The matters of how the implementation of digital technologies will affect the budget picture in healthcare, who should be able to access the data accumulated in medical documents, and how this process should be controlled were discussed at the “Life science. Healthcare Reforming Digital Solutions” session, organized with the support of the Skolkovo Foundation.

The speakers noted that the national healthcare project, one of whose objective is to shift from the treatment paradigm to the prevention, includes the creation of a unified digital loop as one of its directions. Preventive healthcare has been utilizing complex digital equipment for a long time already. “The progress is coming, and it can’t be stopped. And while the legislative base is developing just as swiftly, something that is only beginning to develop cannot be regulated, ” – notes Deputy Minister of Health of Russia Elena Boiko.

“Healthcare digitalization is aimed first and foremost and lowering the budget spending on healthcare. Technology makes us learn to work completely differently. Doctors won’t be left out, but the diagnostics and treatment processes will be changing for the medical workers, the patients, and the regulatory bodies alike,” – believes AstraZeneca’s Executive Director for the BioVentureHub Magnus Björsne.

The main goal is to bring about the technology through the implementation group, which will popularize it and teach colleagues, noted director of Scientific and Practical Clinical Center for Diagnostics and Telemedicine Technologies of the Moscow Department of Health Sergey Morozov. Then the successful practice is replicated throughout the entire medical community: “This is the most important part – the technology must be acknowledged among doctors as convenient, only then it will function.”

The main discussion unfolded around one of the most sensitive issues in the field of digital medical technologies – the access to patients’ data. “Today there is a full-fledged hunt for the data of a large number of people and specific target audiences. It’s a race, where the goal is to be the first to provide the consumer with information. It raises not one, but three questions: whom does the data belong to, who can access it, and how can it be used,” says president of Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Hal Wolf.

In his turn Chief of Healthcare Transformation Services at Royal Philips Sean Carney emphasized that while a medical database should not a fully open system, it should not be a closed one either. “The data is required for scientific research in the interests of patients. However, if it is stored in the cloud, the access must be monitored,” accentuated Carney. He called for “balancing the interests of patients and doctors” and paying special attention to the integration of the technology into practice.