Siemens presents Germany's first scenario for integrated healthcare based on gematik specification

SIEMENSAt Medica 2006 Siemens is exhibiting the first functional scenario for integrated healthcare in Germany, including cards, connector, and mandatory and value-added services. Medica visitors can discover how integrated healthcare could work in the future. For this scenario, Siemens already satisfies the stringent data protection and security requirements of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) regarding the confidential processing and transfer of patient data. The authorization specifications defined by gematik (the German Association for Telematics Applications for the Health Card) have also been met. As a result, Siemens was the first manufacturer to submit the components for the required tests to gematik.

Use of the Electronic Health Card demands a highly secure information and communications infrastructure - the telematics infrastructure. It provides the technology to ensure that patient data is transported reliably, stored and subsequently made available where required. Its objective is to render processes in the healthcare sector more efficient - improving patient care while simultaneously reducing costs.

The launch of the Electronic Health Card in Germany is required by the country's Statutory Health Insurance Modernization Act (SGB V 291). The cards used include the Patient Data Card for insured persons (the electronic health card itself), the Health Professional Card for persons employed in the medical professions, and the Institutional Card for authentication vis-a-vis the telematics infrastructure and encrypted data transfer. The Siemens offering comprises the services specified to date by the German government. The definition of the telematics infrastructure is drawn up by gematik and finalized in conjunction with the German Federal Ministry of Health.

The connector acts as the certified link between the local IT infrastructure of physicians and pharmacists and the central telematics infrastructure of the German healthcare delivery system. It allows computer networks in medical practices and pharmacies to be connected to the national telematics infrastructure in safe and reliable fashion. The cost-effective and secure solution offered by Siemens takes the form of a low-maintenance device that can be put into operation with ease. It consists of a single hardware box that can also be used to operate the existing multifunctional card terminal (MKTplus). Not only does it provide a trusted online connection, but it also offers a secure runtime environment for the applications prescribed by the government.

The mandatory services involved are the health insurance data service (VSDD) and the medication data service (VODD), which incorporates elements such as the electronic prescription. Use of the emergency data service (NFDD) by patients is on a voluntary basis. Additional applications such as the electronic patient record have the potential to further facilitate the work of persons employed in the healthcare sector, for instance by providing important information on an illness of the patient. Administrative effort and expense can thus be minimized and the quality of medical care improved, while simultaneously reducing costs.

Siemens Medical Solutions is one of the largest suppliers to the healthcare industry in the world. The company is known for bringing together innovative medical technologies, healthcare information systems, management consulting, and support services, to help customers achieve tangible, sustainable, clinical and financial outcomes. From imaging systems for diagnosis, to therapy equipment for treatment, to molecular medicine to hearing instruments and beyond, Siemens innovations contribute to the health and well-being of people across the globe, while improving operational efficiencies and optimizing workflow in hospitals, clinics, home health agencies, and doctors' offices. Employing approximately 36,000 people worldwide and operating in more than 130 countries, Siemens Medical Solutions reported sales of 8.23 billion EUR, orders of 9.33 billion EUR and group profit of 1,06 billion EUR for fiscal 2006 (preliminary figures). Further information can be found under: http://www.siemens.com/medical

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