The fourth annual “Healthcare Forum Site” event started in Heilbronn / This year the focus is on health data.
. The aim is to break down barriers for better treatments: The fourth annual event of the “Forum Healthcare Location Baden-Württemberg”, which is currently taking place in Heilbronn, revolves almost exclusively around health data. Initiatives at all levels aim to remove the misunderstood boundaries in the digitization of the healthcare sector and make it easier to use.
In the lobby of the Heilbronn Congress Center, it is so loud on Thursdays that the information booths are not immediately accessible even to distinguished guests. “This is live?” asked Economics Minister Nicole Hofmeister Kraut, senior doctor Monica Borley, who appeared to be speaking to a colleague on screen. “Yes, that’s live,” Borli replied, as chief physician Ralf Brunner waves at the camera in the intensive care unit at the RKH-Krankenhaus Mühlacker, 50 kilometers away. “I talk to him and the patient also agrees.” The doctor usually works at the RKH-Klinikum Ludwigsburg; Brunner has accompanied E on smaller house tours for six years now. Because four eyes see more than two.
A few meters away, other state-funded projects are on display: a virtual training for prospective doctors at Furtwangen University and an Anamnesis chair that uses patients’ waiting time to measure health data in an infection-safe way.
Participants at the Health Forum’s fourth annual event agree that data is key to further advancing patient care. “I can tell you that this is the main work in medical research in the US right now,” says Erwin Pottinger of the Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Engineering. There is now less biological research than evaluating large amounts of data. However, the head of the State Chancellery, Florian Stegmann (Grenz) in Germany, adds that data as such will still be protected rather than just patients’ privacy.
Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (the Greens) announced last year that he would fight in Berlin and Brussels for simpler use of data in the health sector. In addition to the benefits for patients, it is also about setting values in international competition and about jobs in the country.
Since then, five working groups within the Health Site Forum have been tasked with developing legal, technical and organizational requirements for better use of health data. In the spring, the country has already decided on a “roadmap for health data use.” This week, the Federal Council’s initiative aims to pressure the federal government to implement the corresponding plans from its coalition agreement faster.
In Heilbronn, the working groups will present more interim results under the direction of the State Ministry and the Departments for Economics, Science, Health and Digital Affairs. This includes developing our data rooms, reflecting on standards, reviewing state laws, expanding digital skills in health professions, and a campaign to educate citizens on the issues.
Several speakers proudly noted that Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Green) had opened a federal “Health Management Roundtable” the day before, which is set to remain in dialogue throughout the legislative term. “The healthcare industry forum in Baden-Württemberg was also a source of inspiration here,” says Hagen Pvondner, CEO of Roche Pharma AG, who is visibly happy.
The healthcare site forum was launched in 2018 and now has over 550 participants. In addition to digitization, the participants want to focus on translation in the coming year, that is, the faster exchange between medical needs, research and implementation in practice.
“Our forum is one of the most important forms of action in the country,” Stegemann explained Thursday, as it was the venue for the prime minister, who was unable to attend. “There’s a lot going on here and things are going really well in the country.”
Meanwhile, the opposition parliamentary group SPD criticized the “phlegm of the state government with the long-announced merger of two university hospitals in Heidelberg and Mannheim”. Scientists, university representatives and Mayor of Mannheim Peter Kurz (SPD) asked the Green and Black Alliance to make a fundamental decision on this in the morning.
On Friday, the forum’s annual two-day event in Heilbronn will continue with more virtual workshops.