Digitization: Lauterbach: Using digital health data for research

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach wants to significantly advance research with digital treatment data in order to improve medical care.

Digitization: Lauterbach: Using digital health data for research

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach wants to significantly advance research with digital treatment data in order to improve medical care. The opportunities to generate data and evaluate it digitally are increasing every day, said the SPD politician on Tuesday before an international conference in Berlin. These are prerequisites for achieving "really an explosion of scientific knowledge". It is important to make the benefits quickly noticeable for patients.

The federal government wants to accelerate digitization in the German healthcare system, which has been stagnating for a long time. As a core project, all those with statutory health insurance should automatically receive an electronic patient file by the end of 2024 - unless they actively refuse. E-files were introduced as a voluntary offer in 2021, but not even one percent of the 74 million insured uses them. The government's stated goal by 2025 is that 80 percent have e-files. They should be able to save findings, laboratory values ​​or drug lists.

Lauterbach made it clear that the e-files should initially include a setting for "data donations" for research purposes, but that one can object to this. Data evaluations with artificial intelligence could then be used to better identify tumors in the early stages, for example, by comparing them with similar cases.

The minister spoke out in favor of a stronger exchange with the USA, which could also lead to a transatlantic set of rules. Jochen Lennerz from Harvard Medical School in Boston explained that, supported by data evaluations with artificial intelligence, therapy prescriptions for lung cancer, for example, could be made possible in one day - instead of after an otherwise frequent "odyssey" of several months with appointments with several doctors.

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