Business news from Ukraine

Odesa Filatov Institute develops use of AI for diagnosing eye diseases

The Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine will continue to develop technologies for using artificial intelligence (AI) to diagnose eye diseases, said Andriy Korol, head of the department for studying the biological action and application of lasers in ophthalmology at the clinic.

“We have now worked out diabetic retinopathy, and at the next stage we will develop in several directions. These may include specific eye diseases, retinal diseases, glaucoma, age-related degeneration, and other diseases that are manifestations of diabetes,” he said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.

Korol noted that another area of AI technology development that the institute plans to implement will be a system that will allow “to see the symptoms and signs of various diseases, such as hypertension, vascular changes, hereditary diseases, and a number of rare diseases.”

Korol specified that the institute will be able to “launch research on new nosologies every year and a half.”

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In 2023, Ukrainian clinics resumed work in view of wartime situation and opened new areas

In 2023, Ukrainian clinics resumed their work taking into account the situation and challenges of wartime and opened new areas, in particular, those that take into account the needs for treatment of war injuries, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

This was announced by the heads of leading private clinics in Ukraine during a roundtable discussion at Interfax-Ukraine on Tuesday.

“In 2023, we regained our position in the market share for our usual services – childbirth and pregnancy. There, we have already successfully transformed into a multidisciplinary medical center, added new services and were able to develop in several new areas, such as obesity treatment, mammary and phlebology surgery, and pediatrics,” said Vadym Zukin, COO and co-owner of Leleka Multidisciplinary Medical Center.

At the same time, he called the clinic’s confirmation of Joint Commission International (JCI) international accreditation for 2024 the biggest achievement in 2023.

“In 2024, we plan to develop the services we already have in new areas, as well as launch several services unique to Ukraine, which we will be able to announce at the end of the year,” Zukin said, adding, “We can talk about our plans only thanks to our Armed Forces, our defenders who are currently protecting us at the front.”

In turn, Oleksandr Linchevsky, Chief Medical Officer of the Dobrobut medical network (Kyiv), reminded of the opening of a new multidisciplinary hospital on Bazhana Avenue in Kyiv with an area of more than 9,000 square meters in 2023. Last year, the Dobrobut Ophthalmology Clinic also started its work in the new hospital.

“This opening was planned from the very beginning, before the full-scale invasion, we planned to open it a year earlier. But even during the war, we were able to open this new hospital with new facilities, new services, new operating rooms. And, of course, it looks incredible,” he said.

Linchevsky also said that in 2023 Dobrobut opened a rehabilitation department in the medical center on Simi Idzykovskoho Street in the capital and plans to open similar departments in its outpatient departments.

In addition, Dobrobut launched a new Center for Somnology and a Center for Onco-Dermatology, which is headed by Professor Maria Kukushkina. Last year, the chain also opened another dental clinic, bringing the total number of Dobrobut dentists in Kyiv to three.

“We like the result of 2023, although we might have wanted to have some of it in 2022,” he said.

Commenting on Dobrobut’s development plans for 2024, Mr. Linchevsky said: “If we say we have nothing to improve, we will be deceiving ourselves.”

“Every comment, every criticism from patients is already a self-sufficient development plan. We just decide to implement this plan immediately or a little later. The war is full of uncertainties, so we will focus on solving operational issues and laying the foundations to realize our hopes and dreams as soon as possible. We have a lot to do every day,” he stated.

For his part, Vitaliy Girin, co-owner of the ADONIS Medical Group, said that in 2023, the group’s clinics provided medical care to more than 250 thousand people. In addition, more than 300 military personnel received rehabilitation assistance.

Mr. Girin also said that last year ADONIS opened two outpatient rehabilitation centers and a rehabilitation center in the left-bank part of Kyiv.

“Despite the blackouts and all the problems we have faced, we see that the number of our patients is gradually increasing,” he said.

At the same time, Girin noted that the pre-war years were associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, so comparing the flow of patients with the pre-war period would not be correct. “The numbers are not very correct, but we have about 50% fewer patients,” he said.

“The most important achievement is that we were able to keep the team we have,” emphasized Girin.

Commenting on plans for 2024, he said that the most important task for ADONIS is to optimize business processes.

“We will implement new quality standards and introduce the latest technologies. We also want to focus on developing a culture of regular checkups, because health is in the hands of people themselves. They have already realized this, and no one is responsible for it but them,” he said.

For his part, Rostyslav Valikhnovskyi, director and founder of the Dr. Valikhnovskyi Clinic medical center, said that the clinic specializes in scheduled and urgent surgeries. In 2023, it expanded and developed a wide range of services for Ukrainian and foreign patients, and also actively provides the necessary surgical care to military personnel.

“We opened a clinic in Ivano-Frankivsk. It is a full-fledged building according to modern standards, even newer than the one in Kyiv. This clinic helps us a lot during the war to provide services to those patients who have left for western Ukraine but need highly specialized surgical services,” he said.

In addition, Valikhnovsky announced the construction of a second building in Kyiv with an area of about 2,500 square meters. At the same time, changes were made to this project to expand the area of bomb shelters and increase the bed capacity by 35 beds.

In addition, the Dr. Valikhnovsky Clinic has launched the Valikhnovsky Academy educational project, in which 150 surgeons from different countries with many years of practice experience and their own electronic patient record, which stores medical data in English, are mentored by mentors. This makes it possible to transfer this data to any medical center in the world if necessary.

Commenting on plans for 2024, Valikhnovsky emphasized his intention to build another clinic in Kyiv and western Ukraine.

“Currently, we are looking for a building in the capital of 5-6 thousand square meters, which we can reconstruct, or a land plot for construction. The second part is a clinic in the western region of the country,” he said.

For her part, Oleksandra Zborovska, a senior researcher at the Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine (Odesa), said that the clinic did not stop working in 2023. She called the main achievements the retention of the scientific and staff, the continuation of medical services and research.

According to Zborovska, the number of patients has fully returned to the pre-war level, but there are more serious patients in their structure. “The number of severe cases is increasing,” she stated.

Zborovska also said that the clinic has treated about 1,500 victims of war trauma, both military and civilians.

She also recalled that the institute had opened a new seven-story building with the most modern ophthalmic equipment.

In addition, the institute’s staff, who treat eye injuries, have spoken at major international conferences to present their unique experience.

“The breakthrough that we were able to realize based on our experience in creating new projects not only in practical but also in scientific terms is very important for us,” she said.

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Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy in Odesa has put into operation new medical building

In May of this year, the Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy commissioned a new medical building. In May this year, the Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy put into operation a new medical building built within the framework of the state investment project “Creation of a modern clinical base for surgical treatment of eye pathology”.

“Today, both patients and doctors have fully settled into the new building and have been able to appreciate its benefits,” the clinic told Interfax-Ukraine.

The new six-story building has 230 beds. In accordance with the new requirements for clinical facilities, each of the spacious wards has a bathroom, and all the requirements for ensuring the stay of patients with disabilities have been met. The building is equipped with the latest diagnostic, medical, laboratory, anesthesiology and operating equipment.

Currently, the new building houses four out of nine clinical departments, as well as two reception departments – separately for children and adults. In addition, the new building houses a complex of clinical laboratories, physiotherapy and ultrasound departments, and an operating room with 12 operating rooms.

“The commissioning of the new medical building will allow us to provide the most modern equipment and facilities for operating rooms, given the high surgical activity (more than 15,000 operations per year), and to achieve high standards of patient care in the clinical facility,” the institute emphasized.

Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy. Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy of NAMSU was founded in 1936. It is a leading scientific and medical institution and a national center for scientific research in the field of ophthalmology. The Institute has four national centers covering the most common ophthalmic pathologies: Ukrainian Ophthalmic Trauma Center, Center for Pediatric Ophthalmopathology, Center for Ophthalmic Oncology, and Eye Burn Center.

The Institute’s clinic is an ophthalmology center where all types of diagnostics and treatment of eye diseases are performed using innovative technologies.

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Doctors note an increase in the number of preventive examinations and referrals for advanced forms of diseases

Doctors note an increase in the number of preventive examinations and referrals related to advanced forms of diseases.

“We are now seeing an increase in the number of preventive examinations in various areas. At the same time, we have a situation with surgical interventions for more advanced forms of problems,” Vadym Zukin, chief operating officer of the Leleka multidisciplinary medical center, told Interfax-Ukraine.

He emphasized that “in 2022, many Ukrainians cared less about their health for obvious reasons.”

“We are already feeling the negative impact of the war on public health. This applies even to those who were not directly affected by the war,” said the director of the medical center.

Zukin also noted that the clinic has seen an increase in demand for pregnancy management services.

“We predict that compared to the first half of 2023, the number of births in Kyiv will gradually increase over the next six months and in early 2024, but these figures will be quite far from the pre-war levels,” he said.

At the same time, according to Zukin, Ukraine currently has a “very strange situation with vaccination,” in particular due to a shortage of vaccines.

“Everyone recognizes that it is useful, patients are willing to pay for it themselves, but there is a significant shortage of many vaccines in Ukraine,” he said.

Commenting on the prospects for regional development, particularly in the de-occupied regions, Zukin noted that he currently sees no opportunities for regional development.

“Opening regional branches of the medical center requires significant investments. Moreover, our institution is 99% funded by patients’ donations. At the same time, we need to understand that quality medicine is quite expensive. Therefore, despite our great desire to help the population of the de-occupied territories, it is too early to talk about opening branches there,” he said.

At the same time, Zukin believes that “under the current conditions, it is impossible to launch medical institutions as serious market players in those areas.”

Commenting on the effectiveness of private clinics’ participation in the national healthcare system, Zukin noted that “private medicine can be very useful for the general healthcare system due to its high management efficiency and flexibility.”

In turn, Vadym Shekman, CEO of Dobrobut Medical Network, said that one of the recent trends is that “medicine, which used to develop more actively in Kyiv, is now developing in Ukrainian regions, because there is a demand for quality medicine everywhere.”

“We are looking at this carefully not only from the perspective of potential acquisition of interesting institutions, but also from the perspective of possible partnership with regional clinics for which we can be a center of expertise. In fact, our goal and dream is to build a medical network of such a scale that high-quality medical care will be available to Ukrainians wherever they are,” he said.

Mr. Shekman noted that Dobrobut Medical Network “has always seen itself as a national player.”

“The plans to enter other cities with medical centers remain in force. The war has made adjustments to these plans, they have shifted slightly in time. We will realize these intentions after our victory,” he said.

At the same time, commenting on the possible prospects of opening clinics in the de-occupied regions, Shekman noted that “private medicine implies that a person has to pay for medical services out of his or her own pocket, and accordingly, the appropriate economic situation should be created in the de-occupied cities.”

“We would be happy to open in the liberated Ukrainian territories as soon as the opportunity arises,” he said.

In general, Shekman believes that “it is impossible to create a high-quality medical system without involving business.”

“Our state simply will not have enough money in the budget to rebuild and create the healthcare system we need. Healthcare in the world is becoming more expensive every day, and we must be ready to meet these challenges. Today, private healthcare is developing in Ukraine because there is a demand for quality healthcare and services. It cannot be said that many private healthcare facilities are now working with the NHSU, as the packages it offers do not include all costs and are lower than the cost of private clinics,” he said.

Mr. Shekman emphasized the importance of the fact that “the state has started to move towards private business.”

“To attract foreign investment, we need to create a system that is attractive to investors, so that they understand not only what to invest in, but also how they can get their money back. And this does not mean that healthcare will be exclusively paid for – in the context of competition, the cost of services usually decreases. And today, let’s be honest, there is no free medicine in Ukraine,” he said.

For his part, Serhiy Katsan, deputy director of the Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine (Odesa) for Scientific and Medical Work, noted that recent trends include the consequences of an increase in the number of patients admitted to the clinic “with advanced stages of eye diseases, with complications, which further leads to longer treatment periods, inability to overcome the disease with therapeutic methods, and the need for surgical treatment…”.

“First of all, this concerns patients with inflammatory diseases of the eye and ophthalmic oncology. The number of patients in the department of microsurgical treatment of children’s eye diseases has also increased,” he said.

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Odessa Filatov Institute will hold international conference from May 24 to 26

On May 24-26, 2023, the annual international scientific-practical conference “Filatov Readings – 2023” will be held, which is registered in the State Non-Commercial Enterprise “Center for Testing the Professional Competence of Specialists with Higher Education in the Fields of “Medicine” and “Pharmacy” under the Ministry of Health of Ukraine” and accredited by EACME. In addition to specialists from Ukrainian regions, leading ophthalmologists from Belgium, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Armenia, Greece, Egypt, Israel, Spain, China, Moldova, Netherlands, Germany, UAE, Poland, Portugal, Romania, USA, Turkey, Hungary, France, Switzerland, and Egypt will also participate.
The reports will discuss modern approaches and methods of diagnostics and treatment of eye diseases using the latest technologies. The scientific-practical conference with international participation “Filatov Readings-2023” is organized by “Ukrainian Society of Ophthalmologists” Public Organization and State Institution “Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy named after A.N. Shupik. The program of the scientific-practical conference is dedicated to the priority problems of ophthalmology: corneal and anterior eye diseases, post-traumatic eye pathology, including combat trauma, cataract surgery, neuro-ophthalmology, ophthalmo-oncology, vitreoretinal pathology, pediatric ophthalmopathology, refractive and accommodation disorders, glaucoma and reconstructive surgery. Thus the scientific-practical conference with international participation “Filatov Readings-2023” will bring together well-known scientists, researchers, practitioners and specialists of related fields in order to exchange experience, expand professional contacts and business relations, which will contribute to the main result of medical science – improvement of public health and prevention of eye diseases.
The speaker Gerrit Melles, MD, PhD (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) will open the conference with a lecture, which is dedicated to Academician V.P. Filatov “How Nature would have seen our cornea win”.
At the “Filatov Readings – 2023” conference, meetings of professional societies will be held: Ukrainian Society of Ophthalmologists, Ukrainian Glaucoma Society, Union of Ukrainian Ophthalmosurgeons, Ukrainian Council of Young Scientists, European Contact Lens Society of Ophthalmologists (ECLSO), Polish Ophthalmological Society “Ophthalmology in the 21st Century” (POS), German Ophthalmological Society DOG, Association of Ophthalmologists of Moldova.
During the plenary and breakout sessions, the Ukrainian and foreign specialists will present their innovative solutions, inventions, improvements in ophthalmology. All the participants will get certificates.
Location: 49/51 French Boulevard, Odessa, State Institution “Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy named after N.P. Filatov. Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy named after V.P. Filatov NAMS of Ukraine.

Phone numbers for inquiries (048) 746-52-08
State Institution “The Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine. V.P. Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine


Odessa Filatov Institute received as humanitarian aid drug for treatment of children

Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine (Odessa, Ukraine) received as humanitarian aid the drug melphalan for the treatment of retinoblastoma, an intraocular malignant tumor in children.

As the Interfax-Ukraine agency was informed at the clinic, the drug is used to treat this tumor with the Institute’s own combined polychemotherapy method which implies injecting the drug directly into the tumor in combination with general polychemotherapy. This method allows to save the eye affected by the tumor and even vision in 80% of cases, including those with retinoblastoma stage 3-4.

The drug used for intraocular injections is melphalan, which is produced by Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited.

“Unfortunately, recently it has been impossible to purchase melphalan for injections in Ukraine. The institute has taken active steps to obtain the drug,” the institute reported.

Obtaining the drug was made possible thanks to the efforts of Olga Nikitchenko, head of the patronage service of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ukrainian Ambassador to South Africa Lubov Abravitova, and Stavros Nikolau, senior executive director of Aspen Group, with support from the We Stand with Ukraine Foundation.

“The drug was delivered to the Filatov Institute. And literally the next day the first patient received treatment to save his vision and life,” the clinic reported.

Retinoblastoma is an intraocular highly malignant retinal tumor that develops mainly in children in the first two years of life and accounts for 89.3% to 98.2% of all intraocular neoplasms in children. Retinoblastoma incidence rate in the world is currently 1 case per 10-15 thousands newborns.

Due to asymptomatic course of the disease the majority of children (85-86%) come to the clinics with far advanced stage of retinoblastoma and even up to now many clinics have considered that the only way to save the life of the child was to remove the tumor together with the eye.

Retinoblastoma treatment in Ukraine is carried out at the Department of Pediatric Ophthalmopathology of the Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy named after Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy. V.P.Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy of NAMS of Ukraine”. In recent years, the clinic has treated about 300 children with retinoblastoma aged from three months to eight years. One child receives from three to 20 injections, depending on the stage of the disease.