Healthcare Technology Featured Article

July 06, 2015

Pilot Telehealth Program Launched in Germany

Germany has a reputation as a center of tech, and Dresden’s new telehealth initiative, “CCS Telehealth Ostsachsen,” is no exception.

With a specially-equipped tablet, doctors will be able to consult with people recovering from strokes or people with cardiac problems without the having to be physically present. It’s a joint venture between the European Fund for Regional Development and the Free State of Saxony

“CCS Telehealth Ostsachsen is a solution for everyone. It is not limited to individual medical fields or regions, but can be expanded to include virtually all areas of healthcare", Dr. Michael Albrecht, medical director of Dresden University Clinic, said. "It is designed to ensure high-quality, fast and nearby medical care for the population, and to prevent imbalances between the care available at urban centres and in rural areas.”

The pilot program covers East Saxony and is targeted toward stroke and cardiac patients. While remote consultation is already a reality, what makes the new program unique is that patients can send tissue samples to doctors over a secure network.

The program is training “telenurses” and doctors to be able to consult with patients and check up on them remotely.

Privacy is just as important in Germany as it is in the U.S. with laws such as HIPAA guarding patient information closely. The patient information can be encrypted, adding a level of security beyond just regulations.

If the pilot program goes well, there are plans to expand the program to the rest of Europe.

"I am certain that we will be able to expand the system quite soon. Partners can integrate their solutions as easily as with a multipoint connector. Whoever takes part will be saving time and money while reaching more medical partners and patients. Many companies have already contacted us and want to get involved,” Axel Wehmeier, who handles the health IT business for German carrier Telekom, said.

The system could also serve as a model for telehealth worldwide, giving patients in rural areas access to good healthcare.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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