The development and constant improvement of medicine, infrastructure of healthcare delivery is a topical matter, which healthcare practitioners as well as specialists of other spheres of human activities are facing these days. Currently, healthcare industry is also involved in intense globalization of economy, politics, science, technology, social and cultural life, globalization and integration. Specially, this include the problems of integration, synthesis, mutual coordination and complement of conventional (Western) and unconventional (alternative, complementary) medicine that was manifested in the formation of the contemporary development of medicine as an integral (integrative) medicine.
Scientific evidence-based integrative medicine is typical for conventional medicine; but unlike the conventional, the integrative medicine synthesizes experience and engages all the best achievements of ancient (traditional Chinese medicine, ancient Indian Ayurveda medicine, Tibetan medicine and other traditional medicine) medicine and contemporary Western one. Integrative medicine presents holistical comprehensive view of an individual and human diseases including their physical, psychological, environmental, economic and social aspects for creation of latest effective and safe methods of diagnosis, treatment, prevention and human health protection. The integrative medicine is not a new field of medicine; it is its new paradigm that facilitates the new quality of healthcare services for population.
Integrative medicine has been emerging all over the world since the 90s of the twentieth century. Integrative medicine was developing the most in the US, China, Japan, Korea and many European countries and Brazil. Above all, in the US the Academic Consortium of Integrative Medicine and Healthcare, the National Centre of Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) were created, and in 2001 the Institute of Integrative Medicine was opened at Harvard. In China the integrative medicine is an integral part of public healthcare successfully combining achievements of Western medicine and traditional Chinese one.
Traditional Chinese medicine experienced a number of comprehensive clinical researches, theoretical scientific studies and relevant information analysis means were developed (TCM ontologies, TCM expert systems, TCM grid systems), there is no such research and significant information analytical means for Chinese image medicine. Due to these facts the Program of research in Chinese image medicine was developed in 2017-2023. This program aims to conduct comprehensive research in Chinese image medicine for creation of theoretical and experimental scientific backgrounds of CIM to investigate fundamental causes and courses of human diseases and effective methods of their prevention and treatment.