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Digital patient identity: Barmer brings insurance cards to smartphones

2022-06-29T11:57:21.904Z

Digitization in healthcare is progressing slowly. Now Barmer is announcing an app that can replace the plastic card. It remains to be seen whether the new functions will convince the insured.



Enlarge image

Barmer card (archive image): »Stored in an electronic wallet«

Photo: Caroline Seidel/ dpa

Barmer Krankenkasse wants to offer its 8.7 million customers the opportunity to bring their insurance card to their smartphone.

T-Systems and the ID service provider Verimi were commissioned with the digital project, the companies announced on Wednesday in Berlin.

The parties involved did not provide any information on the order volume.

The contract has a term of seven years.

"Digital identities will simplify many things and make them more secure," said a spokeswoman for the second largest health insurance company in Germany.

The insured should be able to access the digital services of the health insurance company around the clock and at the same time be secure.

This is possible via a smartphone app as well as via a protected website.

In this way, the insured could also access their electronic patient file.

The smartphone app is intended to make the conventional insurance card superfluous, including in medical practices and other service providers.

"The digital identity is stored on the smartphone in a digital ID wallet, i.e. in an electronic wallet," said the spokeswoman.

According to a legal requirement, the program is to start in January 2023. Barmer is prepared for the program to be usable then, a Barmer spokeswoman told SPIEGEL.

Due to delays at gematik, a company responsible for technical projects in the healthcare sector, the launch date could be postponed.

"We very much regret that, because the digital identity means a gain for our insured persons," said the spokeswoman.

Other health insurance companies will follow

The so-called Verimi ID wallet, which has been approved by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) as a secure procedure, is used as the digital storage location for the digital health card.

T-Systems then operates the service in the cloud.

The creation of a digital identity for those with health insurance is required by law in Germany.

The basis is the Digital Supply and Care Modernization Act (DVPMG), which came into force last year.

From 2023, all health insurance companies must offer their members a secure digital solution that works on an equal footing and in addition to the electronic health card (eGK).

The insured are not obliged to use the smartphone card, it is only an option.

Verimi and T-Systems explained that the solution presented was designed in such a way that other statutory and private health insurance companies could also use the components as the basis for their offers.

hpp/dpa

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-06-29

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