Sagem Orga and Gemalto awarded eHealth contracts by Techniker Krankenkasse and Allgemeine Orstkrankenkasse

Paderborn, Amsterdam 11 July 2007A provider of smart card and security technology, Sagem Orga has been awarded a contract to provide Techniker Krankenkasse's (TK) almost 6,1 million policy holders with electronic health cards (eGK), amounting to a total of 8,5 million electronic health insurance cards. Based in Paderborn, Germany, Sagem Orga beat other competitors in an open call for tenders organized by health insurer TK. The contract between TK and Sagem Orga was signed on June 29, 2007. Following news that Sagem Orga had won the deal to provide cards and services for the German eHealth programme, Gemalto has revealed it has been awarded a tender to supply and personalise 35 million eHealth cards for Allgemeine Orstkrankenkasse (AOK).

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"Sagem Orga proved to be the most competent partner with the best developed concept for our purposes. We are looking forward to collaborating with them on this project", confirmed Frank Siener, Head of Corporate Development at TK. "The most crucial aspect for us is being able to provide our policy holders with an efficient infrastructure delivering added value. As a family-oriented insurer, we are keen to redefine our customer-friendly on-line services in conjunction with the electronic health cards and we intend to use Sagem Orga's tried and tested eHealth technology for this."

"We are looking forward to working as a partner and supplier for TK and helping introduce electronic health cards across the board", explained Silvio Stockmann, Vice President and Head of Health, ID and Payment at Sagem Orga. "This contract confirms our long-term commitment to developing high-security card systems for the health care industry. We are already supplier of the French card Vitale 1 and 2."

The contract includes the delivery of 8,5 million electronic health cards with an accompanying letter and additional information to TK policy holders. As an additional service for TK customers "home packs" can be provided. The home packs comprise a high-security card reader which is used in conjunction with the digital signature and can allow policy holders to use their electronic health cards to legally sign documents such as additional policies. "This will enable every user to experience first hand the benefits of the new telematic infrastructure associated with the electronic health card", explained Silvio Stockmann.

This order represents an important step in TK's strategy to introduce electronic health cards for all of its policy holders. Once the technical infrastructure is available across the board, the company can start issuing the electronic health cards.

Techniker Krankenkasse is a competitive and modern health service provider trusted by approximately six million insured persons across Germany. With its diverse initiatives and model projects TK makes an important contribution to developing the health system in the interest of its customers.

Three out of four customer contacts occur on-line or by telephone and more than each ninth customer applied in the exclusive web site area. In addition, TK makes use of the new possibilities of telemedicine, places confidence in modern information technology in the battle against accounting fraud and is committed to the electronic health card.

Gemalto, specialized in digital security, has been awarded the tender held by insurance organisation AOK - Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse - to supply and personalize e-health-cards for their insured in Germany. The contract win comes after Gemalto took part in Germany's first health care pilot programme based on highly secure microprocessor cards.

Gemalto's new advanced digital health care solution will avoid duplicate examinations and therefore lessen unnecessary use of health care services. In addition, the new health card will be able to carry electronic prescriptions, which will reduce significantly paperwork. Finally, by allowing data update once the card is in the field, the new system enables insurance funds to potentially adjust their cost of ownership.

Gemalto's latest-generation card will also 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 secure access to an electronic medical file that will include emergency data such as blood group, allergies alerts and ongoing treatments records. Authorized health care professionals can read personal information only if the patient consents by entering the card's Personal Identification Number.

"Gemalto has been a long term partner to health insurance companies since the first generation of health cards back in the mid 90s. We are proud and honoured by the decision of AOK to get us to contribute massively to this programme by providing German citizens with enhanced security and privacy management devices", commented Jacques Seneca, Executive Vice President, Security Business Unit at Gemalto. "The quality of our product developed in our Munich R&D center, the capabilities and flexibility of our production and personalization site in Filderstadt near Stuttgart, as well as our high level of commitment to this project have provided us with a strong competitive advantage when it comes to meeting the stringent requirements of rapid large-scale deployments such as this."

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, USA and Slovenia.

The health programme the German government is launching involves 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 updating 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 per year redundant.

For more than 100 years, the AOK - Germany's biggest health insurance company - has guaranteed security and extensive medical care in case of illness. The AOK cares for roughly 26,5 million people, a third of the German population. As market leader the AOK guarantees with a staff of 64.260 in more than 1500 branches a powerful service: quick, competent and unbureaucratic. Additionally, the AOK is more than just a Health Insurance Fund. It has established an extensive health management system, which garantuees that consistent quality management results in a higher efficient health care. For the medically insured, this means the best health care at an affordable price.

In the self-governing bodies, the representatives are elected both by the insured and their employers. This self-governing body safeguards that health insurance remains in the best interests of the insured and of the companies they are employed by. The Federal Association of the AOK is located in Bonn, Germany.

Gemalto is an expert in digital security with pro forma 2006 annual revenues of 1,7 billion euro, operations in about 100 countries and over 10.000 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. More company news is available in the VMW January 2007 article Germany qualifies Gemalto for world's largest microprocessor card-based health care initiative.


Leslie Versweyveld

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