After the software licenses, the creation of the individual components of the nationwide health network has now been awarded to x-tention and its partners as well.
The foundations for building the digital health network of the AOK community are laid: After awarding the software licenses for the project now the creation of the health network’s individual components was awarded to a union of three experienced IT companies. The contract was awarded to the x-tention Informationstechnologie GmbH, a supplier of uniform IT solutions, together with the two leading suppliers for IHE systems InterComponentWare AG (ICW) and soffico GmbH. Based on the software solution “Orchestra ehealth Suite” in the next months they will develop a platform for a nationwide data exchange, which at its root will also provide an electronic medical record for all people insured by the AOK. As an additional partner the AtoS Information Technology GmbH is on board as well. They supplement the trio by a solution for digital certificates which allows a secure communication for all players in the health network.
“With the digital health network, the AOK offers their insured people a secure and easy to use digital one-stop for health. At the same time, we want to improve the cooperation of the participants and the care of our insured people by networking the various actors in the outpatient and inpatient sectors”, says Martin Litsch, CEO of the AOK-Bundesverband.
The current criticism of the German Federal Audit Office (Bundesrechnungshof) of the slowness of digital networking in the German health system is more than justified, Litsch points out: “The development of the digital health network is our answer to the snail’s pace when building the telematics infrastructure. The assignment for the development of the central and decentralized components of the health network is an important step towards further implementation of our project.” As of 2020 all people insured by AOK, medical professionals, hospitals, and other actors should be able to use the network and the digital medical record nationwide. For example, through the health network discharge letters can be transmitted digitally to the general practitioner, or information on diagnoses can be forwarded to an attending specialist. Currently this kind of networking is being tested in practice in Berlin and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Focus on protecting sensitive patient data
The development of the health network focuses on the protection of sensitive patient data. “The AOK will offer their insured persons a platform for the exchange of medical data but has no access to the medical information or documents provided by participating medical professionals.” The current contract decision concerns the development of the platform for a nationwide exchange of data between all stakeholders. The contracted IT companies are also developing the central applications of the digital health network. The spectrum ranges from electronic discharge letters to medication plans to electronic emergency passports, or vaccination certificates. Other components include the submission of documents such as sick notes as well as the request for status information, for example for the exemption of insured persons. Additionally, the contract includes the connection of decentralized server structures of hospitals, medical professionals and already existing networking projects.
“Developing a platform, the main applications, and the connection of decentralized affinity domains forms an exciting challenge for us. As powerful and innovative partner with national and international experience in the ehealth sector we are well prepared for the task”, says Bernhard Kronsteiner, CEO of x-tention.
In developing the network AOK attaches particular importance to connectivity and interoperability. Therefore, the health network is geared to the IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise) methods. IHE is an internationally recognized initiative for networking on treatment information between medical professionals, hospitals and other persons involved in the treatment. This standard forms the foundation for a cross-sector exchange of medical information and also for connecting the centralized telematics infrastructure Gematik.
InterComponentWare AG (ICW) has been developing future-oriented software solutions for a secure, cross organization data exchange in the healthcare sector with an internationally experienced team for 20 years. The ICW eHealth Suite offers powerful, coordinated modules from which tailor-made eHealth solutions can be built.
The Augsburg based soffico GmbH develops the future-proof and innovative standard software Orchestra Healthcare Edition. Orchestra connects the IT systems in organizations and across organizations optimally adapted to the requirements of healthcare services.
x-tention Informationstechnologie GmbH harmonizes and integrates the varied IT systems of hospitals, old people’s and nursing homes as well as social institutions. The basis for the tailor-made solutions is on the one hand, the well-founded expertise of the team of software developers, operating specialists, and consultants and on the other, the long-standing IT experience in health and social services.