6th National IT Summit: E-Health as a future issue

In order to develop the potential of application-oriented information technology for the healthcare sector, targeted measures and strategies are required.

Germany is responsible for information and telecommunications technologies (ICT) in an international comparison with leading ICT nations only in the middle. That is the result of study by the market research institute TNS-Infratest, which was presented at the 6th IT summit of the German government, the annual strategy forum for politics, business and science on the digital future of the state in Munich. For the area of ​​health telematics, ranking is unlikely to be better at the moment, because the development of nationwide telematics infrastructure for the health system is making slow progress so far.

Since last year, e-health has at least been one of the central topics of the IT summit, and in this one In the year two of the four discussion forums dealt with the possibilities of health telematics from an economic policy perspective as well as from an application and supply policy perspective. This underlines the great importance that many experts now attach to the use of information and communication technologies in the healthcare sector to solve wide range of social challenges.

In addition, there has been “positive progress” of the health card, as Chancellor Angela Merkel stated in her speech. The day before, the Gematik shareholders' meeting announced the successful completion of the basic rollout - the nationwide distribution of the card terminals - and decided to gradually expand the card's online applications. The first step is to update the insured person's master data and the qualified electronic signature online. Merkel explained that this is good example of how the restrictions at the time of its introduction led to the card being distributed more quickly and further applications on the infrastructure platform could then be expanded.

User-oriented telemedical applications and Supply services will play an increasingly important role in the future.

" The possibilities of telemedicine will certainly keep us busy in the next few years. "Angela Merkel. Photo: dpd

In order to develop the potential of application-oriented information technology for the healthcare sector, targeted measures and strategies are required.

Germany is responsible for information and telecommunications technologies (ICT) in an international comparison with leading ICT nations only in the middle. That is the result of study by the market research institute TNS-Infratest, which was presented at the 6th IT summit of the German government, the annual strategy forum for politics, business and science on the digital future of the state in Munich. For the area of ​​health telematics, ranking is unlikely to be better at the moment, because the development of nationwide telematics infrastructure for the health system is making slow progress so far.

Since last year, e-health has at least been one of the central topics of the IT summit, and in this one In the year two of the four discussion forums dealt with the possibilities of health telematics from an economic policy perspective as well as from an application and supply policy perspective. This underlines the great importance that many experts now attach to the use of information and communication technologies in the healthcare sector to solve wide range of social challenges.

In addition, there has been “positive progress” of the health card, as Chancellor Angela Merkel stated in her speech. The day before, the Gematik shareholders' meeting announced the successful completion of the basic rollout - the nationwide distribution of the card terminals - and decided to gradually expand the card's online applications. The first step is to update the insured person's master data and the qualified electronic signature online. Merkel explained that this is good example of how the restrictions at the time of its introduction led to the card being distributed more quickly and further applications on the infrastructure platform could then be expanded.

User-oriented telemedical applications and Supply services will play an increasingly important role in the future.Federal Health Minister Daniel Bahr emphasized at the forum “Digital World: How do new technologies improve our lives?” Two trends in particular that will accompany us over the next few years: the aging population and the associated number of patients with complex clinical pictures on the one hand and the increasing shortage of skilled workers in the area, with which the health and care sector would have to struggle, on the other hand. IT could improve the cooperation and exchange between medical and non-medical professions and help to make medical services and expert knowledge available across the board.

"Not all doctors are convinced of the benefits of the telematics infrastructure yet," emphasized Dr. med. Franz-Joseph Bartmann, telematics officer of the German Medical Association. Because, according to its roots, medicine is analogous, oriented towards conversation and anamnesis. However, many highly complex diagnostic and treatment methods can only be implemented using digital methods and the digital transmission and availability of data are therefore increasingly important.

In this context, Bartmann referred to the work of the e-health initiative, which is intended to help promote the widespread use of telemedical applications and to coordinate the activities of all those involved. We are on the right track here. The development of an information and support system for telemedical applications, for example, which should be available by the next IT summit in Essen in 2012, is well advanced. Among other things, the system should also provide model contracts or data protection concepts in order to make it easier for projects to achieve standard supply. In addition, the initiative has drawn up consensus paper on the basis of which the integration of technical and medical standards in the IT systems is made possible and the interoperability of solutions is to be established. The initiative is supported by the Federal Ministry of Health, all self-government organizations as well as industry associations and research institutes.

Heike E. Krüger-Brand

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