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Novgorod region to implement Skolkovo medical innovations

Cutting-edge medical systems developed by Skolkovo resident startups will be introduced in the Novgorod region under a cooperation agreement signed on Thursday.

The signing followed a meeting between representatives of the regional Health Ministry and Skolkovo Foundation biomed startups. The two sides agreed to launch pilot projects of five Skolkovo startup medical systems, including one developed by Intellogic (Botkin.AI) that uses artificial intelligence for diagnostics, which will be introduced at a Novgorod cancer clinic.

Skolkovo’s Igor Drozdov (left) and Novgorod region governor Andrei Nikitin. Photo: Timur Sabirov / Skoltech

The other companies whose developments will be tested at various Novgorod hospitals and clinics are Digital Medicine, which also works on cancer diagnosis; CoBrain Analytics, a research project spearheaded by Skoltech researchers that compiles neurological clinical data for use in R&D and uses it to diagnose illness; Biochip, which is also devoted to cancer diagnosis; and Third Opinion, a virtual platform for analysing medical images using neural networks.

“The Novgorod region is interesting for pilot projects like this for several reasons,” said Andrei Nikitin, the regional governor, who signed the agreement on behalf of the region.

“It’s not a large region, so the effect of introducing these inventions becomes clear quite quickly. The region is located on the main route from Moscow to Petersburg; we are seeing investors come to us and how the economic situation is turning around,” he said.

Nikitin conceded that the region also has its problems, such as providing the necessary level of healthcare in remote and sparsely populated areas of the region. In this regard, tech solutions connected with early diagnosis and remote monitoring have clear potential, he said. This area is now covered by the agreement with Skolkovo.

“This work will be given maximum support from the regional government,” said Nikitin, who saw presentations of several Skolkovo projects during his visit to the giant Skolkovo Technopark.

Skolkovo Foundation chairman of the board Igor Drozdov, who signed the agreement on behalf of Skolkovo, said that opportunities for cooperation between the Novogorod region and the foundation did not end with medical projects.

“I’m certain that Skolkovo projects will also be in demand in other areas that are important for the region’s development,” he said at Thursday’s signing, at which issues relating to obtaining patents and protecting intellectual property were also mentioned.

“These include education, utilities and housing services and agriculture. We should not limit ourselves to the developments presented here today. Let’s be insistent and active, creative and open-minded in formulating new ideas. I’m sure that we have areas of common interest that we don’t even suspect right now,” said Drozdov.

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