Artak Abraamyan
Constructing Our Fortress Brick by Brick

I returned to Armenia in October of 2019. I moved with a new project, confident that this time it would be possible to fulfill my plans. What were they about? Introducing a telemedicine system in Armenia that would thereby organize the production of medical devices for remote self-diagnostics, while developing telemedicine software and a full telemedicine platform.

I was born and raised in Armenia. Since childhood, I had dreamed of doing science, becoming a scientist. Physics and chemistry have always attracted me; as a result, the desire to become a doctor prevailed. I graduated from Yerevan State Medical University and during my studies, I managed to undergo a "baptism of fire" first in surgery, and then in an ambulance. After three years of work in the countryside, the desire to continue postgraduate education pushed me to move to Moscow. I entered the Research Institute of Pediatrics as a clinical intern, where, by chance or by the will of fate, I got into the real scientific environment. I quickly settled into a group that had already begun collaborating with the Chronobiology Laboratory of the University of Minnesota under the leadership of one of the founders of chronobiology in the world - Franz Halberg. A large amount of joint research was carried out with them, where we studied biological rhythms - daily, weekly, and, at the same time, did not follow the rules of our own biological rhythms. We worked day and night.

In those years within the post-Soviet states, few people were engaged in science, but in one small room of the Moscow Research Institute of Pediatrics, despite the absence of the most basic conditions (means of subsistence and place of residence), our work continued. This all resulted in a huge clinical and scientific experience, reports at international conferences, more than 25 scientific publications - mainly in foreign journals, and the defense of a Ph.D. thesis, where the phrase “for the first time in the world” was repeated more than once. This is a special pleasure - a pleasure of discovery. I tried to share my experience and knowledge, to continue research work in Armenia in those years, but this was not destined to happen. After five years of work in Yerevan, I went back to Moscow. For 20 years. Despite the difficulties, in parallel with my work, I began to study reflexology, psychology, and psychotherapy. Attempts were made to integrate academic and complementary medicine with psychology and psychotherapy. Once, at one training session with Arnold Mindell, and in response to a question asked, I received a very pleasant compliment from the greatest scientist: "Every mother should be happy that she has such a pediatrician as you."

In Moscow, in addition to the medical work, I had two startups: I founded a follow-up department (examination of children after discharge from the hospital) in one of Moscow maternity hospitals and was a co-founder and chief physician of a private multifunctional medical center for nine years. It was during that period in the medical center that the need for telemedicine arose.

Over the years, the idea grew into a project. At first, I wanted to purchase already existing solutions for my practice, but we could not find a consensus with Israeli manufacturers, the Chinese did not meet the requirements, and there were not that many other manufacturers. It was decided to create our own, new and with improvements in some parameters. Since there were claims that the project was unique and had great potential, we decided to organize the production in Armenia. Are there sufficient resources in Armenia for this? It turns out there are. I have been already cooperating with a group of talented hardware developers, professional IT specialists, and a group of enthusiastic doctors who tried to introduce telemedicine in Armenia and a high-tech production line 10 years ago. Yes, in Armenia!

Telemedicine and telemedicine systems. What is it?

Telemedicine - the exchange of medical information using modern telecommunication systems for medical, diagnostic, or advisory purposes. It is the fastest-growing segment of medicine worldwide. It has become even more demanded during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Telemedicine, first of all, is the availability of medical care regardless of the location (border region or remote settlement), 24/7. This is an early diagnosis, prompt organization of medical care, and, as a result, minimization of complications arising from diseases, a decrease in disability, mortality, and in the cost of treatment and rehabilitation. The system allows you to identify target groups that require more in-depth, high-tech research, to determine the amount and place of assistance, according to the severity of the condition. In many cases, there is a need to continuously monitor the condition of patients, indicators of vital functions, for example, chronic patients, and patients after discharge from hospitals, etc.

Occupational burnout among health workers is observed in 60% of cases, and the loss of a specialist during his professional peak is very expensive. The proposed system will significantly reduce the workload of health workers, which will allow for physical and emotional rehabilitation.

According to experts, with the introduction of this system, everyone benefits - patients, doctors, insurance companies, and the state. Patients will have access to affordable medicine, the state will increase the volume and availability of medical care provided without increasing costs; moreover, the export of these services will bring in larger revenues. The telemedicine platform can integrate medical institutions, universities, and scientific centers to organize consultation, cooperation, and long-term training of doctors. And thanks to the systematic preservation of medical information, it will be possible to conduct in-depth clinical and scientific analysis. The proposed system will have an impact not only on healthcare but also on the economy, information technology, education, science, and demography.

And what does demography have to do with it? There is a confidence that affordable and professional medical care will provide a sense of safety and security for residents in border areas and remote settlements, and this can reduce the process of urbanization and emigration; moreover, it can contribute to the expected processes of de-urbanization and repatriation.

I believe in the success of this endeavor. To implement the project, we are actively looking for investors and partners. We will be very glad to cooperate.
We all should put our brick in the construction of our Fortress...


Artak Abrahamyan

 
Share this Article on

Read More