Expert opinions, TECHNOLOGY

Digital path: How to make medical help closer and more accessible

The spread of coronavirus infection remains a priority challenge for the health care system. Under new conditions the scope and availability of health services has changed. According to the head of Ministry of Health, top priority are the tasks of communicating between patients and medical professionals – and the health care system as a whole.

Vladimir Astapkovich / RIA Novosti

It must be said that the interaction of citizens with the health care system is far away from a trivial process.

Before the therapy is prescribed, the patient goes through a whole chain of interactions in primary care. The GP refers the patient for tests, then the patient returns for a second appointment with a therapist, the next possible is visit to a specialized specialist. Then he faces, if needed, testing again, test studies and return to re-appointment with a specialized specialist and so on.

The doctor spends considerable time interviewing the patient during the appointment and filling out his electronic medical record, reducing the time for diagnosis and therapy.

For health care, this is an increase in the burden on doctors, a decrease in indicators of availability and quality of free medicine.

Change of navigation

Patient focus and satisfaction become the priority of the patient-oriented model to which health care is transitioning.

It is logical to assume that the necessary solutions lie in the field of automating patient navigation when interacting with the health care system. IT innovation will allow you to control all stages of help delivery – from managing an appointment with doctors to the diagnostic process, diagnoses and treatment, and interactions with health care subjects.

The systematic implementation of this approach will increase the efficiency of planning in healthcare, quality and completeness of therapy for different nosologies and individual patients, priority level of important area – prevention and predictive analysis of the patient’s health status. In addition to those listed benefits, automation of patient-physician interaction will provide solving another painful issue for the regions. Fixing remote appointment with a telemedicine doctor will make available consultations of narrow-profile doctors due to the use of the resource of specialists from other regions.

Accumulated big data in a patient – health care system interaction is still poorly used. Although necessary developments do exist. Machine learning technologies, and AI elements are able, when a patient goes to a medical institution, to “interview” him in detail about his essential problems. This increases the effectiveness of the next appointment with the doctor both in terms of the time spent on consulting and the completeness of information.

Based on the automated algorithm of information analysis, subsequent logistics for the patient is determined – an appointment with a therapist (pediatrician), or with a narrow specialist, or initiating a call to a doctor at home.

This provides a clear process for navigating cases for all patients, intelligent choice of the optimal way to receive the service, automated process control. Extra routes are cut in patient routing. For example, if analysis results are required for an effective appointment with a doctor, and the situation does not require an urgent appointment, then the system will pre-refer the patient for pre-admission tests at the doctor’s.

By the way, in many countries, opportunities in terms of diagnosis and prescriptions by a telemedicine doctor and a doctor conducting an in-person appointment are similar. In our country liberalization of legislation is required – the remote diagnoses providing must be allowed, as well as prescribing therapy, prescribing medications, opening and closure of sick leave.

What’s next

In July 2022, at the forum of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives, I presented report to the President of Russia on how can be technologized the service providing medical care in the interaction of a citizen and a health care system. In August, the list of instructions of the President on the results of the forum was published, which reflected our two proposals. Among them there was introduction of amendments to the legislation concerning collection and processing of patient information by clinics using digital services before visiting the clinic, as well as extending this experience to medical facilities.

The implementation of these decisions will be the beginning of a significant movement in the field of technologizing the provision of services by medical institutions for the benefit of both the patient himself, and the health care system as a whole.

By Maxim Chernin, Co-founder, Chairman of the Board of Directors at MK Doctor ryadom

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