In the innovation city, as part of the “Open Innovations” forum, a presentation of the Center for Innovation and the Internet of Things in Healthcare was held.

Minister of Health of the Russian Federation Veronika Skvortsova, who participated in the opening ceremony, believes that the Center "will provide medical institutions with a convenient tool for confident navigation in the sometimes difficult world of innovative developments."

“The Ministry of Health welcomes the initiative of the Skolkovo Foundation to create a Center for Innovation and the Internet of Things in Healthcare, which is designed to demonstrate models of the integrated application of modern technological developments throughout the patient’s (journey)” the minister said, noting that modern digital and biomedical technology makes it possible to make the processes of screening, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of the patient as efficient as possible. However, this does require an integrated approach and careful planning of the implementation process of, such developments.

Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova talks at the opening of the Center with Edward Kryzhanovsky, the head of the Skolkovo company “Brain Bit”, which developed a non-invasive glucometer. Photo:

Skolkovo, in partnership with leading medical centres, is becoming the driver for the introduction of the innovative and most affordable technologies for millions of Russian citizens, says Fund Chairman. Arkady Dvorkovich also said that “We will learn every day, from each other and from the best domestic and foreign experts”. Such partnerships will produce effective results. We hope that the culture of introducing best practices and technologies will become the everyday norm in Russian medical institutions.”

The first deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Sergey Tsyb, who also attended the ceremony, called the opening of the center “a new stage in the inter-disciplinary cooperation of Russian, international companies and research organizations from various fields of industry and science.”

Chairman of the Board of the Skolkovo Foundation Arkady Dvorkovich: Skolkovo, in partnership with leading medical centres, is becoming the driving force for introducing medical innovations. Photo:

The Center was announced in June 2019 as part of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.  A Memorandum of intention was signed by the Skolkovo Foundation, AstraZeneca international biopharmaceutical company, QIAGEN companies, Radiotherapy Equipment Factory LLC (R-Pharm group of companies), Russian Post, Sberbank, Stentex and Nokia. At the “Open Innovations” forum, PJSC Vimpelcom (Beeline) and GE Healthcare also joined the agreement.

“The significanceof this story is in not only supporting developments as such, but in the speedy integration of modern technological solutions, into practical healthcare,” said Kirill Kai, Senior Vice President of the Skolkovo Innovation Fund. In an interview with, Kirill Kai and the head of the biomedical cluster, vice president of the Foundation Natalya Polushkina talked about what the Center will try to accomplish, who made the decision and why the choice of nosology (thebranch of medical science dealing with the classification of diseases) on which its work will be built, for whom this work is intended and who pays for the project.


Decision chains

“Medical technology is inherently highly fragmented, so in order to diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate specific diseases, it’s necessary to collect certain chains of technological solutions”, says Kirill Kai, who draws an analogy with beads. “‘Big beads’ are the technologies of large corporations acting as partners of the Center; ‘small beads’ are the decisions of Skolkovo and also other start-ups. And we are talking about fairly narrow nosologies”.

“The significance of this story is in not only supporting developments as such, but in the speedy integration of modern technological solutions into practical healthcare”

One of them is lung cancer, and everything that is required for the diagnosis (starting from the genetic level) and the latest lung cancer treatments are brought together at the Centre. The purpose of this assembly is to accelerate the advent of innovation in practical medicine.

“We did not come up with these chains, but the top specialists of the Ministry of Health,” K. Kai emphasizes.

Other nosologies that the new Center will deal with are acute coronary syndrome; metabolic syndrome - type 2 diabetes, bronchial asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, continues Natalya Polushkina. These diseases are the main causes of mortality in the Russian Federation and at the same time are the most expensive for the health care system to deal with.

The centre will concentrate its work on the four most expensive nosologies for healthcare. Photo:  

The Centre has a governing council, which includes representatives from the Ministry of Health, top freelance experts, the leaders of opinion of the medical community, industrial partners and, in fact, our very own Skolkovo Foundation. “In this way, we will be able to collect comprehensive integration solutions tailored to specific nosologies, approved by top medical specialists, and this design brings technology transfer and world best practices.”

Perhaps the main question is for whom this design is primarily intended. Kirill Kai believes that these are, first of all, people associated with the practical side of health care: doctors, senior physicians, and clinical organizations. Secondly, developers who, getting acquainted with the technological chains assembled at the Center, will be able to evaluate how promising their development is.

The third, but not least targeted group are regional leaders, and this is due to the peculiarities of the Russian administrative system, in which the regions bear the main responsibility for health care. “We expect that the regional administrative apparatus will come to this demonstration centre and make decisions based on the presented developments about which chains and elements can be implemented in the regions,” emphasizes Skolkovo’s Senior Vice President.

“The Ministry of Health welcomes the initiative of the Skolkovo Foundation to create a Center for Innovation and the Internet of Things in Healthcare, which is designed to demonstrate models of the integrated use of modern technological developments along the entire “journey ”of the patient”. spoke with one of these regional leaders at the “Open Innovations” forum. Anatoly Semenov, Minister of Innovation, Digital Development and Info-communication Technologies of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), who signed the roadmap for interaction with the Skolkovo Foundation on the eve of the meeting, praised the practical benefits of the Centre and said that, “in addition to its normal work, Yakutia intends to work with biomed the foundation's cluster to create an accelerator for integrating advanced medical technologies into the republic’s healthcare system. By the end of the year, a competition will be announced to search for specific medical solutions relevant to the specific conditions of Yakutia”, Anatoly Semenov said.

Returning to the activities of the Center for Innovation and the Internet of Things in Healthcare, Kirill Kai emphasizes that the project was implemented at the expense of partners who consider it important to form and bring the transfer of technology to Russian healthcare in this way. “We do not spend public money on this,” says the Skolkovo Senior Vice President.

“A unique format of communication with the medical community”

One of the project partners included in the governing council is the Moscow International Medical Cluster located on the territory of the innovation city and its first clinic, Hadassah Medical Moscow. The clinic has a simulation center created on the basis of the Skolkovo resident Eidos, and this simulation center is demonstrated in one of the technological chains.

According to Natalia Polushkina, for the industry, primarily the pharmaceutical industry, this is an absolutely unique format for communicating with the medical community: “In this case, it’s not the products of one particular company that are promoted, but a comprehensive solution that eliminates the focus on only one problem or one preparation, solution, device, etc. Here the medical community is given an integrated approach. And this is very important. We hope that all these ideas will scale at a regional level. Thus, we help inter alia, in solving the problems facing the government of the Republic of Belarus in the framework of national projects. In fact, this is an instrument for approximating the best trends, best practices, in real practical medicine,” says the head of the Skolkovo biomedical cluster.

Kirill Kai (far left) gives explanations to Minister Veronika Skvortsova at the opening of the Centre. Photo:


The industry has a huge interest in this project, says the vice president of the Fund, according to which new interesting ideas come from corporations in areas which the Center will develop, and negotiations are already underway with large companies on this subject. “The Skolkovo Foundation, being a neutral platform that does not participate in the commercial market, can bring together completely different participants, including competitors. And this is truly a unique story,” said Ms. Polushkina.

In practical terms, this means that the Center, having received proposals from the top freelance specialists of the Ministry of Health and having discussed them with the industry, will increase the number of nosologies by which new technological chains will be assembled.

In world practice, structures similar to Skolkovo Center for Innovation and the Internet of things in health care, already exist and are well established, particularly in China, remarked, Irina Panarina, CEO of the company "AstraZeneca", Russia and Eurasia, speaking at the opening ceremony. We consider the Center as "a platform, bringing together representatives of industry, digital technology, science and medicine into the framework of a common goal to develop effective solutions to improve the quality of life and health of patients, and the treatment of diseases, making the most significant contribution to the morbidity structure of Russia."

Another project partner, Alexei Repik, the chairman of the board of directors of the R-Pharm group of companies, considers the obvious request for comprehensive solutions in areas such as disease prevention and maintaining patient health. “R-Pharm” seeks to provide the healthcare system with the necessary tools, including through the convergence of advanced healthcare methods and their localization,” he said. “I am confident that this joint partnership project will play an important role in the implementation of this approach”.