The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund) is investing in a telemedicine platform developed by Digital Medical Services (a subsidiary of state corporations Rostelecom and Rostec) and online consultation provider Doctis.
While Digital Medical Services will provide expert and methodological support to meet public healthcare standards, Doctis will contribute its information system to the joint project. Doctis, which was backed in 2018 by the RDIF and its Japanese partners, also has an artificial intelligence laboratory working on diagnosis automation and treatment process control.
The telemedicine platform will involve practitioners from Mother and Child, a network of clinics and hospitals across 42 Russian cities. Remote consultations will be provided under health insurance programs as well as on-demand on a commercial basis.
100 million potential online patients
“The demand for medical services using advanced digital technologies is growing, especially given the restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic,” stated RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev. The market in which the platform will operate “which will soon exceed 100 million people,” he said.
A telemedicine law came into effect in Russia in January 2018, allowing Russian citizens to benefit from a range of e-healthcare services. This market has been estimated at some 1.5 billion rubles ($230 million) in 2019, according to data cited by Rostec deputy CEO Aleksander Nazarov.
Other large Russian tech players are already positioned on the telemedicine and online pharmacy markets. Sberbank is building a full-fledged e-health ecosystem called ‘SberZdorovye,’ based on a series of acquisitions (including DocDoc in 2017 and Eapteka in 2020).
Yandex, which invested in doctor-on-call service DOC+ in 2018, has its own e-health platform, ‘Yandex.Zdorovye.’ Mail.ru Group operates an online pharmacy, while MegaFon shut down its Megafon.Health project.