Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Germany Starts Testing Electronic Health Records on Smart Cards

This is very impressive technology. Other than the cost, two issues come to mind:

1) what if the patient forgets his/her card?,
2) what if there is a disaster and there is no electricity? SV

Germany started testing electronic health insurance cards which will eventually contain the patients' complete health history in digital format. The high-tech card is Germany's largest IT project.

"From today, 10,000 insurance holders will be receiving the new electronic card, whose functions will be gradually tested in doctors' offices, pharmacies and hospitals over the next few months," said Marion Caspers-Merk of the German Ministry of Health on Monday.

The new electronic health insurance card, which should be released for general use in 2008, is meant to reduce administrative costs in the health industry and simplify information access for medical workers.

In addition to containing the carrier's photo, which is expected to reduce the abuse of health insurance privileges, the card has an electronic chip that will eventually contain the patient's complete health record.

What's your opinion?


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