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08.06.2018

Treatment without a doctor? Health Experts Discuss the Future of Medicine in Berlin.

What will a classic doctor’s visit look like in ten years? Will we still be treated at the doctor’s office or will our medical history interview be conducted by a computer? What will happen to our data and who can access it? These and related questions dealing with the digitization of medicine were addressed on 6 June by benefactor Hasso Plattner, top researcher Erwin Böttinger and Minister of Health Jens Spahn, along with other health experts, at the opening event of the Capital Congress of Medicine and Health 2018 in Berlin.

Prof. Bötinger and Dr. Hirsch at the Congress
Prof. Böttinger, interviewing Dr. Martin Hirsch, founder and CEO of ada Health. Capital Congress of Medicine and Health 2018, Berlin. (Foto: WISO/ Hauptstadtkongress)

The opening event on 6 June in the Berlin CityCube was dedicated to the congress motto: “Digitization and Networked Health.” In this context, patron and SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner presented in a video message the latest developments from Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) in the area of health, such as the Gesundheitscloud and the Digital Health Center.

The idea of the Gesundheitscloud is as simple as it is revolutionary: giving private people the possibility to store their own health data and making it accessible to specific parties as needed. In addition, third-party applications, for instance those that open new possibilities of analysis with the help of artificial intelligence, can be connected to the cloud. According to Plattner, the aim of the Gesundheitscloud is “to exploit medical opportunities with a significant cost reduction potential and to promote the quality of treatment.” At the same time, Plattner criticized the stringent legal regulations in Germany when compared to those in other countries, which “inhibit the use of digital innovations.”

The Digital Health Center (DHC), founded in 2017 at HPI under the direction of Prof. Erwin Böttinger, is an open network for scientists and research institutes that work together in the common pursuit of advancing the healthcare system with new digital health applications and strengthening the patient’s role.

In his interview with Prof. Böttinger, Dr. Martin Hirsh, neuroscientist, physiologist and founder and CEO of ada Health, said that with the digital revolution in medicine and the advent of personalized medicine, personalized prevention is also made possible. Ideally, in his words, this means a “healthcare system that ensures that we don’t get sick in the first place.”

Under the direction and moderation of Prof. Dr. Erwin Böttinger, a discussion followed with Dr. Friedrich von Bohlen (Dievini Hopp Bio Tech), Prof. Dr. Annette Grüters-Kieslich, (University Hospital Heidelberg), Prof. Dr. Frank Ulrich Montgomery (German Medical Association), Dr. Markus Müschenich (Flying Health) und Thilo Veil (Töchter & Söhne). The discussion focused on Germany’s goal of achieving a leading position in the field of digitization.

Speaking to the approximately 8,000 representatives from all areas of the health care sector, Minister of Health Jens Spahn warned about further delays in digitization. According to the Minister of Health, the advance of eHealth is unstoppable worldwide: “The offers are coming in or are already here, among them those from Amazon, Google, and Dr. Ed. And much more is happening in China that we don’t even hear about.” Spahn added: “Are we directly shaping what is happening or is it being shaped on the outside before it reaches us?”

According to Spahn, at the moment the German government is considering how a new data law could reform data privacy so that the huge amounts of data generated in the health sector could be better utilized.

All Tweets related to the event can be found under the hashtag: #HSK18