Digital healthcare services were one of the main topics at Germany’s Digital Summit, the successor to the National IT Summit. Digital developments are bringing enormous innovations to the healthcare sector, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy reports.
One of the conference expert groups focused on smart wearables. There is a growing market for Internet-enabled sensors integrated into clothing, explained Prof. Dr. Gesche Joost from the Berlin University of the Arts. The challenge for Germany and Europe is the need for distinct companies to build smart services. Such firms would need to work with global IT firms, research institutes, textile producers, combining micro electronics and software engineering. “Germany has exciting examples, but it often lacks the appetite for innovation and risk taking”, she said.
According to Federal Minister of Health, Hermann Gröhe, to improve services and increase efficiency in Germany’s healthcare, the main challenge is getting connected to the Internet (vernetzung). Concrete examples for the elderly, the chronically ill, and for small regional hospitals show that digitalisation can offer solutions. Referring to the E-Health Act, the act on secure digital communication and applications in healthcare, the minister said the law would help get doctors, pharmacies and hospitals connected.
The Digital Summit, in the city of Ludwigshafen on 12 and 13 June, brought together some 1,100 high-level representatives of government, commerce, trade unions, academia and society, the ministry writes.