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29.09.2017

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On September 27, the TASS press center hosted a press conference of the IRI Foundation on the subject "The Future of Digital Medicine in Russia: a medical images recognition project."

The speakers were German Klimenko, advisor to the President of the Russian Federation; Alexey Fedorov, President of the Board of the IRI Foundation; Evgeny Kuznetsov, Director of the subsidiaries of RVC JSC; Sergei Rumyantsev, a member of the Board of Trustees of the IRI Foundation; Arkady Sandler, Head of Artificial Intelligence direction at MTS.

When opening the press conference, German Klimenko, advisor to the President of the Russian Federation, said that modern technology is developing so quickly now that doctors do not manage to undergo in due time appropriate training and instructions in the use of such equipment. As the speaker noted, "for instance, the state purchases state-of-the-art tomographs, however doctors using them need to complete long-term retraining."

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For the doctors and patients to quickly obtain recommendations based on data provided by modern equipment and devices, “The third opinion” project was launched. The project is a unique system for digital generation diagnostics of diseases performed on a global scale and based on the recognition of pathology by medical digital images (blood tests, X-ray, sonography, CT, MRI).

The project is an application that can be used on user's office computer or smartphone. Its operation is based on a neural network trained to recognize pathologies in medical images. Currently, the first project phase has already been launched in the beta version; it uses an analyzer of pathological blood cells and recognition of fundus pathology. In the future, it will also cover such areas as lung radiography, mammography, computed tomography, and mobile sonography.

"Due to the fact that medicine is absolutely international, and the standards of medical imaging are the same everywhere, this project is perfectly scalable to other countries," said German Klimenko.

Alexey Fedorov, President of the Board of IRI Foundation, said that modern technologies already developed by the specialists will dramatically improve people's quality of life. He drew attention to the fact that treatment and making decisions with regard to patients and their health will still remain at the doctor’s discretion; however, the quality and efficiency of diagnostics will grow by hundreds of times.

“Artificial intelligence will not only help to identify diseases at an early stage, which will significantly increase the treatment efficacy and will also expand the range of diagnoses which can be treated. This means that we can help numerous patients to overcome their diseases and improve the quality of life. The system allows not only to deeply examine structural features of the body, but also compare information with a huge array of data, which will provide a multidimensional analysis of the patient's health and ensure absolute reliability of the diagnostics,” added Alexei Fedorov.

According to the authors of the idea, implementation of such a large-scale and socially significant project requires investments, otherwise it would be impossible to perform work at a high level and involve experts and physicians for the professional marking of images.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov, Director of the subsidiary funds of RVC, said at the conference that Russian developments in healthcare are attracting more and more investors:

"The core philosophy of the current technological revolution is to make exclusive technologies available on a large scale, i.e., give to everyone access to services and expertise at a level comparable to that of the world’s best world doctors, top-10. Digital Health is currently a sector that is very attractive for investment. Investment pace and volumes in this area are impressive. Currently, RVC's subsidiary funds hold about 8 projects focused on Digital Health.These are, first of all, sensors, meters, data analysis systems. Now the task is to create an interface to allow Russian start-ups grow up in Russia and afterwards enter international markets.”

According to the advisor to the President of the Russian Federation, an international coalition of physicians would be indispensable, should the Third Opinion project be implemented on the scale that can really give impetus to the development of digital medicine:

"I really hope to get assistance from Cuba’s doctors, and we are also negotiating with doctors from South America," he said.

It was announced at the press conference that the "Third Opinion" project would attract investments through ICO (raising funds for new technological projects and start-ups through the issue and sale to investors of crypto currency). This will expand the scale and involve the international community of programmers in the process which exactly blends seamlessly into the modern ICO ideology.




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