Healthcare sector realizes dream amid Covid-19 pandemic

06:00 | 28/08/2021 Science - Technology

(VEN) - So far, all district-level health facilities have been connected to a remote medical examination and treatment platform (Telehealth), removing limitations between hospitals of different levels. This allows the treatment of difficult cases, including Covid-19, by leading experts without having to move patients to bigger hospitals.

Minister Nguyen Manh Hung speaks at the launch event

Connection to district-level hospitals

Under the direction of the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC), within days major technology enterprises including the Viettel Military Industry and Telecoms Group (Viettel), and Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) completed the installation of a remote medical examination and treatment system for 328 district-level medical facilities in 47 provinces and cities, most of which are disadvantaged districts.

Speaking at the recent ceremony connecting the platform to all district-level hospitals and the launch of the National Technology Center for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said that in the first outbreak nearly 20 months ago, only a few dozen cases of those who tested positive for infection (F0) could be treated at central-level hospitals. But in the current fourth wave, hundreds of thousands of F0 cases are being treated at district-level health centers.

The Telehealth platform also enables doctors and medical teams at cottage hospitals to upgrade their professional knowledge and provides them and their patients with a sense of confidence in the treatment. Most importantly, it saves time in treating patients as fast as possible, reduces the load on central-level hospitals, thereby reducing fatalities. In the long term, this infrastructure for remote medical examination and treatment will be applied to all diseases.
“The Telehealth connection with district-level hospitals has been a dream of the health sector for decades; that dream was realized in only 2.5 days,” said Minister Hung, attributing the speed to high-level political determination and the urgent context. He made special mention of state-owned enterprises and their sense of social and national responsibility surpassing commitment to profits. The minister emphasized that Covid-19 makes people realize their limitless potential and untapped energies.

Telehealth connection with district-level hospitals enables consultations on treatment of Covid-19 cases

Towards a nationwide shared platform

The National Technology Center for Covid-19 Prevention and Control is another digital network established at intense speed dictated by urgent circumstances. Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh requested that Covid-19 prevention technology platforms must be shared nationwide, and data must be connected to provide central agencies with an overall picture enabling them to issue consistent and speedy directions on prevention and control.
In less than two months, nearly 1,500 billion hardware devices were collected by businesses to the center. Some 18 leading digital technology enterprises in Vietnam provided infrastructure and developed anti-pandemic digital platforms.

These platforms have been used for pandemic prevention and control including medical declarations, tracing, isolation, testing, vaccination, social distancing monitoring, medical consultation, databases on elderly people who need to be prioritized for vaccination, database on the homeless, and more.

“Every day the center is serving 20 million people, and when all provinces use its platform, it will serve 100 million people,” Minister Nguyen Manh Hung said, adding that the more people use digital technology, the cheaper it is, the more data it collects and the more value it creates. Therefore, it can only prove effective when it is a shared platform on a nationwide scale.

The nationwide shared digital platforms will turn Vietnam into a unified body, helping the country react quickly, flexibly, and consistently in controlling disease and disaster.

At the event, the Ministry of Health reported that in the near future, all medical facilities nationwide will issue

electronic “vaccine passports”. In the long term, online medical examination and treatment registration will

be applied to all residents of Vietnam, and big data, artificial intelligence and other advanced technology will

also be applied to medical management, examination and treatment.

Quynh Nga