On the need to increase the use of mobile medicine technologies during infectious pandemic

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Mobile health units and medical team programs play an important, though underestimated, role in the healthcare system. The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic aggravated the problem of insufficient diagnostic and therapeutic medical care provided by mobile health technologies.

AIM: This study aimed to provide an expert assessment of the prospects for the use of mobile medicine technologies during infectious pandemic in the Russian Federation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Methods of content analysis, information, and analytical materials of Russian and international information agencies, statistical materials of the Ministry of Health of Russia, and summary of the Russian federal statistical observation «Information About the Medical Organization» were used.

RESULTS: The COVID-19 pandemic aggravated the problems of regional healthcare systems, which were struggling with an unexpectedly serious viral infection in an environment of weak infrastructure. Thus, mobile health units and teams represent an untapped resource for the Russian healthcare system. In Russia, the number of mobile health units is not growing fast enough, and the volume of their medical activities is not increasing significantly. In 2015, Russia had 1,064 mobile medical teams, and the volume of their work amounted to 2.1 million visits or 0.27% of the total number of outpatient visits. In 2019, 1,529 mobile medical teams were already registered, with a volume of 3.9 million visits (105.0 thousand house calls) or 0.51% of the total number of outpatient visits.

CONCLUSIONS: Mobile clinic programs should be expanded and integrated into the regional healthcare systems and included in emergency preparedness plans to support further development and integration of mobile clinics into the healthcare system.

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About the authors

Valery Т. Korkhmazov

City Hospital No. 1

Author for correspondence.
Email: korxmazov@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3281-3909

MD, Cand. Sci. (Med.)

Russian Federation, Novorossiysk

Vladimir I. Perkhov

Central Research and Development Institute of the Organization and Informatization of Health Care

Email: perkhov@mednet.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4134-3371

MD, Dr. Sci. (Med.), assistant professor

Russian Federation, Moscow

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