At the state level in Ukraine, telemedicine was first discussed in 2017 with the introduction of health care reform. Then, for this, they began to prepare the legislative framework and, in less than 9 months, mass-scale computerization was carried out for primary-level medical institutions. This is important for the development of telemedicine, as it has become technically possible to process telemedicine data.
At the beginning of 2019, the Ministry of Health announced the launch of the introduction of telemedicine technologies in test mode in five areas: Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Kirovograd, Poltava and Rivne.
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During the webinar, the project manager of the Helsi medical information system Andrey Slipukha talked about the online doctor's consultation and why it is convenient and safe. Site 24 of the channel collected the main points.
What is telemedicine?
In general, telemedicine is a set of actions, technologies and measures used in the provision of medical care using remote communications, when the distance factor is critical.
In its primary form, telemedicine can also be considered a doctor’s consultation by phone. For example, when a person feels bad, but all the “windows” for reception are busy, or you just need a minute consultation that does not require a visit.
Also, its simple option is communication in messengers between the doctor and the patient, which is now gaining popularity.
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Another type of use of telemedicine – doctors, as part of telemedicine consultations, can get together and discuss various medical cases among themselves, exchanging experiences. It has been popular in the world for many years.
What does this look like for a patient?
In addition to the phone or messenger, the patient will be able to contact the doctor and discuss those issues that are of concern via the video conferencing service.
In order to enter this service, you do not need to install additional programs. All that is needed is to go to helsi.me, log in to your personal account, select a doctor, date, time, place of visit and mark the video consultation option.
So far, the option of "video consultation" is not available / Helsi screenshot
Further, the system signals that the reception has been completed successfully. And, at a certain time, the patient can only choose the option "go to the video."
To start the consultation, click "go to video" / screenshot Helsi
For this, the patient can use either a personal computer or communicate with a smartphone. At the same time, a person can be anywhere and the only thing he needs is a connection to the Internet.
How does a video conferencing service work for a doctor?
First, the medical institution should receive telemedicine functionality (free of charge). To do this, you need:
Contact the Helsi Contact Center or create a request at Helsi.help. Indicate the institution's EDRPOU and inform about the desire to connect telemedicine functionality.
After that, helsi.me technical support activates the telemedicine functionality in the institution.
Since not all doctors want to provide telemedicine consultations to their patients, this problem was solved in the following way: the personnel officer of the institution can enter the doctor’s profile, where, in the specifics of the appointment, a new field will appear – “making an appointment for video calls”. If the physician wants to do this, the personnel officer puts a check in the "allowed" field. Thus, each doctor can independently choose whether he should conduct consultations via video, or this is not necessary.
The doctor chooses whether he wants to consult online / screenshot Helsi
In order to go directly to the video chat with the patient, you need to go to your doctor’s profile, go to the timeline and find the patient who signed up for you using telemedicine admission.
The only thing that the doctor should note the type of consultation – telecommunication. This mark must be made in the general information when choosing the class of medical care and its type.
Type of appointment – consultation of the patient by means of communication / screenshot Helsi (click on the image to enlarge it)
Then the telemedicine consultation window will open and you can press the "call patient" key. In order for him to see or hear you, do not forget to allow the browser to process your devices – a microphone and a video camera. After that, you go out with the patient directly into a secure video connection.
What the video reception looks like for the doctor and patient / Helsi screenshot
"Telemedicine suitcase": what is included
In fact, this is a kit that contains all the necessary devices for analyzing the viability of the patient's body. Also – a tablet that has several USB outputs (you can connect to the Internet, an electronic stethoscope and other devices are also attached to it). The devices immediately read the patient data and transmit them to the system.
For example, one of these "suitcases" includes:
An example of the contents of a telemedicine case / screenshot of Helsi (click on the image to enlarge it)
It is worth noting that here there are only basic devices that are needed in order to diagnose vital parameters and decide what to do with the patient. Such a telemedicine complex weighs a little more than 1.5 kg.
Basically, it is used when the doctor is in the medical institution and cannot independently go to 10-20 calls to the patient due to remoteness (a lot of time, often important, goes on the road). Therefore, the local paramedic, having such a suitcase, can go to the patient, connect him to the organ’s vital signs monitor and transfer the examination data online to the server. The doctor receives them, analyzes them and understands what manipulations should be performed with the patient and whether there is a need for hospitalization.
In a pandemic, there are now a very large number of challenges in villages. When doctors are on the move, such telemedicine complexes reduce the burden on the doctor at the time of the move and improve the quality of medical care,
– explained Andrey Slipukha.
The results of the examination themselves are on the server, and the doctor himself can see them directly, as well as the patient – if they are printed or added directly to the electronic medical record. In the future, any doctor who will need to get acquainted with the medical information about the patient will be able to go to his medical card in the Helsi system and see, in particular, the results of previous examinations.
Protection of personal information
All medical data and the consultations themselves have a comprehensive information security system and cannot go anywhere from the electronic medical information system.
After the conference has passed, data is not stored in the service. Therefore, everything you talked about with the doctor will remain only between you.