Recent news and posts
The plans for the digital platform “Virtual Hospital” presented in Germany
At the beginning of August 2019, North Rhine-Westphalia presented the plans for “Virtual Hospital,” a digital platform that will bundle specialist expertise nationwide and make it more accessible.
The main goals of the project include forming of the future-proof digital health care structures such as the electronic exchange of treatment-relevant patient data or video consultations, which offer patients a need-based, locally-oriented, and quality-oriented treatment. The Minister outlined that up to two million euros per year are available for start-up financing for the first development phase of the virtual hospital.
To exploit the potential of digital opportunities for patients and healthcare providers, the “Virtual Hospital” will partner with relevant top medical centers. If specialized expertise is lacking in a hospital or in a doctor's office, the corresponding center can be contacted via a central directory. As a result, therapies, for example, of rare diseases, can be significantly improved. The same applies to the collection of medically relevant patient data that can be digitally sent to the attending physician and monitored immediately. In addition, in the next expansion phase, the hospital should bundle information and counseling for patients.
Therefore, the “Virtual Hospital” should become an integrated part of the standard supply and provide the following services at its core:
- Telemedicine applications such as teleconsulting, electronic visits or video chat sessions
- Search for specialists via a central directory of registered service providers
- Electronic exchange of treatment-relevant patient data: for the service providers involved in the treatment, an electronic case files must be available, through which they can jointly access all relevant patient data at the request of the patient
In further expansion stages, further offers could be supplemented via a freely accessible platform:
- Information and advice on telemedical possibilities for clinics, general practitioners and, in the future, other service providers
- Tools to optimize the care process, such as guidelines, electronic calendars, digital treatment paths, etc.
- Information platform for patients: around-the-clock telephone consultation and information on telemedical offers, assistance with the search for specialists with information on the range of services as well as the quality of individual service providers and the possibility to arrange an appointment directly online
Patients could also have personal access through which telemedicine services are offered:
- Message service for communication with the attending physician
- Video consultation
- Connection of telemedical applications (apps), if necessary, with the acquisition of data from watches or bracelets from the lifestyle and fitness sector or medical devices, for example for the measurement of blood sugar or blood pressure.
The founding committee is now responsible for the clarification of numerous legal, organizational and technical issues in the construction of the virtual hospital. The pilot phase is scheduled to start in spring 2020. The “Virtual Hospital” is aimed to become a part of the standard care system and is planned to be financed by the health insurance companies in the same way as the other services provided by the health system.
Subscribe to our newsletter delivered every second week not to miss important reimbursement information.