Innovative medical technologies became more accessible – Dmytro Shymkiv

Ukrainians are free to join start-up programmes and participate in research to experience new medical possibilities.

This opinion was expressed by Dmytro Shymkiv, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Darnitsa Group during the HealthTech Talk panel discussion organised by the European Business Association with the support of Darnitsa, Pharmaceutical Company, and Philips.

Rapid development of Health Tech across technology, medicine and pharmaceutics has expanded the availability of prevention and treatment of many diseases. Nowadays patients can choose among numerous tools to monitor health biomarkers, and disease detection on an early stage is gradually forming around them.

“The next trend is to use artificial intelligence and machine learning, which makes it possible to process the accumulated knowledge together with biodata and give recommendations. This refers to cardiology, muscle condition, and blood pressure parameters and that sort of thing,” the specialist says with confidence.

According to Shymkiv, the twenty-four-hour tracking of the health state of millions of people will lead to the accumulation of a huge database, which will be analysed by the artificial intelligence (AI). Its use opens up new opportunities, in particular, Darnitsa Pharmaceutical Company is studying the AI implementation to improve the business operations on the whole, research behaviour and patient adherence to treatment.

“We are considering to use the artificial intelligence in ‘in silico’ research. So far, there are no relevant developed platforms in Ukraine, so we are exploring solutions that are available in the USA. The second direction is to look for new ways to use molecules known now,” the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Darnitsa Group emphasized.

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated telemedicine development. There are start-ups in Ukraine investing in this field. Globally, it has grown by 35%-40% under the influence of the coronavirus crisis. Face-to-face consultation with a doctor will become a thing of the past, and an initial appointment “via computer” will become a real story indeed. “This will solve another problem – the shortage of doctors around the world,” Dmytro Shymkiv predicts.

But a correct diagnosis is only half the battle. Often patients need prolonged therapy or surgery. Dmytro Shymkiv believes that the future belongs to medical robots in this area.

Among other important trends, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Darnitsa Group named the so-called personalized drugs that are systems to determine individual dosages and dynamics of drug treatment, already being tested in Ukraine according to Dmytro Shymkiv. Besides, there is the digiceuticals trend (digital therapeutics – Ed.), where, in addition to drugs and procedures, patients are encouraged to prescribe individual mobile applications. The functionality of such apps can be aimed at tracking and correcting psychological conditions, in particular.

“One area is PTSD, that is post-traumatic stress disorder. Such applications are already being used today to treat neurosis, for example,” Shymkiv informed. “There are applications that monitor your sleep, or ones that use a specially designed game to have a calming effect on your brain. All the top international pharmaceutical companies have divisions dealing with digiceuticals. We are also looking into this, exploring start-ups and partnership opportunities. We see ourselves as a company which, in a while, will offer not only pills and infusions, but also apps that enable treatment”.

“If we talk about technology parks and incubators, the government should allow businesses to finance them, understanding that this is how we finance science. Today we are offered to make such investments only out of profits. At the same time, businesses finance culture, science and corporate and social responsibility initiatives out of profits,” Mr. Shymkiv said adding that in many developed countries private companies have an opportunity to reduce the tax burden by receiving a tax credit as a result of financing science. However, in Ukraine there is no such incentive for companies practically.