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By Steffen Grosser, Solution Manager at SAP AG

 

I attended the EHTEL Symposium 2011 in Brussels (http://ehtel.eu) and want to briefly share my experiences.

EHTEL is the European Health Telematics Association, based in Brussels and the Symposium takes place on a yearly base. This year, the conference ran under the slogan “Seamless Integration for Personal Health Services” where well-known speakers from various governmental authorities, companies and locations across Europe and overseas shared the results of their projects and initiatives all under headlines like  “integrated care,” “seamless service integration” and  “community care.”
 
What I saw was somehow impressive in a sense to learn about what’s already going on in Europe in the last six-to-eight years and what already has been accomplished on the way to a patient-driven, flexible and technology-assisted healthcare system.

The most impressive presentations to me were:

  • “New Care Models for Persons with Chronic Diseases” held by Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips; Kaiser Permanente, USA
  • “‘Improving IT-enabled Clinical Care Pathways: the cross-institutional Perspective” by Björn Bergh, CIO Medical Center University of Heidelberg, Germany
  • “Tailored Case Management: Healthcare and IT Strategies for the Care Continuum” by Steffen Dietz, Inter Component Ware, Germany
  • “Transcending Barriers to Seamless Service integration with Telemedicine” by Rachel Kaye, Maccabi Health Services, Israel

After 2 days of liaising, listening and learning, here are my important takeaways:

  • Europe is technologically already on its road to an “integrated and community-oriented patient care model”
  • A major change within the funding and reimbursement model is underway in order to make telehealth services much more attractive and beneficial for care-givers and care-giver organizations
  • SAP has a key competition and major pilot realization on its own front door
  • There are a lot of EU-funded as well as private business opportunities in the next decade
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