Ep. 15: Healthcare IT System Beyond Imagination: The Russian Way

In this episode of Medicine Today on Digital Health Podcast, Anna Dubovik, a data analyst working for the government of Moscow talks about IMIAS — Integrated Medical Information and Analytical System. It connects more than 660 clinics and over 23.6 thousand medical practitioners in Moscow.

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The system offers pretty much everything and more you could imagine and expect from a high-tech clinical IT system: electronic health records are stored in the cloud, managers can see real-time analysis of patient flow, online appointments, electronic prescriptions and more.

Questions answered in the podcast:

How does the system work?
What information are stored in the system?
How has access to healthcare changed since the implementation?
What do the doctors and what does the government see?
How can an IT system be implemented across 600+ facilities?
What anomalies have been detected in healthcare management so far?
How scalable is the model to other parts of Russia or other countries?
…and more!

Russia spent just 5.9 percent of its GDP on healthcare in 2014, according to 2016 OECD figures, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) healthcare costs in Russia amounted to only 5.4% of GDP in 2014, the World Bank recorded 3.7% of GDP. This is significantly below the European countries which spend between 7 to 12%.

According to 2016 report by The Economist, commisioned by Medtronic, the country has disease registries, but access is restricted and the data are not standardised or linked. There is limited scope for tracking longitudinal patient cost data over time.

Compared to OECD countries, the Russian Federation has very high levels of mortality and shorter life expectancy.

So what is the secret behind the success and large investments in IT in Moscow? For one thing, the Government of Moscow has its own budget for IT. More in the podcast!


This episode is sponsored by Marand - a Slovenian IT company, which has been developing IT solutions for 28 years. The IMIAS system talked about in the podcast, runs on Marands Think!EHR platform — a cloud platform storing clinical data in a vendor-neutral openEHR format.

What does that mean?

OpenEHR is an international standard for a universal interoperability among all forms of electronic and clinically relevant health data.

An openEHR platform, such as Marands Think!EHR platform, serves as an underlying clinical data storage database in a particular system, in this case, primary care facilities in Moscow.

OpenEHR got serious international recognition, when in April this year Gartner recognised it as a good solution for data connectivity and interoperability. Among other things it could be applied to:

- a city or large municipality which has a five-year ambition for a single citywide health and social care record,

- national e-health programs seeking to implement mature care coordination platforms in five to 10 years,

- health delivery organisations that want to collaborate with other organisation through an improved care of patients thanks to easier, secure, better exchange of standardised data.