One of the most challenging business opportunities in Germany
The German healthcare reform is one of the most challenging projects of the German government. A cornerstone of this project is the design and implementation of a telematics infrastructure including specialised software applications in the healthcare sector. The € 1.4 billion project requires a whole range of new software applications as well consulting and training services to start with the first test implementations in the year 2006.
80.000.000 patients - 77.000 physicians - 2.000 hospitals
By the year 2007 the German eHealth system intends to link 80 million patients, 270.000 physicians, 77.000 dentists, 22.000 independent pharmacies, 2.000 hospitals and 300 health insurance funds with the latest in eHealth technology. Apart from the initial investment costs of € 1.4 billion the annual operating costs are expected to be around € 150 million making it the largest single IT project in Germany.
Business opportunities in a growing market
While the standards are currently set on a national level, the practical implementation is a matter of numerous players from the local, regional to the national level. This is where the business opportunities exist. In order to successfully implement the required eHealth infrastructure and applications by the year 2008 a whole range of products and services are required. This includes:
- Products and services to integrate different systems and infrastructures,
- Products to support the eHealth infrastructure from a technical point of view (including IT security, reliable networks etc.),
- Training and support systems (including eLearning) to enhance the skills of the personnel,
- Products at the interface of various health care areas, such as homecare products, lab products et cetera,
- Consulting services in the area of eHealth.
Anyhow the German health care sector is based on reliable and long-standing relations between suppliers and customers making it a challenge to approach this market. This is where the City of Lübeck with its Centre of Excellence in eHealth comes into the game.
The top of Germany is in the centre of the development
The North-German province of Schleswig-Holstein is one of the most advanced regions in Germany using eHealth applications including the electronic patient card. It is therefore expected that the first German test region for the development and test will be here - with the Hanseatic City of Lübeck as a major driver.
In 2004 renowed companies such as Drägerwerk AG (majority shareholder of Dräger Medical) and Deutsche Telekom AG as well as institutions such as the Lübeck University of Applied Sciences joined forces to set up the medRegio Centre of Excellence in eHealth. The range of services offered to the health care community extends from electronic doctor's certificates via electronic patient records and OP bookings, through to accounting procedures with the health insurance companies. For participating companies medRegio offers a platform to introduce new products and services to the German eHealth sector. So taking the opportunities into account - Why not join?