus — Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation.

We must understand that we have something to offer to our foreign colleagues. For example, we were the first in the world to do pancreatic cancer brachytherapy, which is of great interest now. Brachytherapy is still new in both People's Republic of China and in Japan, so they are ready to learn from us — Andrey Kaprin, Director, National Medical Research Radiological Centre of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.

Modern technologies can dramatically improve healthcare in the Far East

Modern medicine cannot exist without digital technology. We have some accomplishments in the Far East: we created 19 vertically integrated specialized medical systems that link 24 national federal centres with third level institutions, such as subregional, regional and national hospitals in all 11 territories. This is a live connection, it operates seven days a week, 24 hours a day, and during the first half of the year more than 1600 consultations were held in all 11 territories — Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation.

In Primorye Territory, where we are now located, Vladivostok is currently implementing two large digital resuscitation projects. It will be the first example in Russia when a medical facility of regional importance, rather than a federal one, is implementing a fully expert decision support system in its resuscitation facilities. We hope that this will reduce mortality risks and improve the quality of life of the population — Nikolay Sivak, Commercial Director, Philips "Healthcare" Russia and CIS.

First of all, [in the regions of the Far East, – Ed.] logistics have been addressed: three-level health care system has been created within each of the 11 regions. The system is based on basic primary health care, but it has a second level: a network of inter-district, inter-municipal centres, responsible for the quality of emergency specialized care. And then there is the third level of the system: high-tech regional medicine — Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation.

ISSUES
Lack of trained professionals

We live in a healthcare system that is becoming more and more intelligent and requires more and more qualified doctors. However, due to limited thinking and time we have during our lives, we have an increasing number of narrowly focused specialists — Kirill Kaem, Senior Vice-President for Innovations, Skolkovo Foundation.

Professionals in general are a complex problem all over the world, we see it now, especially with regard to morphology — Andrey Kaprin, Director, National Medical Research Radiological Centre of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.

Lack of verified data for rapid telemedicine development

What is needed to develop any artificial intelligence technology? First of all, quality verified data, that is used to train the algorithms. This problem exists everywhere, everyone is trying to cope with it, and we are not an exception. Unfortunately, we have very little verified data, and it is not available in all directions — Danil Baryshnikov, Chairman, Committee for Investment in Social Infrastructure, Agency for Social Investment.

SOLUTIONS
Using innovative technology

It is no secret that information technology is an important factor, today we talked a lot about it. We have certain competences in this area, including those in Russia. Last year we opened a laboratory in Skolkovo, and today this lab team is one of the largest that develops artificial intelligence in medicine — Nikolay Sivak, Commercial Director, Philips "Healthcare" Russia and CIS.

We have tried to find a solution using nanotechnology and telemedicine for primary health care. <...> We have brought the doctor back to the appointment site. We have a general practitioner in a licensed medical institution, where the telemedicine technologies and IT-technologies help him or her get in touch with specialists from various clinics in our country, in the federal centre and abroad, those that simply cannot be available in each clinic — Sergey Gneushev, Managing Partner, Academic Medical Centre for Information and Analysis.

There are many start-ups that are developing today, including mobile apps that provide consultations. There are applications that are used to measure human body parameters, such as blood pressure, temperature, etc. In addition, there are applications where you can upload images of your diet, of what you eat, and develop a nutrition plan for yourself in order to improve your health. These applications are used by citizens of our country — Jong Seok Kim, Head of Outpatient Department , Life Center Chaum.

The next step is the development of the artificial intelligence system, and here we will develop a joint Japan–Russia project. It will be based on a partnership in the field of artificial intelligence development, and the Japanese side is already developing this project — Katsuya Sakagami, Representative Chairman, Medical Tourism Japan Co..

Taking regional specifics into account

Due to the peculiarities of the region's development, the Far East is very different from other parts of our large country. The population density is not too high, if not to say very low. Territories are vast and, accordingly, a special approach is needed. On the one hand, all modern ways of organizing people's lives should also be applied here, but we see that some technologies either have not yet reached here or have been overestimated — Alexey Bobrovsky, Head of the Economic Programme, Russia-24.

When we talk about the Far Eastern District, we understand that these are 11 very different constituents of the Federation, which have significant differences in climate, geography, population density, and distances between settlements — Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation.

Given the long distances, it is necessary to change the transport logistics of medical care. Over the past three years, we have accomplished quite a bit in terms of developing sanitary aviation, and this is one of the most important priorities for the Far East — Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation.

Promoting healthy lifestyle

We have made a regional project titled ‘12 months of health’. We try to talk about prevention, about bad habits, about good nutrition on every corner. And in addition to the Ministry of Health, this is done by our regional mass media, our cultural institutions and our schools. It practically did not incur any additional costs — Andrey Nikitin, Governor of Novgorod Region.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS