Information technology  

Gemalto qualifies for Germany's 80m healthcare smartcard programme

12 January 2007

Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO), has been chosen to supply its secure microprocessor-based smartcards to Germany's healthcare programme.

The smartcards are fully compliant with the latest specifications from Gematik, the organization in charge of defining and approving the German healthcare infrastructure, which enables the company to deliver cards to the pilot regions.

Gemalto received first orders to supply and personalize patient cards for the regions of Bavaria, Baden-Wurttemberg, North Rhine Westphalia and Saxony. The first trial phase commenced in December 2006, involving 70,000 units in 7 regions. A larger scale experimentation of 300,000 cards is due to start in 2007, which will be followed by mass deployment. This new advanced digital healthcare solution aims at reducing administrative costs and ensuring better delivery of services and benefits to citizens.

The German authorities are implementing this new infrastructure based on high-end microprocessor cards to provide better quality of service to insurance beneficiaries while increasing the security of access to personal data.

This latest-generation card will act as an active security device to perform strong authentication of the patient therefore contributing to reducing fraud costs and increasing privacy. It will enable access to an electronic medical file, and will include emergency data such as blood group, allergies alerts and ongoing treatments records.

In addition, the new health card will be able to carry electronic prescriptions, which will reduce significantly paperwork. Authorized healthcare professionals can read personal information only if the patient consents by entering the card's Personal Identification Number.  The health card should make about 700 million handwritten prescriptions redundant.

For insurance funds, the deployment of this new generation of highly secure health cards will significantly trim administrative and operational costs. It will avoid duplicate examinations and lessen unnecessary use of healthcare services. Furthermore, by allowing automatic data update once the card is in the field, the new system will enable insurance funds to decrease their cost of ownership and optimize their investments.

"The healthcare sector has tremendous growth potential and we are really pleased to enable secure and convenient solutions for citizens of Germany" commented Jacques Seneca, President Europe at Gemalto. "Our strong historic presence in Germany and our high level of commitment to this project, combined with our experiences in similar programs around the world has prepared us well in this market."

The German government is launching what it describes as the most extensive e-health project in the world, involving 80 million patients, 350,000 doctors and dentists, 2,000 hospitals and 22,000 pharmacies.

The German health service is highly decentralized, with some 250 different insurance companies, each having their own infrastructure and supply process. Around 90% of the population is covered by the state health insurance and the rest opt for private medical insurance.

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