Robot doctors, virtual reality, blockchain: everything about innovations in the Russian medicine

2019-02-18

Robot doctors, virtual reality, blockchain: everything about innovations in the Russian medicine

Medicine does not stand still and develops daily facilitated by the adoption of new technologies, among other things. Thanks to them, patients receive more qualitative medical assistance, and physicians improve their knowledge and skills. Read further in the article about new technologies in medicine that are already used or are expected to be used in Russia soon.

Smart hospitals

New technologies are intended to change the current healthcare model fundamentally. Cloud services, big data, machine learning methods, Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence – all of it can turn traditional hospitals into smart ones.

Future medical facilities are places where all processes are streamlined and automated. There are no queues, and medication is distributed by robotized systems. At smart hospitals, doctors train to make surgeries on robots, and patients can undergo screening and rehabilitation using high-tech and precise equipment.

Examples

Today Moscow policlinics have electronic queue management systems to attend duty doctors. They allow distributing patients streams to avoid crowds near cabinets.

Besides, a pilot project is realized in Moscow, where medical records are equipped with RFID tags. Using such sensors, one can track relocation of records within the policlinics. They speed up the search for medical records and reduce the chances of losing them.

Robot patients in medicine

To become a good physician, one has to practice all the time, drill skills and knowledge. Robot patients can help to deal with this task. Such machines can be used to practice surgeries and medical procedures.

Examples

Today there is a whole range of such machines used throughout the world. In Canada, CAE Healthcare releases robot children. They are used to train pediatricians. The USA produces devices called Code Blue III that are used by resuscitators for training purposes. Besides, there are robot mothers intended for obstetricians, urologists, gynecologists, dentists, and other specialists.

The International Medical Cluster of Skolkovo Foundation houses a simulation center, where one can find robot patients intended for different types of physicians. They can be deployed to conduct gastroscopic studies, urological, gynecologic, endoscopic, and other types of surgeries. Doctors can also save robot patients from the blood stroke.

VR technologies for patients

Virtual reality technologies can facilitate the rehabilitation of patients. Among other things, VR solutions can be helpful for people that suffered a blood stroke, deformation and dysfunction of musculoskeletal system. VR-based devices can be used to treat different phobias, mental illnesses. They help to bear pain.

Examples

In the Russian Federation, virtual reality technologies are used for rehabilitation of patients. For example, Medsi hospital № 1 has a room for functional and spatial rehabilitation. In this room, patients that suffered a stroke and traumatic brain injuries apply virtual reality technologies to restore their skills.

Besides, various developments are carried out in this field in the Russian Federation. For example, engineers from Yaroslavl designed Phantom MD app for patients after amputation suffering from pathologic pain syndrome. Using the app and VR glasses, one can model the amputated body part and see it in the virtual world. During such rehabilitation, human brain obtains visual data about the absence of amputation. Thanks to this, pain wears off.

Wearable devices in medicine

Devices intended for health state control have been gaining popularity in recent years. Wearable devices are deployed to measure heart rate, blood pressure level. Modernized glucometers simplify the procedure of measuring blood sugar level.

Examples

BIOSS developed a cardio meter called Serdechko (Russian for “heart”). This ECG accessory connects to a smartphone via an audio port. With this device and a special app called T- ECG BIOSS, a person can make an electrocardiogram under any conditions. Obtained data can be stored on the smartphone or sent to the doctor.

Another device from Russian scientists is CardioQVARK heart monitor. This project is under development. Researchers are creating a special case for iPhone equipped with sensors. They help to record the cardiogram, measure arterial pressure, process medical data.

3D printing technologies in medicine

Even today, 3D printers are used to produce prostheses, dental implants, and hearing aids. Such items are produced basing on computer tomography results, among other things. While the print of every detail, specialists take into account anatomic features of the person. As a result, such devices are more comfortable and practical.

Besides, 3D printers are used to make spinal braces, medical tools, and even organs.

Examples

In the Russian Federation, additive technologies are adopted in the medical field by 3D Osnova. The company supplies clinics, educational centers, and labs with CAD/CAM systems intended for designing and manufacturing of different stomatologic items.

Back in 2017, federal publicly funded institution N.N.Petrov Research Institute of Oncology made the first in the Russian Federation surgery to replace the pubic bone affected by cancer with a titanium implant developed using a 3D printer.

Telemedicine in Russia

On January 1, 2018, the act on telemedicine came into effect in Russia. The law allows Russian citizens to interact with physicians remotely through smartphone apps, different websites, and by phone.

Examples

Yandex.Health is a website and app designed for online consulting with doctors. When required, a person can turn to qualified doctors at any time of the day and the latter will share their expert opinion.

Today there are also other services in the Russian Federation that help to consult with pediatricians, gynecologists, neuropathologists, dermatologists, and other doctors.

High tech prostheses

Modern prostheses that rely on the latest technologies look like real body parts. With their help, people with amputations can work and fulfil different everyday tasks.

Examples

Motorica developed a bioelectric hand prosthesis called Stradivary. It allows disabled people to put on clothes, cook, and grasp tiny objects. Upper limb prosthesis Kibi helps to perform different everyday tasks and hold objects weighing up to 10 kg. Such devices help users to keep arm muscles in good form and do not allow them to atrophy.

Robot physicians

Robotized machines can be used to conduct various surgeries. Today they are applied to remove neoplasms, blood clots, eye surgeries, and other procedures.

Robot physicians do not get tired, their moves are accurate and refine. For this reason, the use of such devices helps to avoid medical errors and scars after surgeries.

Examples

In different regions of the Russian Federation, hospitals use the da Vinci Surgical System. The robotic surgical system is operated by a surgeon. The manipulator is used for hysterectomy, myomectomy, cardiac tissue ablation, gastric bypass surgery, pyeloplasty, etc.

Blockchain technology in medicine

Use of blockchain in medicine will allow solving different tasks. For example, the technology enables storing patient records. Any information that is entered in the distributed database of consecutive transactions cannot get lost.

Besides, blockchain can reduce the number of counterfeit medication. In the future, distributed ledger will contain the full supply route of medication, from the manufacturer to the consumer. As a result, any person will be able to check from where pills arrived to a specific pharmacy.

Examples

Blockchain is used for medication stock record and distribution in the Novgorod region clinical hospital. The project helps to combat counterfeit drugs and avoid resale of expensive medication purchased for budget funds.

The integration of blockchain technology in the hematology department helped to reduce expenses on the program of preferential provision of medicines by 12%.

Conclusion

Russian medical facilities have not started the massive adoption of the newest technologies yet. However, smart hospitals are already developed in cities. Surgeons practice on robot patients, and real patients communicate with doctors using telemedicine services. A growing number of companies is producing various devices and apps that help to monitor health. Further implementation of innovations will allow gradually changing the healthcare system of the Russian Federation and make it even more patient-oriented.

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