In his opening remarks, the Presidential Adviser highlighted the main goal of the meeting: “In today’s world, medicine is a source of endless opportunities for online technology. This is an area where we can achieve a major international breakthrough, let alone advances within our borders to ensure quality medical services across the country and overcoming the territorial divide. While Russian online projects are limited to the Russian-speaking section of the internet, medicine does not know any borders. Three factors have now come together: modern technology, including artificial intelligence, neural networks, since the government possesses bulk medical data, and professional doctors. Most importantly, this area has strong international potential, as our President said yesterday at the Russian Popular Front Action Forum.”
Vice President and Executive Director of the Skolkovo Foundation’s IT cluster Konstantin Parshin noted that the number of medical start-ups in Skolkovo increased over the last twelve months. The Healthcare Ministry released a development strategy until 2025, whereby working with big data is a major priority. The key challenges are to overcome the silo mentality among market players, address the deficit in structured data and technical limitations, regulate access to data and devise common standards.
Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, holder of post-doctoral degree in medicine Sergei Rumyantsev talked about the importance of regulations when dealing with big data and the need to set up consolidated storage for research data. “Technology has become so essential to today’s medicine that it can be hardly imagined separately from technology-related disciplines. The main breakthroughs we expect in the near future are related to opportunities offered by complimentary disciplines: physics, chemistry and information technology. It is important that the medical system operates as a single whole based on a single technological platform. This way, we will be able to ensure the effectiveness of integral examinations for every patient,” Dr Rumyantsev said.
The meeting also featured a presentation on the development the Third Opinion, a smart system designed to assist doctors in taking medical decisions, by project supervisor Anna Meshcheryakova and Head of the Department for Information and Internet Technology at the Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University Georgy Lebedev. Specifically, a research and technology biomedicine park has been created within Sechenov University to test the proposed solutions and conduct clinical trials.
Moscow Region Healthcare Minister Dmitry Markov presented the results in indexing medical images as part of this project. The Republic of Chuvashia, Orel and Tver regions are also involved in the project, while Khabarovsk Territory, Krasnodar Territory, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area, as well as the Yevdokimov Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry are expected to join in 2018.
In conclusion, German Klimenko highlighted the importance of moving beyond pilot projects and creating end user products in digital medicine. “Ongoing cooperation in this area shows us that we can make competitive products. To do so, we need enthusiastic people and the involvement of regions, since every region has its strong points in healthcare,” the Presidential Adviser said.