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Germany to develop digital health strategy

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The Digital Strategy aims to outline a comprehensive framework for how Germany’s digital policy will develop in the coming years. The government says Germany needs a “comprehensive digital awakening” to be among the top 10 in her European Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) by 2025. Germany is currently 13th out of her 27th.

Digital strategies address a variety of issues, including the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing capabilities. Plans to make better use of technology and data in healthcare are also notable. One aim in this regard is to develop a different strategy for advancing the digitization of healthcare and care.

The government has outlined its willingness to listen to the suggestions and ideas of stakeholders. The participation process is followed by an intensive assessment of contributions, from which a strategy is set. This strategy he plans to present in the spring of 2023.

The process of formulating the strategy began at an event in Berlin earlier this month. An online survey has been launched to gather stakeholder input, and expert forums are also planned over the next few weeks.

Dr. Julia Traumann and Marc L. Holtorf of the Pinsent Masons in Munich said the new Digital Health Strategy builds on the content of a broader Digital Strategy (52 pages / 522 KB PDF) submitted to the German parliament a few days ago. said it was expected to German federal government and existing provisions of the Digital Healthcare Act.

“Germany is the world’s third largest market for medical technology after the United States and Japan, but as the government itself admits, there are downsides to the decentralized health system operating in Germany, which is ‘somewhat complex. and slow.” In bringing new care models and innovations to the market,” he said Holtorf.

“Current challenges related to the digitization of health and care include implementing a transition to e-prescribing, data protection challenges regarding the use of health data, and a shortage of skilled workers in the healthcare sector as well as in the healthcare sector. It’s the context of digital skills,” Trauman said.

One focus of the already announced digital strategy is the widespread implementation of electronic patient records.

The idea behind electronic patient records is to give healthcare professionals access to up-to-date information about their patients at the point of care. Last year, a voluntary scheme was established to encourage enrollment for holders of German statutory health insurance. The intention of the German federal government is to move to a system in which electronic patient records are automatically created for the 73 million people with national health insurance, unless they actively “opt out” of the plan. The government’s goal is to reach 80% penetration by 2025.

Other objectives of the digital strategy include moving to a system where electronic prescriptions for medicines are the default and paper prescriptions serve only as a fallback option.

Increasing the availability of healthcare data for research purposes and improving healthcare is a further goal. Among other things, the government would like to encourage holders of statutory health insurance to voluntarily provide researchers with access to electronic patient records for the purpose of facilitating medical research.

The move to make health data more accessible to researchers meets the objectives of new EU bills published earlier this year. Regulations have been drafted by the European Commission to provide a new European Health Data Space (EHDS). This is intended to allow health data to be stored in his EHDS and accessed for the purpose of research and development of new medical products.