Barmer evaluates benefits of personal health record
4 September 2007
Barmer, Germany’s largest health insurance provider, has started
evaluating the effects of the personal health record (PHR) on patient health
behaviour and on healthcare delivery in a Germany-wide research study.
The eHealth specialist InterComponentWare AG (ICW), with its headquarters
in Walldorf, Germany was chosen as technology partner to provide the
Web-based personal health record, LifeSensor, for the three-year research
study. As part of the research study, Barmer is enabling its over seven
million insured customers to use the personal health record.
With the LifeSensor personal health record, Barmer is offering all its
insured customers an innovative instrument that enables them to actively
manage and control their health themselves. They can thus access information
relevant to their healthcare online at any time. They will benefit from new
applications, which otherwise would not be available until after the
official deployment of the German electronic health card.
For Barmer, data privacy and security are top priority in the research
study: The health insurance provider will not have access to the healthcare
records of the insured. The insured alone determine who has access to their
healthcare data. Physicians, pharmacists, clinics, and other providers of
health services cannot access the information in the file or add to the
medical information until the user grants access.
In this way, treatment
can be adapted to the health status of the insured. Furthermore, the insured
can utilise special Barmer consulting and health care offerings, such as the
health telephone, from directly within their personal health record. That
facilitates optimum customer care as well as individually designed
healthcare. Starting in autumn 2007, the personal healthcare record is
expected to be available to all interested Barmer customers.
Birgit Fischer, deputy chairperson of the managing board at Barmer
commented on the research study: “The insured themselves can best evaluate
the advantages and benefits of a personal health record and provide tips for
its practical use.
Barmer wants to expand what has until now been mostly a technical
discussion to include questions of application from the perspective of
insured and patients and to offer the Barmer insured an opportunity to
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