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News Release

Nov 28, 2008

Russia to spend 530 mln USD on state-wide medical records automation system

According to Russian IT news resource, the Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development of Russian Federation has made a decision to allocate 530 million USD (14 billion rubles) on a state-wide patient record automation system.

As the speaker for the Ministry told the press, a pilot scheme for electronic patient record automation system will be introduced in 2009, marking the project launch, and the development and implementation activities are expected to be finished in 3 years, by 2011. The system will allow the medical staff to collect patient data, and will enable data processing and access to the global healthcare records database, along with information sharing between medical facilities.

Russian government plans that by 2011 the communicative network will connect at least 13 thousand medical facilities, including more than 5 thousand stationary and 2 thousand ambulatory care facilities. As Oleg Simakov, the project’s mastermind and the director of the Ministry’s IT Integration Department, informed the press, almost 161million USD will be spent on this project in 2009.

The patient data collected across local health facilities will be forwarded to one of the 86 established regional data centers, and then consolidated in the central data center. The software application that the hospitals are planning to use for access to the central data base will be based on an Open Source solution, communicating with the data storage centers via secure Intranet connections. This project can also serve as example for developing GRID technologies in the state wide integration projects.

The arrangement of the patient data flow for the state medical automation system comes out to become a considerable challenge. At present, the network is inconsistent and does not completely cover existing medical facilities, and the software applications implemented in hospitals and clinics are ad-hoc solutions.

The Russian government invests a lot of resources into the development of Russian telecommunications systems, assured that the IT integration initiatives can spur the Russian IT industry and help in strengthening the state economy in the conditions of financial crisis. There are plans to integrate public facilities, and introduce networks ranging from a state-wide network for libraries or museums to the ‘electronic government’ project, discussed in our earlier newsletter issues.

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