RIGA - During the ongoing state of emergency, mobile operator Latvijas Mobilais Telefons (LMT) has provided about 1,000 devices and technological units, including equipment and technological solutions, for digitization of physicians, nurses and medics' work in the fight against the Covid-19 coronavirus, LMT President Juris Binde said at a press conference on Friday.
According to Binde, LMT devices and technological solutions have been provided to the largest hospitals in Latvia - Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital, Riga Eastern Clinical University Hospital and Children's Clinical University Hospital, as well as the Emergency Medical Service.
The expansion of the range of information and communication technologies will help hospitals provide quality healthcare services to the population, both in person and remotely, and facilitate healthcare institutions' work during the state of emergency. In turn, communication equipment provided to the Emergency Medical Service will be used for more efficient information exchange.
For efficient remote consultation, LMT has provided these healthcare institutions with both telecommunications services as well as various devices, including laptops, tablets, smartphones, IP telephones in wards, webcams for desktop computers, video surveillance and door automation solutions, MiFi equipment and routers.
Most of this equipment has already been delivered and installed at the hospitals, said Binde.
The Emergency Medical Service's Director Liene Cipule emphasized that the presence of technology was indispensable in the work of the service, where quick response and -coordinated action could save lives.
"Quick and effective communication is important because the situation is extremely changeable at the moment. There are so many things that need to be organized and done to get all the help patients need in a pandemic. These are complex processes and those in charge, regardless of where and they are, may need to take coordinated, important decisions any moment," said Cipule.
Even though the Emergency Medical Service has always been proud of its e-system, the Covid-19 pandemic has proved that further digitization is necessary, added Cipule.
Children Clinical University Hospital's chief physician Renate Snipe pointed out that in pediatrics, conversations with patients and their parents are of the greatest importance, however, technology, such as video calls, help physicians to also visually assess what they hear. "And there is one positive side effect I definitely want to mention - technology helps save time, because the hospital is large, emergency meetings and forums take place in different rooms, and physicians do not always have the opportunity to be present everywhere in person," she said.
Snipe also suggested that reducing the number of in-person visits by patients be limited in the future, which would save patients' time and money as well as reduce waiting times in hospitals and clinics.
Imants Paeglitis, chairman of the board at Riga Eastern Clinical University Hospital, said that the new equipment would make it possible to monitor the patients' condition in 24/7 mode, and hospitals would use less personal protective equipment.
Rinalds Mucins, chairman of the board at Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital, said that modern technological solutions make it possible to provide remote consultations for patients. Before the state of emergency, there were 20,000 outpatient consultations per month on the average, while now, thanks to new technological solutions, this number has decreased to 4,000 consultations.
"This is particularly important at a time when care needs to be taken to minimize the risk of infection for patients and healthcare professionals. It is very likely that the experience gained during the state of emergency could help us work more effectively in the future," said Mucins.