Telemedicine becomes legal, attracts more investment in Russia

A new telemedicine law came into effect on January 1, allowing Russian citizens to benefit from a range of e-healthcare services.

Signed by President Vladimir Putin in July 2017, the legislation makes legal remote professional communication between doctors, as well as communications between doctors and patients or their legal representatives, as reported by the news agency RIA Novosti.

Remote monitoring of patients’ health – after an initial in-person visit – is now also possible, based on their medical history and available medical records.

Also, Russians can now legally book in-clinic appointments, call for a doctor for a home visit, request preventive medical examination through an electronic single window of state and municipal services. Besides, they can access electronic data related to their mandatory medical insurance and their medical records.

The law will allow also physicians to issue online medical prescriptions, starting January 1, 2019.

Telemedicine emerged in Russia long before the legislation was approved. Thus, Pediatrician 24/7, a portal enabling parents to receive long-distance medical consultations, launched in 2013.

In 2016, another telemedicine project was launched, the Doc+ platform, for calling a doctor for a home visit based on the Uber principle. This past summer, Doc+ announced the completion of a $5.5 million Series B round involving Yandex, the Russian search giant, and Baring Vostok Capital Partners, a major Moscow-based investment fund.

Another telemedecine startup, Docdoc, focuses on booking in-clinic appointments, unlike DOC+, but also aims to build a universal health service platform in Russia. In May 2017, Sberbank, the national savings bank, announced the acquisition of a controlling stake in this startup.

ONDOC and Doctor Ryadom are among the other services competing on the Russian telemedicine market.

Meanwhile, Russia’s sovereign fund  RDIF intends to invest in e-health projects, among other technological projects, in 2018, RDIF’s CEO Kirill Dmitriev told RIA Novosti on January 23.

One of the projects which may benefit from the fund’s support is Doctis, an information portal dedicated to healthcare in Russia.

Featured image created by Macrovector –

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