On-line health

During almost a month Elizaveta Medvedskaya, the Director of the department of functional diagnostics of Minsk regional hospital, examines patients distantly. No mysticism! These are information technologies
During almost a month Elizaveta Medvedskaya, the Director of the department of functional diagnostics of Minsk regional hospital, examines patients distantly. No mysticism! These are information technologies.

Data are sent to a computer at a distance of many kilometers from a mobile wireless electrocardiograph through a “Bluetooth”-connection. The specialist receives an electrocardiogram, analyzes it and makes the diagnosis. For example, in future a highly skilled cardiologist will help to prevent heart attacks of several patients from different corners of the world practically simultaneously. Now, according to Elizaveta Medvedskaya, she helped a district doctor to find a position in the tactics of diagnostics and treatment in more than 60 cases. The procedure doesn’t take much time: 30–40 seconds, sometimes 5–7 minutes.

As for now, this is an experiment though promising. In the eyes of medical workers, telemedicine development will increase availability of qualitative medical services and erase the border between cities and villages .
So tempting perspectives became clearer in the 2nd city TB dispensary in Minsk. Its doctors make consultations analyzing pictures made on digital photofluorographic devices in 13 city polyclinics and they made several thousand conclusions. Recently the 1st TB dispensary followed this successful example: they serve 4 polyclinics.

There are plenty of examples of the telemedicine development in the world practice. In Scotland emergency doctors consult their colleagues during medical treatment of a patient due to information technologies. Railway cars with diagnostic telemedical centers travel across Russia. Video conferences with participation of medical authorities and consultations via a teleconference bridge are not new for us.

However, don’t flatter yourselves, new technologies don’t allow curing maladies distantly. They only help to make a diagnosis and consultations. It is sometimes simpler to bring equipment to the remote districts, than a literate and qualified specialist.

“Now we are carrying out two more projects on creation of telemedical consultation networks with the Joint Institute of Informatics Problems of the National Academy of Sciences,” Semen Poliakov said, the Deputy Director of the Republican scientific and practical center of medical technologies, informatization, administration, and economy of public health service. “We will examine people suffered from the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The specialists of district and regional hospitals and polyclinics of Gomel, Mogilev, and Brest regions will be able to connect their colleagues from the republican medical institutions. This will allow making an exact diagnosis.

Natalya Pisareva
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