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Telemedicine saves money for Yakutia

  • Published in InFocus
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Today, telemedicine is a rescue for residents of remote areas of vast Yakutia.

How the telemedicine center operates in Yakutsk, and how important it is to develop this technology throughout the Republic, the head of the telemedicine center, Republican Center for Disaster Medicine of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Matvei Nikolaev, told YSIA.

Telemedicine in our republic began to develop since 1999 with the direct support of the first president of Yakutia, Mikhail Nikolaev. A working group was established to develop the direction; Matvei Nikolaev was appointed chairman of the group.

Along with this, Yakutia entered the project Moscow - the regions of Russia and began to conduct telemedicine video-consultations in real time with leading scientific institutions and clinics in the capital, St. Petersburg and Novosibirsk.

Since 2007, telemedicine has started to be introduced in the central district hospitals (CDHs) of the republic within the framework of the sub-program of the regional Ministry of Health. By 2011, all CDHs had computer and telecommunications equipment for consultations with republican hospitals.

Since 2012, the system of telecardiodiagnostics in district hospitals began to be introduced. In any place where mobile communication is caught, there is a fixed telephone or Internet connection, this device can transmit data in digital format to the consultation center, where the functionalist performs the description and sends back the conclusion on this cardiogram.

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"Now each CDH has several such devices, there are 150 of them. Although this, of course, is not enough. There are about 600 settlements in the republic. We need to equip at least 430 of them," said Matvei Nikolaev.

In 2016, the telemedicine center was opened to provide emergency advisory assistance to district hospitals and to address issues of sanitary evacuation of patients in critical condition.

"We have equipped the intensive care units of the CDH with new equipment for videoconferencing, cameras, with which doctors from the regions can display any medical information, be it an X-ray picture, cardiogram or image,” said the head of the center.

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"In words, everything is simple, but in fact it is a very important work on which health and human life depend," Nikolaev emphasized.

The cost of a sanitary flight starts from one million rubles. When using remote telemedicine consultations to treat a patient at his/her place of residence, very large amounts of money are saved - in a year and a half the figure reached about 100 million rubles of budget funds.

"Last year, we had 672 urgent teleconsultations with the central district hospitals, according to which 65 patients were decided to be treated in district hospitals, and this saved money," the head of the center said.

Matvei Nikolaev intends to further develop the resource-saving technology of telemedicine that saves lives: "Current public health challenge is to develop telemedicine at district hospitals, medical stations, health clinics throughout the republic. So that the inhabitants of each locality could consult without delay and be treated in a timely manner."

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