Poland’s healthcare system is going through a revolution

Advances in technology including research from the Foundation of Research and Science’s BIONIC team (pictured) is making healthcare better in Poland. Kalbar/TFN

Since their introduction in January this year, electronic-prescriptions have gone through the roof, with over 1 million being issued every week.

According to data from the Healthcare Information Systems Centre, over 220,000 e-prescriptions are already issued daily, with August seeing an increase of 46 percent compared to July.

Marcin Czech, CEO of the Polish Pharmacoeconomic Society, told Newseria: “In the area of e-health and everything that is related to digital health solutions, we are currently in a full acceleration phase.

“E-prescription, e-referral, e-dismissal, patient's account are all elements of digitization that quickly enter the health care system and thanks to this we chase countries that we consider to be archetype model such as Estonia.

“Video consultations or telemedicine solutions are already beginning to be implemented in the Polish health care system and there is space for their development.

“Technically, there is no barrier, so we will have more and more such solutions available to patients.”

Dr. Anna Wójcicka, Co-Founder and CEO at Warsaw Genomics, told TFN that through using genetics treatment can be tailor-made for the patient. Anna Wójcicka

But this is just one aspect of the revolution taking place in Poland’s healthcare system.

Another is the introduction of electronic medical records.

Already begun in the Opole region, in 2021 they will be introduced across the country.

The ‘Online Patient Account’ not only allows patients to see their medical records, including the history of visits to medical professionals under the NFZ (Poland’s National Healthcare) since 2008 but also those of their children.

Electronic prescriptions were introduced on the 1st January this year and from the 1st January 2020 they will become obligatory.  freestocks.org on Unsplash

Jan Butkiewicz, Director in the Health Care Division at Asseco Poland which provided the software, said at the launch: “The computerization of the health service is conducted primarily with patients in mind and I hope that they will soon feel the positive effects of building e-health in the Opole region.

“An example of an innovative solution that will be implemented is even a virtual assistant, thanks to which the patient will be able to quickly find the right unit and a doctor who will take care of his illness.”

Being able to access historical familial medical records will also allow doctors to better asses patients vulnerability to specific diseases.

Marcin Czech, CEO of the Polish Pharmacoeconomic Society, says that Poland is going through “a full acceleration phase” when it comes to e-health. Jacek Turczyk/PAP

Another emerging technological tool is genomic testing which assesses the likelihood that a patient will become ill with a specific disease such as cancer or diabetes.

Dr. Anna Wójcicka, Co-Founder and CEO at Warsaw Genomics, told TFN: “The education about genetic testing is close to zero but when we explain the benefits of what the tests do then people are more open.

“I can’t compare this with other countries but in Poland, once the patients are educated they are more willing.

“Once we have tested you and identified any potential problems then the treatment becomes tailored to you which has benefits for the patient and the health system.”

The world’s largest virtual hospital is set to be built in Bydgoszcz by InventionMed, a medical technology firm that uses virtual and augmented technology simulators to aid the training of medical professionals.Inventionmed

There are an increasing number of meditech (medical technology) firms coming out of Poland and modern innovations being made by Polish researchers, too.

The largest virtual reality-based medical treatment facility will be in Bydgoszcz created by InventionMed, the Foundation of Research and Science’s BIONIC team are currently researching how to 3D print a pancreas, and Polish start-up Prosomo is offering therapeutic treatment for cancer patients through virtual reality.

To read more about the VR medical treatment facility in Bydgoszcz click here

For more about the 3D pancreas click here.