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 health care professionals can read personal information only if the patient consents by entering the card's Personal Identification Number.
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 health care 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 health care 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 programmes around the world has prepared us well in this market."
This new reference strengthens Gemalto's positioning in the health care sector, following previous achievements in Algeria, Belgium, China, Finland, France, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom and Slovenia.
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, 2000 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. The health insurance plans are either state-regulated or private. Around 90 percent of the population is covered by the state health insurance and the rest opt for private medical insurance. State health insurance beneficiaries do not have to pay for the visit to their doctor, nor for their medication - apart from a small fixed fee.
With the current system, insurance funds need to issue their customers with a new card whenever their administrative data change, whereas the microprocessor card-based system allows to update the information once the card is in the field, thus reducing operational costs. The electronic health card will carry the prescription and should make about 700 million handwritten prescriptions redundant.
Gemalto is an expert in digital security with pro forma 2005 annual revenues of 1,7 billion euro ($2,2 billion), operations in about 100 countries and 11.000 employees including 1500 R&D engineers. In a world where the digital revolution is increasingly transforming our lives, Gemalto's solutions are designed to make personal digital interactions more convenient, secure and enjoyable. Gemalto provides end-to-end digital security solutions, from the development of software applications through design and production of secure personal devices such as smart cards, SIMs, e-passports, and tokens to the management of deployment services for its customers.
More than a billion people worldwide use the company's products and services for telecommunications, financial services, e-government, identity management, multimedia content, digital rights management, IT security, mass transit and many other applications. As the use of Gemalto's software and secure devices increases with the number of people interacting in the digital and wireless world, the company is poised to thrive over the coming years. Gemalto was formed in June 2006 by the combination of Axalto and Gemplus.