Health industry groups join forces to push e-health strategy for Germany
The eight trade associations involved in the industrial segment of the healthcare industry – BIO Deutschland, Bitkom, bvitg, BVMed, SPECTARIS, VDGH, vfa and ZVEI – have issued a joint position paper that calls for a “Dialogue platform on an e-health strategy for Germany”. The position paper highlights the need to strengthen collaboration and coordination across various policy areas and sectors in a process centrally moderated by policymakers, in order to create the conditions necessary for achieving broad and pervasive digitalisation under the umbrella of a national e-health strategy. These efforts aim to contribute to the successful implementation of the goals set out in the German government’s coalition agreement, such as the E-Health Action Plan 2020.
The cross-sectoral paper not only outlines the central challenges in achieving the digitalisation of the healthcare system from the perspective of the trade associations involved in the process, but also features a draft proposal for an e-health strategy.
Substantive topics touched upon include the development of a new data model that would facilitate the use of research and healthcare data through statutory exemptions created for big data applications as well as the improvement of the interoperability of medical IT systems through uniform data standards. In addition, the paper points out that transparent and reliable methods for ensuring availability and reimbursement are required in order to provide patients with regular and quick access to innovative digital healthcare services.
Already in January this year, the eight trade associations jointly called for the development of a national e-health strategy. The associations believe such a strategy would provide all stakeholders in the healthcare system with the guidance necessary to implement the digital transformation and allow them to define and achieve concrete goals.
The industrial segment of the healthcare industry employs about one million people in Germany, and with total revenues of 77 billion euros accounts for 22 percent of the gross value added of the entire healthcare industry.