IT Experts to Develop Solutions for Physicians

Federal Almazov North-West Medical Research Center in cooperation with authorities of Saint Petersburg signed an agreement for the establishment of Translational Medicine Cluster in March 2016. In order to develop the health care field with assistance of modern technologies the experts construct decision support systems that aim at gathering extensive medical experience. Aleksey Yakovlev, head of Almazov Center`s Acute Coronary Syndrome Lab, delivered his lectured at ITMO University. The expert talked about how to improve treatment approaches using IT.

To understand the efficiency of decision making systems applied for medical purposes one has to consider all stages of medical treatment. For example, while curing acute coronary syndrome (ACS) a physician has to make many important decisions connected with medical check, necessity of immediate surgery, and prescription of thrombolytics  in cases when there is no time to transport a patient to a hospital. If a patient needs an operation the physician has to plan his rehabilitation or intensive therapy in the case that there is no need to operate on him. All these decisions are usually based on clinical study results, recommendations given by pharmaceutical services or first-hand experience of a doctor. According to translational medicine theory, to increase the quality of medical services one has to apply modern information technologies including software and hardware systems.

Currently Almazov Medical Research Center in collaboration with Yandex have already implemented a special system for optimizing ambulance routes. Using this system, supervisors can organize hospitalization taking into account traffic jams and hospital workflow so as to avoid overcrowding patients.

IT is also necessary to provide online health checking, which gives an opportunity to share these results with experts at heart hospitals. It also helps to pick up all results and tnen make the correct diagnosis. According Aleksey Yakovlev, every year mistaken diagnoses provoke about 200 fatal cases.

Before scheduling a surgery the physician has to predict risks connected with surgical intervention. To make a decision fast and correctly he can use the assistance of a special point system. Based on the number of points recieved for each situation, the system decides if an operation is needed. The technology is helpful int hat it is able to analyze various data and make a decision much faster than a human being. The electronic assistant also can pick up information given by lung ventilation and cardiopulmonary bypass systems as well as gather results of biochemical and other types of analyses.

Aleksey Yakovlev, head of Almazov Center`s Acute Coronary Syndrome Lab

Almazov Medical Research Center has obtained a lot of medical data. Using information technologies we may analyze them and make important decisions that will give us an opportunity to bridge the gap in clinical studies,” said Mr. Yakovlev.

The expert also noted that it was planned to develop assistants for analyzing some diseases but then it would be possible to create a cross-functional system dealing with all kinds of disorders. However medical experts are afraid that in the nearest future physicians will communicate with machines more than with patients.

For effective decision support systems` work one has to provide abundance of medical data. That is why it is necessary to equip hospitals and health care centers with special electronic systems and data bases.

“I am sure that we will succeed in creating a prototype of a decision support system with the assistance of experts from technical universities including ITMO U. Having tested these systems in practice we will improve modern treatment methods and algorithms. It will help us to collect experience gained by many physicians and apply it for new system`s development.” 

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