Digital Health in Romania: from physical therapy to cardiology and autoimmune diseases

June 1, 2016


Highly appreciated speakers from all over the world are coming at ICEEhealth/ 10th of June, Bucharest.

Salvatore Iaconesi/ La Cura (his story is here), Scott Summit/ Stanford University (remarkable examples from 3D Printing – on our blog), Carman Kobza/ CK1. Denise Silber/ Doctors 2.0&You and Alistair Wickens/ Quealth are just a few examples.

On the second day of ICEEfest, on the ICEEhealth Stage, we also have the chance to listen local innovators with great results that crossed the Romanian borders.

Before that, Lorena Macnoughtan/ ICEEhealth Event Director interviewed 3 of them:

Cosmin Mihaiu/ CEO @ MIRA Rehab

What did you find most challenging when developing Mira Rehab?

         – The most challenging part is to bring an innovative solution to a traditional healthcare market.

         – The health industry requires evidence and has stringent regulatory procedures.

         – As a company we need to not only demonstrate that MIRA can help people get better faster, but that it can also reduce the cost.

         – We need to ensure we build a strong case for MIRA and demonstrate how the software can actually help people.

In Romania, what do you think is needed to accelerate adoption of digital health solutions?

         – I don’t think there’s an issue specifically for Romania, each country asks how the industry could accelerate adoption of digital health solution.

         – The infrastructure is there, we just need to seize the opportunity. However, as mentioned before, healthcare is arguably the most conservative industry for good reasons.

         – Solutions need to be validated and proven to bring benefits, before investments are made to implement them.  

         – The challenge is to make sure the applications work, but also to find key people who want to test the digital products, even in small case studies, to show the potential benefits.    

Stefan Busnatu/ MD @ Carol Davila University 

Tell us about (to my knowledge) the first telemedicine project in Romania?

         – The FP7 FI-STAR program was one of the biggest digital programs for the time being.

         – It ended in September 2015, after 30 months of work into building and testing a cloud based application that aimed to provide cardiac rehabilitation programs at home, with remote monitoring from a Cardiology Department within the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Carol Davila.

         – Although globally, cardiac rehabilitation is proved to increase the cardiovascular patients quality of life and life expectancy, unfortunately in Romania, the rehabilitation programs are not covered by the National Health Insurance House.

         – That is why the rehabilitation centers are very scarce. Due to the high costs that are usually implied in a typical program, costs that can`t be afforded by the general population.

         – This is why we developed this solution that proved efficient for patient recovery and also proved to be cost efficient in comparison with the classical ambulatory rehabilitation.

How do you find useful your experience in fitness for your development as a cardiologist?

         – I think that fitness experience provided me a big plus in the medical field development process.

         – First of all, I had the chance, from my early entry into the medical field, to start my Phd thesis around the subjects that I love more, cardiovascular prevention and sports cardiology.

         – Also, the fitness knowledge helps me in better managing patient treatments, because I can share more info related to nutrition and sports and usually end up in building personalized diets and physical activity plans complementary to medication ( I usually recommend medication as the last solution).

Rozalina Lapadatu/ Founder A.P.A.A.

How did the Internet and social media change the life of patients with chronic conditions in Romania?

         – The Internet is an environment where information travels fast. Unfortunately, beside the useful information, we find low quality info that induces people into error.

         – The biggest challenge that I see in terms of the Internet is how people find their sources and how they validate this information.

For the autoimmune patients, how can digital technologies change their lives?

         – Autoimmune diseases are a little atypical. Patients have a personal response both in terms of disease manifestation but also in terms of treatment.

         – In cases where we know what started the disease, we are witnessing a real development of technology: when it comes to monitor blood sugar and administer insulin using insulin pump.

Any thoughts on ICEEhealth, a conference opened to all healthcare stakeholders? 

         – The digital radically changed our world, medicine including. Through technology development in health we’ll have better results, that’s clear.

         – In the future we’ll give a more personalized treatment and that’s huge in terms of medicine.

Find out more @ ICEEhealth. The complete Agenda is here.

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