Innovative strategic session in the scientific activity of the Center for Diagnostics and Telemedicine

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Abstract

Sometimes, you need to go beyond the possible and ordinary in order to create something new. Human potential is limitless, and the world of technological possibilities opens up new horizons and helps to achieve the most difficult goals.

A real scientist should think out of the box and go beyond the rules. Sticking with what we know today and being not open to new knowledge hinders our scientific progress. It is quite difficult, if not impossible, to get rid of bias. Similar to how it is almost beyond our possibilities to pull yourself out of the “rut” of the rules without a help.

However, we tried to do impossible possible at our “Science Week.” The last week of July at the Research and Practical Clinical Center for Diagnostics and Telemedicine Technologies of the Moscow Healthcare Department was highlighted by this outstanding extraordinary event. During this week, the importance of scientific discoveries for both an individual and whole society was demonstrated. In fact, it was a platform for discussing advanced technologies, challenges, and solutions. For 4 days, the scientists of the Center presented their reports and defended their ideas. Their colleagues took part in the discussion and asked questions about the application and implementation of their initiatives.

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INTRODUCTION

On July 25–28, 2022, the Research and Practical Clinical Centre for Diagnostics and Telemedicine Technologies of the Moscow Department of Health hosted Science Week, the largest scientific event arranged by the Centre and attended by approximately 100 employees from practically all departments and divisions. Due to the wide range of participants, Science Week has become a unique scientific event that can be considered a platform for discussing important interdisciplinary problems of science and technology as well as the first step in promoting research and project activities among young people and a place to demonstrate the achievements of research departments of the Centre.

The Directorate of Science presented more than 40 reports that described original solutions going beyond the existing paradigms and suggested responses to great challenges including social risks and threats.

Science Week plays an important role as a space for broad communication, allowing colleagues to suggest new research topics and areas, share initiatives, increase networking, and cooperate for working on projects. Researchers reported wishing to prove themself in related areas, new collaborations were born, and participants showed keen interest in each other’s ideas.

During preparation for Science Week, Yuriy A. Vasilyev, Candidate of Medical Sciences, Director of State Budgetary Healthcare Institution of the Research and Practical Clinical Centre for Diagnostics and Telemedicine Technologies, asked participants to focus on visionary scientific work, which means to come up with something unusual and interesting. “There should be no limits for science. Even the most unordinary ideas should have a chance to be implemented if they seem valuable,” he said.

RESEARCH PROJECTS AND DISCUSSION

Most projects were covered by two main areas, namely, research and practical projects aimed at facilitating the study participation or treatment process for patients, and healthcare management projects aimed at simplifying the work of healthcare professionals including nursing staff. There were various ideas including fundamental proposals going beyond existing approaches and methods. Each presentation ended with an online vote with all participants evaluating the viability of each project presented, followed by active discussion and a Q&A session.

The Developing an R&D Centre project presented by Daria Sharova, the Head of Innovative Technologies was voted the leading project. Her presentation outlined the global goal of the project which is to ensure a universally high level of medical device development in Russia by creating an R&D Centre based on the Centre for Diagnostics and Telemedicine.

 

The Steering Committee headed by Yuriy A. Vasilyev, Candidate of Medical Sciences, Director of the Research and Practical Clinical Centre for Diagnostics and Telemedicine Technologies.

 

Science Week is well underway. Day 3.

 

The presentation by Roman Reshetnikov, the Head of Medical Research, also attracted great interest. Its topic was “Psychoradiology: Detection of Mental Disorders Using Radiation Diagnostics.” The project is dedicated to the urgent problem of population screening for mental disorders, which are among the top five diseases or disorders leading to disability. To solve this problem, it was proposed to create a trusted diagnostic tool using objective and evidence-based neuroimaging biomarkers. Among other features, this tool allows the clinician to provide timely and personalized psychological counseling for those patients who need it. When discussing the project, some opportunities were revealed for cooperation with other relevant scientific and medical organizations.

Denis Leonov, the Senior Research Fellow of Medical Research, presented the “Affordable Teaching Phantoms for Medical Universities” start-up project, which was also considered very interesting. The project aims to increase the effectiveness of teaching medical students by introducing a line of phantoms into the educational process. Phantoms can imitate the setting of diagnostic ultrasound of various human organs, including cerebrovascular ultrasound. Phantoms provide closer conditions to real-world clinical practice and there is wide scope for the method. Commercial medical ultrasound phantoms are very specific as they simulate specific clinical scenarios. As a result, they are too expensive to be used in a multidisciplinary research and teaching process [1]. When fulfilling a government order, a unique technique has been developed to arrange affordable serial production of phantoms for a specific clinical task. There are two proposed options, namely, large-scale production which is more affordable and manufacturing single phantoms to order. Considering the market volume in Russia, the volume of such production can be approximately 2000 pieces per year.

 

Phantoms can be used for ultrasound imaging of blood vessels through the skull bones.

 

Anastasiya Smorchkova, a Junior Researcher at Innovative Technologies, presented a project “Screening for Cerebral Artery Aneurysms and Evaluating Their Significance in Younger Patients.” A ruptured cerebral aneurysm is one of the most common causes of nontraumatic intracerebral hemorrhage (approximately 13 cases per 100,000 per year). At the same time, in the period from aneurysm rupture to treatment, the mortality rate is 10%–15% [2]. According to clinical guidelines [3], noninvasive screening can be recommended for every person over 30 years of age, regardless of risk factors. The definitive factors of rupture risk are the perpendicular aneurysm height and the size ratio of the aneurysm and the adjacent vessel. These parameters can be evaluated by neuroimaging methods. As a solution, the authors proposed developing a morphometric artificial intelligence algorithm for detecting and measuring salient sizes and estimating the aneurysm rupture probability. Therefore, this project may contribute to the increased detection of hidden (unruptured) cerebral aneurysms and potentially reduce mortality and disability in younger patients. During the discussion, the high social significance of the project was noted, as it is aimed at preventing the mortality of people of working age.

A series of reports presented by Ivan Blokhin, acting Head of the Research Sector in Radiation Diagnostics, was followed by a lively discussion. He described necessary changes in management in radiology departments suggesting solutions for interacting with patients as well as for optimizing and increasing the efficiency of radiologists. The Information Materials for Correct Patient Preparation for an Investigation project proposed to develop digital and paper information materials for patients preparing for the most common types of X-rays, CT, and MRI to reduce the number of delayed examinations due to poor patient preparation and the number of duplicate examinations due to poor image quality. The Working Memory of a Medical Organisation presentation proposed to analyze the time intervals for radiation diagnostics in various medical organizations. This analysis allows the optimization of operating and logistics processes in outpatient medical organizations by tracking patients at each stage of the diagnostic process using code bracelets and identifying pitfalls in routine outpatient practice.

 

The conference ended with a lively discussion.

 

All presentations are included in the Bank of Research Projects of the Centre for Diagnostics and Telemedicine.

In addition, the discussion highlighted the most promising areas that need to be included in a 3-year research plan of the Centre for Diagnostics and Telemedicine.

CONCLUSION

One of the outcomes of this event lies in developing an environment for the open long-term planning of research activities.

Scientists noticed how important it is to get a critical review because this helped them to see the weaknesses and potential problems of their projects. In addition, employees shared ideas and ways of doing similar work, so now they can try to optimize and improve their own projects.

At the end of Science Week, Yuriy Vasilyev, the Director of the Centre for Diagnostics and Telemedicine, expressed his hope that this event will become a regular one and will attract a growing number of participants every year.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Funding source. This article was not supported by any external sources of funding.

Competing interests. The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contribution. All authors made a substantial contribution to the conception of the work, acquisition, analysis, interpretation of data for the work, drafting and revising the work, final approval of the version to be published and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

I.A. Vinogradova — study design, manuscript drafting; L.A. Nizovtsova — study design, manuscript revising; O.V. Omelyanskaya — study design, manuscript revising.

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About the authors

Irina A. Vinogradova

Research and Practical Clinical Center for Diagnostics and Telemedicine Technologies

Author for correspondence.
Email: i.vinogradova@npcmr.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6465-4132
SPIN-code: 6493-1970

Cand. Sci. (Tech.)

Russian Federation, Moscow

Lyudmila A. Nizovtsova

Research and Practical Clinical Center for Diagnostics and Telemedicine Technologies

Email: lanizo@yandex.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9614-4505
SPIN-code: 9957-8107

MD, Dr. Sci. (Med), Professor

Russian Federation, Moscow

Olga V. Omelyanskaya

Research and Practical Clinical Center for Diagnostics and Telemedicine Technologies

Email: o.omelyanskaya@npcmr.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0245-4431
SPIN-code: 8948-6152
Russian Federation, Moscow

References

  1. Leonov D, Kodenko M, Leichenco D, et al. Design and validation of a phantom for transcranial ultrasonography. Int J Comput Assist Radiol Surg. 2022;17(9):1579–1588. doi: 10.1007/s11548-022-02614-2
  2. Surgery of brain aneurysms. Ed. by V.V. Krylov. In three volumes. Vol. I. Moscow; 2011. Р. 23–35. (In Russ).
  3. Clinical recommendations for the treatment of unexploded brain aneurysms. Moscow; 2015. 28 p. (In Russ).

Supplementary files

Supplementary Files
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1. The Steering Committee headed by Yuriy A. Vasilyev, Candidate of Medical Sciences, Director of the Research and Practical Clinical Centre for Diagnostics and Telemedicine Technologies.

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2. Science Week is well underway. Day 3.

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3. Phantoms can be used for ultrasound imaging of blood vessels through the skull bones.

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4. The conference ended with a lively discussion.

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