Serious changes are brewing in the health sector. Electronic health (e-Health) can not only save doctors from a huge amount of paperwork, but also take the quality of patient care to a whole new level. Today, only well-motivated specialists who are ready to invest time and money in improving their qualifications have access to advanced discoveries and achievements in medicine and pharmacology. The development of e-health in a smart society will make new knowledge more accessible (including in real time) and interactive. In a sense, information technologies can form a kind of collective medical mind, including an artificial one (IBM Watson project). The existing ability to collect data on patients’ health remotely and to carry out remote medical monitoring reinforce this trend. Smart technologies are already spreading in states with island or poorly accessible territories (Australia, Canada, Russia, Pacific island states, etc.).
- often the patient needs the help of specialists of different profiles, and convenient data transfer between them will improve the quality of service;
- in some cases, a remote consultation with a narrow-profile specialist may be required, and then it is necessary to transfer patient data as soon as possible;
- Electronic data is much better protected from loss and damage. So, many Russians are familiar with the situation when their card was lost in the registry;
- search for electronic data is much faster and more convenient;
- the patient can easily access their own health data online if they are stored electronically. This will potentially stimulate the development of private medical clinics.
The public health data issue is closely related to the practical applications of big data technologies. Access to large volumes of digital patient data presents unprecedented opportunities to aggregate it for research and improve the quality of care. They can be used to assess the effectiveness of pharmacological drugs, analyze different treatment options for patients, assess the conditions for providing health services by hospital or region, and monitor the distribution of targeted resources. It is possible to determine the dynamics of the condition of patients with any diagnosis, its change depending on the prescribed treatment. Nevertheless, the volumes of big data require not only the availability of unified information, but also special tools for working with it.
Thus, informatization is another important direction in the development of e-health. The healthcare industry today has a decades-old tradition of maintaining paper-based information on personal patient records. It is important not only to save the “old” medical data of a patient (which contain text and graphic information, and sometimes audio and video recordings), but also, if necessary, instantly find the necessary data, analyze it and send it to another medical institution. For this, informatization should cover a wide range of devices and software used in medicine.