Modern Medicine

Big-Data Fear Plagues German Healthcare

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Apple, Goggle and IBM are investing billions into networking diverse healthcare data.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    By harnessing increasingly vast volumes of digital medical records, researchers and companies believe they can make people healthier while saving healthcare systems money – but data privacy concerns persist in Germany.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Consultancy Arthur D. Little forecasts the global market for digital health products and services will more than double to $233 billion by 2020.
    • A new German law that entered into force this year foresees the creation of an electric health card for every person in Germany.
    • SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner is calling for an industry consortium and digital healthcare pilot project in Germany, similar to efforts under way in the United States.
  • Audio

    Audio

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Collecting and analyzing increasingly vast volumes of medical data can improve illness detection and treatment while saving healthcare systems huge sums of money, said SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner, in an interview with Handelsblatt.

But as the global digital healthcare market rapidly advances, Germany is stumbling over an acute case of big-data phobia, he added.

“We have the data and we have the know-how, but we can’t use this because we’re not allowed to — that has to change,” the 72-year-old German business software pioneer said, warning that Germany is in jeopardy of blowing a tremendous growth opportunity with major health benefits.

Globally, all big technology firms are staking their claims in digital healthcare. Apple, Goggle and IBM are investing billions into networking diverse healthcare data – from biological makeup to clinical history to lifestyle choices.

Consultancy Arthur D. Little forecasts the global market for digital health products and services to more than double to $233 billion by 2020 as the era of wireless patient monitoring and electronic medical records takes shape.

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