How the Moscow’s Healthcare System is Evolving: Five Essential Innovations

How the Moscow’s Healthcare System is Evolving: Five Essential Innovations
Photo by Maxim Mishin, Press Service of the Mayor and Moscow Government
Modern polyclinics, a new approach to cancer treatment and large-scale deployment of digital technology are just some of the recent upgrades in the Moscow’s healthcare system. to deliver you more details of the most significant innovations.

A high standard of work, and thousands of lives saved – that’s the way you can describe the capital’s healthcare system. Even in the face of the worsening epidemiological situation, Moscow’s healthcare system functions properly, helping the city residents thanks to the work done in previous years. New technology and standards have been introduced into the healthcare system, and many processes have been improved. to tell you about the most significant innovations.

Cancer Care Standard

In Moscow, six multidisciplinary cancer detection and treatment centers have been created, basing on the largest inpatient hospitals. Each center incorporates a clinic, a laboratory and an outpatient cancer care center, and is designated to be attended by residents of the one or two Moscow okrugs (districts) assigned to that center. For its patients, the centers offer diagnostic procedures and surgery, drug therapy, as well as follow-up drug therapy; all this delivered on a single-institution basis. This one-stop approach contributes to shorter diagnosis time with higher precision, and to proceeding with the treatment as quickly as possible.

Thanks thereto, it was possible to increase the volume of specialized cancer care by more than 40 percent in 2020. Also, the average duration of medical studies and testing has been reduced. Over 70 percent of patients become aware of their diagnoses even ahead of time limits stipulated by respective State standards and programs. Throughout the pandemic as yet, cancer care has not been ceased for a single day.

Moscow Standard for Polyclinics

The capital’s polyclinics are being modernized and built according to the new Moscow standard: with modern equipment installed, logistics thought through (the most visited specialists should be accommodated on the first floor) and comfortable conditions created for patients and staff. So, patients will be waiting for a doctor’s appointment in spacious halls, and cozy rooms will be furnished for doctors and nurses to rest. In district polyclinics, one will be able to get an appointment with specialty doctors and enjoy a vast range of medical examinations. By 2024, 137 municipal polyclinics are planned to be reconstructed and 30 new ones, with a total area of over 250 thousand square meters, to be built.

A comprehensive reconstruction of the branch No. 3 of the Municipal Polyclinic No. 6 has been completed recently. Erected in 1968, the building has been almost completely rebuilt, and renovated inside and out. Now this is a spacious modern clinic, offering many examinations, studies and tests to its patients. The first of them were admitted on June 28. On the same day, three more renovated polyclinics were opened.

Digital Polyclinics

Even before the pandemic, digital technology was being actively implemented in the Moscow’s healthcare system. The city government created a Unified digital platform to integrate all electronic services, making it possible to monitor a patient from their initial admission and diagnostics to recovery and post-disease rehabilitation.

You can make an appointment for a hospital in Moscow online and tell the chat bot about your complaints beforehand. Should medications be needed, a physician may write an electronic prescription in 30 seconds. This prescription cannot be lost or tampered with. All of these technologies save time for the physician, who can pay more attention to the patient.

Photo by Maxim Denisov,

Technology is also involved in the diagnostic phase. More than 1,300 digital diagnostic devices are connected to the Unified Radiological Information Service (URIS) of the Unified Medical Information And Analytical System (UMIAS). This allows the clinician to see the radiologist’s conclusion in the patient’s electronic medical record during the appointment. Being able to view the image immediately, where necessary, is of help to the clinician in terms of revealing a diagnosis or identifying additional examinations to prescribe. Where an expert interpretation of a complicated case is required, the medical study images uploaded to the URIS are available to the reference center experts, namely leading radiologists, Candidates and Doctors of Medical Sciences, and members of international associations.

By the way, the images are no longer interpreted without the help of a computer neither. AI-based algorithms mark areas of possible pathology with color cues and sort the images by urgency. The technology has already helped process the deliverables of more than two million studies. Doctors can take those cues into account and formulate their own conclusions, using voice input to speed things up.

Life-Cycle Contracts

In Moscow, part of the medical equipment, as well as most heavy equipment are purchased under life-cycle contracts, meaning that the supplier maintains and repairs the equipment throughout its service life. This approach saves budgets and ensures reliable operation of the equipment even in constant use. Moscow is one of the first regions of the country to use this medical equipment purchasing method.

The hospital named after S. S. Yudin has already received more than 60 units of medical equipment, and 44 devices have been delivered to the hospital No. 15 named after O. M. Filatov.  In total, under life-cycle contracts, more than 4.9 thousand units of complex high-tech medical equipment have already been purchased in the Russian capital. These include X-ray photographs, ultrasound machines, the up-to-date models of computed tomography scanners and MRI scanners, as well as endoscopic and other equipment.

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

Healthy Moscow (Zdorovaya Moskva)

This is a municipal program aimed at preventing diseases. In summer, portable pavilions open in Moscow parks, where one needs just one hour to check their health, namely to get a complete blood test, be checked for diabetes mellitus and get pulse oximetry test, breast ultrasonography, as well as to identify their risks to develop various diseases. The doctors engaged use modern equipment, and the results of the examination are displayed in the patient’s electronic medical record.

Where additional tests are needed, the doctors give a referral to a polyclinic. So, in 2019, when the project was just launched, 430 thousand people had medical check-ups, with 12 percent of them referred for in-depth studies and tests. Also Moscow parks held lectures and workshops on healthy lifestyles.

Now, during an exacerbating epidemiological situation, vaccination against COVID-19 is the only thing the Healthy Moscow pavilions can offer. As soon as the situation improves, Moscow residents will again be able to enjoy medical screening in the city parks.