New health standards, digital equipment and AI: Moscow’s healthcare in 2020

January 19

In 2020, the city’s healthcare system mostly dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic and continued to develop and improve as planned. Discover more about the introduction of new standards for outpatient clinics and the use of AI and other innovations in medicine via

Opening modern facilities and new Moscow health standards

In 2020, the city launched an ambitious project to update 137 outpatient clinics. Under the proposal, Moscow medical clinics are to follow new health standards. The city is investing in modern equipment for its outpatient clinics and completely replacing their utility mains. The buildings are being altered and getting  new navigation systems. The most frequented offices will be on the ground floor.

Medical institutions will also receive additional electricity generators for ensuring the uninterrupted functioning of brand-new digital equipment. 

Each subsidiary (branch) will have doctors specialising in the eight most used fields, including GPs, urologists, ophthalmologists, ENT specialists, cardiologists, neurologists, endocrinologists and surgeons.

The main clinics will also employ the following five medical specialists, namely, allergologists-immunologists, gastroenterologists, pulmonologists, proctologists and infectionists.

The renovation process never stopped despite the complicated epidemiological situation. This and the well-coordinated work of all those involved in this job made it possible to open three outpatient clinics for children shortly before 1 January.

Subsidiary 2 of City Children’s Outpatient Clinic No. 98 is one such example. This clinic in Chertanovskaya Street was built in 1974. The upgraded clinic is now a modern and patient-friendly facility.

The city is in the process of doing up 34 local outpatient clinics. Eight buildings will soon be renovated completely. Several dozen upgraded clinics will already be visited by patients in 2021.

In 2020, the city opened new facilities providing high-tech medical treatment. In February 2020, a diabetic foot centre opened at the Veresayev City Clinical Hospital. It’s expected to be used by up to 1,000 patients annually.

Outpatient clinics for children and adults were built in the Begovoi and Zamoskvorechye districts and received their first patients.

The Moscow City Pulmonology Centre opened in Kuntsevo during the summer and became a subsidiary of the Vorokhobov City Clinical Hospital No. 67.

In September, an urology clinic and reception ward of the Spasokukotsky City Clinical Hospital opened after being done up.

In late 2020, an overhauled outpatient oncology treatment centre opened at the Pletnyov City Clinical Hospital No. 57 in Vostochnoye  Izmailovo. It can be used by up to 900 people every day. The centre’s doctors provide multi-stage treatment, including checkups, tests, chemo-  and radiation therapy and also handle other outpatient cases.

The cardiology wing of the Davydovsky City Clinical Hospital, the patient treatment facility of the Yeramishantsev Hospital, the spinal centre of the Vorokhobov City Clinical Hospital No. 67 and the hematology wing of the Botkin Hospital have all been overhauled.

The Voronovskaya Hospital was built in just one month, with due consideration for all sanitary-epidemiological safety standards, in the Troitsky and Novomoskovsky Administrative areas at the height of the pandemic. This self-contained facility has 800 beds.

In 2020, a new perinatal centre building opened at the Vorokhobov City Clinical Hospital No. 67, now treating COVID-19 cases. Work is underway to modernise the Botkin Hospital, and construction of a new ambulance station was launched in 2020.

The Moscow Multirole Palliative Assistance Centre will soon be overhauled completely.

Modern equipment for hospitals and outpatient clinics

Digital equipment now accounts for over 80 percent of the city’s diagnostic systems. Remaining analogue systems are being bit by bit  phased out. This makes it possible to include equipment in the city’s joint digital infrastructure and to improve the quality of medical diagnoses. The entire database now contains over six million digital photos, and their number continues to increase.

Over 3,000 units of high-tech medical equipment have been obtained and are to be delivered over a period up to 2023. The city is set to buy over 6,000 items of equipment, including dozens of angiographs, several hundred systems for making CT and MRT scans, thousands of ultrasonoscopes, mammographs, among other things during this time.

The city prioritises direct equipment purchases from manufacturers under service-level contracts with a ten-year guarantee period. This means that suppliers will maintain and repair their goods during this time.

Photo by Denis Grishkin, Press Service of the Mayor and Moscow Government

 Helping hand for doctors from AI

In 2019, the city launched an experiment to integrate AI-based computer vision technology with the healthcare system. Doctors have already diagnosed 430,000 health disorders using such equipment. X-ray operators have used voice recorders to fill out 34,000 protocols and have saved over 20 percent of their time normally used for paperwork.

AI services are connected to the Integrated Radiology Information Service (IRIS) of the Integrated Medical Information and Analytical System (IMIAS). IRIS receives up to 20,000 digital images every single day. This makes it possible to analyse the results of four types of radiological research, including CT scans, mammography, X-ray diagnostics and fluorography. AI technology helps diagnose health problems in advance. It is used to diagnose lung cancer, pneumonia and other lung pathologies, as well as mammary gland (breast) cancer and COVID-19 cases. AI technology has analysed over 1.3 million tests.

Over 1,200 diagnostic systems at the city’s 155 outpatient clinics and hospitals are connected to the service.

In 2021, the experiment is to include ten types of tests and examinations. AI technology will diagnose malignant tumours, and it will also be used in cardiology, pulmonology and neurology, as well as for diagnosing chronic diseases and medical emergencies. These algorithms will also detect signs of multiple sclerosis, acute brain hemorrhages and other pathologies using MRT scans.

Photo by Maxim Mishin, Press Service of the Mayor and Moscow Government

New technology and unique operations

New technology helps detect malignant tumours in their early stages. Under clinical recommendations, the number of medical indications for positron emission tomography (PET) and CT scans was expanded over the past few years.

The number of high-tech tests for detecting malignant tumours has soared almost 13-fold. In 2016, about 3,000 PET and CT scans were conducted under the territorial compulsory medical insurance programme. Their number reached almost 40,000 throughout 2020. The city also operates more PET scan centres under the mandatory medical insurance programme.

In 2020, the city expanded specialised oncology treatment volumes by over 40 percent. The introduction of a new oncology treatment standard made it possible to improve the quality of medical diagnoses and treatment.

Six high-capacity multirole oncology centres were established at major local hospitals. Their specialists diagnose cancer cases, perform operations, conduct medicinal therapy, and their outpatient facilities complete the treatment. Each centre caters to one or two administrative areas.

Consequently, one medical organisation provides specialised treatment at all stages. This made it possible to more speedily and accurately diagnose specific cases and to start treating patients more quickly.

Surgery divisions also continue to improve all the time. During the summer, a new operation theatre opened at the spinal centre of the Vorokhobov Hospital No. 67. It boasts state-of-the-art equipment and uses the best medical technology. Its doctors mostly treat degenerative backbone diseases and injuries. Operations are performed using up-to-date technology and post-operative rehabilitation methods.

Following the overhaul, the centre received four modern operating theatres with modern high-tech equipment. This will make it possible to set up the most powerful national spinal neurosurgery service ever.

Doctors from the Veresayev Hospital have introduced a new method for treating deformed feet. From now on, they will use a new method for patients with this condition. They make three-mm incisions using unique two-mm tools. This helps effectively treat bone tissues without damaging nearby soft tissues, blood vessels and nerves. X-ray equipment is used to help monitor the entire process.

Doctors have started using 3D equipment for low-invasive abdominal, pelvic, urinary-bladder / kidney and chest operations at the Morozov Children’s Hospital. This reduces blood loss in patients and helps surgeons work faster and more accurately.

The urology clinic at the Spasokukotsky City Clinical Hospital has received the city’s first Da Vinci Xi HD robotic system that will mostly perform urinary-bladder/kidney, gynaecological and abdominal operations.

Experts have upgraded the Gamma Knife radiation therapy / neurosurgery system at the Sklifosovsky Research Institute for Emergency Medicine. The system treats benign and malignant tumours and deformed vessels inside human skulls. It can cope with a greater range of health disorders, makes patients feel more comfortable, and treatment deadlines are also down.

Doctors therefore can treat more people than ever before.

Online service development

Since 14 January 2020, over 1.9 million people have obtained online medical case histories. In all, 25 percent of users prefer to read their case histories via a mobile app.  Local residents have already used the service over 22.8 million times.

Online case histories record medical checkups and the results of laboratory and instrument tests, hospital records and data on ambulance calls. City residents can also access vaccination records for children under 18 and the results of COVID-19 tests. It is possible to download various documents inside the system, keep personal and family medical records and health diaries.

Commercial chemists’ shops will be connected to IMIAS from mid-January 2021. This will make it possible to use online prescriptions. Three chemist chains with over 1,000 shops will be connected to the pilot system. Earlier, doctors had to print out prescriptions for patients, then stamp and sign them. From now on, prescriptions will be marked by doctors’ online signatures, and patients will only have to show their QR codes allowing pharmacists to obtain all the essential data. It is impossible to lose or damage online prescriptions, or to forge or reuse them.


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