NHIF assigns pilot project for Bulgarian Electronic Health Card to ICW and Cisco

Sofia 15 December 2006Three general practitioners, five pharmacies, and 1000 patients will be included in the pilot project for a national electronic health card in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) assigned the implementation of the pilot project to the international eHealth specialist InterComponentWare AG (ICW) and Cisco, a major provider of routing and network security solutions.


The electronic health card pilot will take place in a small municipality. There, participating physicians and patients will identify themselves with their cards at any consultation. The system then automatically establishes a secure on-line connection to verify the current insurance status of the patient and his presence in the patient list of the physician. This reduces administrative work for the physician and effectively prevents the possible fraudulent use of lost or stolen eCards.

With the new system, physicians are also able to issue digitally signed electronic prescriptions that are stored on the card and on a prescription server. Thus, illegible prescriptions are a thing of the past and pharmaceutical drug safety is increased. The electronic prescription also forms the basis for a future automatic drug interaction and contra-indication check that will ensure that only medications that are compatible with the patient's other drugs and diseases will be dispensed.

The electronic health card system that is to be used in the Bulgarian pilot project has already successfully completed extensive pilot tests in Germany. It enables the secure exchange of medical data according to internationally accepted standards. These new communication possibilities in the health care sector will provide the basis for the development of modern health care services for Bulgarian citizens, e.g. electronic personal health records that contain all relevant medical data of a person. Also, electronic health cards and their applications contribute to the further enhancement of medical care and a more effective use of the NHIF's funds.

InterComponentWare is an international eHealth specialist with locations in Germany, Bulgaria, Austria, Switzerland and the USA. Its solutions for networking the various participants in the health care system achieve a sustained improvement in process-oriented communication and data integrity - and thus in the quality of medical care.

Among other things, ICW develops and markets software and hardware components for the health care IT infrastructure for electronic health cards, the personal health record LifeSensor, and connectivity solutions for hospitals and physician offices. As part of the bIT4health consortium, ICW has provided important consulting services for the implementation of an electronic health card in Germany and is also involved in the Austrian eCard project. More company news can be found in the VMW December 2006 article ActivIdentity and InterComponentWare smart citizen health card technology recognised as best electronic health card system.

Leslie Versweyveld

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