Having a health insurance is compulsory for every citizen in Germany, which costs some hundred euros per month. With many resources for insurance providers, the country decided to ramp up the digitalisation of the healthcare industry that can be seen through two developments that have taken place recently:
- A draft legislation, known as the Digital Healthcare Act, which allows fees for e-health applications, that is expected to be reimbursed by public health insurance providers. This will improve the potential for revenue, and;
- A €100m venture capital fund, which has been set up by the private health insurance providers for entrepreneurial start-ups, that actively work on the digitalisation of the healthcare industry. For instance, Heal Capital is looking to assist start-ups and provide capital for the development of digital innovations that support the health sector.
The draft legislation is expected to introduce measures such as telematics infrastructure, telemedicine and its advertising, and digital patient file, that would ease that access to the healthcare services provided by Germany. Digital innovations would be widely encouraged to increase the funding on the German Healthcare System, while simultaneously ensure that the returns on these investments are reasonable. Negotiations for the same in the German Parliament have started and it is expected to have extensive health committee hearings before the implementation of such policies and laws. Hence, if approved, the legislation is likely to come into force by early 2020.