New study provides insights into how Germans see the digitisation of healthcare

Findings suggest Germans are not satisfied with the progress that the health and care system in their country has made so far.
By Anna Engberg
04:30 AM

European management and technology consultancy Sopria Steria Consulting (SSC) has released a new study examining the attitudes of Germans with regard to the progress of the health and care system’s digital transformation, assessing it in a six-country comparison.

Findings from the survey indicate that people see an added value in the use of digital health tools such as the EHR, health apps, telemedicine and other medical online services. However, the results of the study, carried out from July 2018 to March 2019, indicated that those polled tended to be disappointed about the progress made in the digitisation of healthcare services.

In addition to the 200 respondents from Germany, as many citizens from France, Spain, Great Britain, Belgium and Norway took part in the survey, called the European Study on the Digitalisation of Healthcare Pathways.

WHAT HAPPENED

According to the new SSC study, the development of digital health and care over the last 10 years in Germany is seen as controversial: Only slightly more than one in four (27%) of people in Germany believes that the health care system has improved somewhat or very much with regard to digital innovations. On the other hand, 29% believe that the situation has not changed, and the majority (44%) say that care has tended to deteriorate somewhat or severely.

By contrast, attitudes about digital auxiliary tools such as apps, smart watches and other devices that record and evaluate health data and disease progressions are consistently positive: 76% of Germans surveyed think that these digital solutions can improve care somewhat or a lot.

The same goes for the assessment of the long-term effects of digital developments: 78% of Germans believe that diseases can be detected earlier through digital innovations, and 71% are convinced that diagnostics will become more precise. Approximately 70% assume faster treatment and better disease progression in chronic diseases.

SSC also conducted interviews with five healthcare experts. Their statements indicate that data security is a particularly sensitive issue in Germany and that decision-making in this country is particularly lengthy.

THE BIGGER TREND

The study by SSC contrasts the readiness of the German population for digital development in healthcare and its benefits for diagnostics, treatment and prevention with the status quo, in which data security concerns, isolated solutions and federal structures are currently slowing down the digital sector. Norway and Belgium, on the other hand, have been highlighted by the study as role model countries in this development process.

Further information can be found here [in German].