Konstantin Chebotaev Konstantin Chebotaev

In the 60s Russia pioneered in many aspects of cybernetics. A few decades later though, questions about IT in healthcare evoked nothing but a shrug and eyebrows asymmetrical.

Well, it’s 2010 and I’d do a double take eastwards if I were you … From the primordial soup of the post-perestroyka havoc, Russian eHealth is rapidly self-organizing right in front of us – a process not to be overlooked.

Over 800 information systems in under 7 thousand medical organizations nation-wide. Vast territories that were largely left to themselves after the fall of the Soviet Union - the need for effort consolidation was evident. Then came a major breakthrough in 2008, when the Health Ministry established a designated structure within itself – Department for IT in Healthcare. Now there was a center of authority in this specific field as opposed to various beginnings thinly dispersed between industry outsiders before. And, not the least important in the land of a very young democracy – authorities are ready to listen.

And not just to the Russian eHealth community, either. Since 2006, Russia entered all of the global think-tanks in the domain of medical and bio-informatics. IMIA, EFMI, AMIA, and WHO recognize Russia as national and institutional member (agent MIATS RAMN,, monthly WGs on IT in Healthcare nation-wide chaired by the Ministry representatives), EU collaborations are growing by the month between Germany and Russia (Koch-Metchnikov-Forum and their major December conference in the city of Novosibirsk, planned summit in Moscow early 2011). Policy-making, sharing best practices, analysis of mistakes made – strong, constant influx of international expertise is the best antidote to pre-empt picket-fences of silos (inevitable threat of any nation’s healthcare system going digital). Best means of ego control for greedy vendors, too.

Today, questions on what’s going on in Russia are answered in real-time, colleagues. Time for a closer look east!

Konstantin Chebotaev,
Head of International Department,
Medical Centre for Information and Analysis of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences (MIATS RAMN)
Of. mob.: +7 (903) 2051457
Skype: konstantin.chebotaev

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