Radulović at Kopaonik Business Forum: Information Revolution in Healthcare
Kopaonik Business Forum, which gathered more than 1.400 participants from 1 – 4 March 2020 – businessmen, bankers and economists, Serbian government representatives, participants from the region and Europe – was largely dedicated to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (so-called Industry 4.0), in which the informatics, and/or IT sector played a very important role.
The organizer of this prestigious gathering, the Association of Economists of Serbia, invited one of the founders of Heliant, Vukašin Radulović, to participate in the panel Healthcare 4.0 – Opportunity or Threat? (Health 4.0 – Opportunity or Threat?)
Ana Govedarica, director of Roche Serbia, Marko Jovanović, Head of the IT Department of the Serbian Health Insurance Fund, Jasmina Knežević, founder of Bel Medic, and Nenad Paunović, advisor to the Prime Minister for the IT sector and Entrepreneurship, participated in the panel as well.
Radulović pointed out how the domestic IT industry could support the digital transformation of the health system and spoke about the practical challenges that could be found along the way.
The Heliant representative pointed out that the method of treating people was changing with the help of technology, because information was much more accessible nowadays, and that with their help, the way of performing work in healthcare was also changing.
With the help of the latest information technologies, during the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the amount of knowledge in healthcare is doubled every 73 days, according to the data of the American Medical Journal.
Radulović noted that in the fifties of the last century this professional journal had predicted that knowledge in medicine would double every 50 years, in the eighties it had shortened that period to 20 years, so that the latest forecast would be drastically shortened to less than two and a half months.
The use of information technology in database searches is one of the most important steps in this process. The information alone is no longer enough today, it must be processed and well-structured to be searchable, based on which an entire industry would emerge today.
Not so long ago, the information systems initiated a technological revolution, but today, information systems and databases themselves have become the standard. In recent years, Serbia has made great progress and laid the foundations for the next step in the technological revolution.
Nowadays, healthcare institutions are equipped with computers and networked, they also have information systems which information is entered into. But how should this information be searched, how should they be combined with other relevant data, how should they be used at a given moment, how should they be trusted? These are the steps that are being worked on a lot today.
According to Radulović, nearly 90 percent of healthcare institutions in Serbia, both public and private, are at a more than acceptable level of informatization, primarily owing to large state systems, such as the Ministry of Health, the National Health Insurance Fund or the Public Health Institute, which require the data in electronic form, while hardcopies are falling out of use.
Radulović notes that we live in a time when one application can completely change the market – from Ryan Air to booking.com or CarGo in our country – which owing to technology have reduced costs and fully rely on online sales.
In medicine, we go five steps further, Heliant representative points out – information technologies no longer help just to schedule an examination or get a prescription for medication. In the technological revolution in healthcare today, treatment protocols are increasingly relying on data obtained with the help of information systems. This is how knowledge bases were created, the so-called “real world records”, which are the basis of research in the modern world of health, guidelines for work, which have brought a new revolution and changed the way we work in health.
Today, for example, one can follow the effects of a drug over the years and see what results it gives in different circumstances. In that way, it can be seen that sometimes the drugs helped even where it was once thought that they would not. Such analyses are successfully used, for example, in oncology.
Databases not only help in the treatment process, Vukašin Radulović notes, but they can also be used in measuring the economic aspects of a hospital or some other health institution’s operations, and help managers manage the facility’s operations more efficiently.