RetWAVE is a project aimed at creating comprehensive software and hardware solution to diagnose retinopathy of prematurity newborns. The project implies: creation of retinal cameras with automatic express diagnostics and tools for building networks of telemedicine consultations that support the consultation and diagnostic process.
(1) The technology for building a multi-level network of telemedicine consultations with the support of a formalized consultation and diagnostic process.
(2) The technology for automatic recognition of the basic forms and signs of retinopathy with the possibility of diagnosing.
(3) Creating an affordable pediatric retinal camera RetVIEW.
The telemedicine network should be built on the existing territorial-subject organization of medical diagnostic facilities. Namely:
District and city medical and preventive institutions dealing with the problems of premature newborns;
Regional competence centers (pediatric clinical hospitals, specialized dispensaries and centers) providing consultations on ordinary cases;
Federal centers (clinics of federal importance, experts of global levels) providing consultations on complex cases.
Specialized telemedicine stations at the doctor's workstation will allow the transfer of diagnostic images and video stream to the remote consultation center to the relevant expert in real time.
The formalized consultation request from the lower level of the network gets into the dispatch center where it is processed in accordance with the developed and approved regulations (supported by a formal process) for the interaction between the participants in the telemedicine network and is sent to a top-level specialist (taking into account competence, workload, work schedule, etc. of the professionals providing telemedicine services). An expert of any level providing consulting services can monitor the examination process in real time and, if necessary, correct the actions of the examiner.
Introduction of this telemedical technology allows not only organizing the consultative and diagnostic process on-site using the nursing staff, shifting the task of diagnosing the disease to highly qualified experts, but also storing the archives of the consultations (which may be useful for further training of the specialists) analyzing the specialists workload, predicting the need for medical care in cases of retinopathy of prematurity, forming a representative selection to train automatic recognition mechanisms.
This telemedicine technology allows excluding the need to transport patients for consultations, shortening the results waiting time from several days, and sometimes even weeks, to several hours, consulting non-transportable children.
Practice (including global) has shown that thanks to this technology, with a timely diagnosis and timely surgical care, it is possible to save central eyesight in 80-93% of the diseased children and, accordingly, provide them with not only survival but also an acceptable quality of life, which allows solving both the medical and social aspects of the problem.
Thus, after equipping the clinics in charge of the premature newborns care with diagnostic equipment (RetVIEW) and telemedicine stations RetWAVE (in case of the RetVIEW complex, there is no need to install a telemedicine station RetWAVE - functionality of the station is integrated into the diagnostic mono unit), and also providing clinics and expert center with the communication channels for the transfer of diagnostic information, the following results will be achieved:
The number of children with disabilities due to retinopathy of prematurity will decrease dramatically in the country / in the world;
The costs of providing highly qualified medical care will decrease (both through the use of the nursing staff labor, and due to the lack of need to transport the patient);
Diagnostic results waiting time will decrease;
It will be possible to organize the exchange of experience between medical experts without interrupting their work, regardless of their territorial location;
An opportunity for an integrated approach to the record and analysis of telemedicine services provided, as well as for forecasting the need for such services by the population will be ensured.
Intelligent help in diagnosing
As part of the diagnostic station RetVIEW, a system recognizing the basic forms and signs of retinopathy will be delivered. This step is extremely important for rendering assistance in diagnostics, first of all, in case of absence of communication and / or autonomously operating complex. The doctor-diagnostician will have the opportunity to get an indirect "consultation" based on a specially prepared expert set of data from previous studies. Intelligent assistant will allow determining the type of pathology and the stage of the pathological process, and also will prepare the text of the draft conclusion.
Secondly, the work of the intelligent assistant will significantly reduce the amount of workload of both diagnostician and expert in terms of preparing conclusions (within the network of telemedicine consultations), since the initial diagnosis will be delivered automatically and a draft conclusion will be prepared.
Pediatric complex RetVIEW
This device will combine high optical and technical characteristics, technology for automatic pathology recognition in real time mode and telemedicine station.
Project innovativeness consists in the following
(1) The use of the methods of machine learning in the diagnosis of retinopathy of prematurity.
(2) A unique technology for building a network of telemedicine consultations with the support of a formalized service delivery process.
(3) Creation of a unique complex of solutions combining: diagnostic hardware, automatic diagnosis methods and the possibility of building interoperable networks of telemedicine consultations.