Any positive change which further aligns medicine, healthcare, and technology is always a coo for both patients and professionals alike.
In December 2019, Germany passed a revolutionary law allowing doctors to prescribe digital health apps as part and parcel of a patient’s treatment process.
The Digitalization and Innovation Act (Digital Supply Act or Digital Healthcare Act) means that patients can receive health apps via prescription and be reimbursed by their insurance scheme if certain conditions are met. It also means that the Act makes it easier for patients to arrange virtual doctor’s appointments and securely access their personal data online.
With health insurance in Germany being compulsory, insured patients are now permitted the legal right to receive reimbursement via their health insurance system for digital healthcare Apps once the following requirements are met:
• The prescribed App must be included within the Register of Digital Healthcare Apps, curated by the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM).
• The App must have been prescribed by a doctor or psychotherapist and used solely with the permission of statutory health insurance.
The Digitalization and Innovation Act was initially passed by the federal cabinet in the USA, with Germany now taking heed of the set example whereby the FDA can approve Apps that are shown to have clinical and medical benefits.
Germany’s actions demonstrate a keen recognition that technology is now an integral element of everyday life. That Apps that facilitate monitoring and improving health conditions need to align with modern living seamlessly.
With all those in the healthcare sector being encouraged to join the Telematics Infrastructure scheme, these changes are a promising and positive example of how medicine and healthcare are adapting in line with contemporary-day technology.