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The consequences of structural change in Germany are also clearly recognisable and noticeable in the healthcare system. Megatrends such as talent shortage, digitalisation, an aging society and urbanisation are permanently transforming the healthcare sector. Experts will address the associated changes in the current Health Barometer and show innovation potential through new models of care, digitalisation and changes in working conditions.  

Key drivers of structural change: digital data and demographics

Digitalisation is like maintaining a house – it is never-ending, says Prof. Dr Jens Scholz, Chairman of the Board of Management of the University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH) in a conversation with our healthcare experts Alexander Morton and Richard Overödder.

Prof. Scholz has recognised that digital data is primarily a driver of structural changes and responds accordingly: He explains the measures of the medical structural design of his hospital in the interview.

In NRW, politics are meeting the challenges of the shortage of skilled workers with the implementation of the new hospital plan, among other things. Karl-Josef Laumann, Minister of Labour, Health and Social Affairs for the state, explains the qualitative and structural conditions associated with the plan for hospitals. In a discussion with Axel Bindewalt, our Head of Healthcare, and Johanna Hilgen, Public Sector Consulting Manager, they describe the change in care structure and identify the necessary changes in the care sector. Data protection in the digitalisation of healthcare is also the topic of the discussion.

Modern data protection and artificial intelligence for better patient care

Part of the structural change is also the digitalisation of the healthcare industry and the development of new innovative products. This draws on the interview with Dr Stefan Knupfer, AOK Plus Board of Management member, who is driving the use of health apps and wearables. From his point of view, they could accompany people in their daily lives during pre- and follow-up care, so that severe disease courses can be avoided, thus strengthening health literacy in general. However, this requires a modernisation of data protection, says Dr Stefan Knupfer in a conversation with Torsten Müller and Stefan Maaßen, both Healthcare partners.

The deepcOS AI platform, Munevo medical device manufacturer and Flying Health health network are working on digital health products. deepcOS uses AI applications in radiology to increase efficiency and reduce the risk of errors. Munevo uses smart glasses to control wheelchairs, improving the quality of life for people with disabilities. Flying Health is committed to shaping the healthcare system of the future and providing a cross-industry ecosystem for start-ups.

Sustainability as another driver of structural change

Sustainability aspects also play an important role and are changing the medical technology industry, as Dr Meinrad Lugan, Board of Management member of the strategic group company B. Braun, describes. He explains the measures in healthcare to address environmental, social and governance concerns.

Dr Gerald Gaß, in his role as Chairman of the Board of Management of the German Hospital Federation, explains how to achieve the required efficiency gains in the hospital sector. This includes, among other things, transforming processes, for example, replacing human resources with digitalisation, artificial intelligence and the like.

Other topics in the Health Barometer:

  • Prof. Dr Franz Benstetter is conducting research and teaching on the structural change in healthcare at the Rosenheim Technical University of Applied Sciences. Among other things, he deals with the design and evaluation of new forms of care.
  • Prof. Dr med. Axel Ekkernkamp, Managing Director of Medicine at BG Hospitals, among other things, reports on his international experience in the health system and what developments he is currently observing in Germany.
  • Our healthcare experts Peter Lamers and Nikolai Fritsche address a recent ruling by the Federal Social Court that prohibits hospitals from systematically outsourcing essential care tasks.

Specialist columns: Women, Change, Healthcare

Julia Kaub, Partner, and Sevilay Hüsman-Koecke, Director, both KPMG Healthcare, discuss structural change concerning women in healthcare. A higher proportion of women in leadership positions and a greater awareness of their needs promote diversity in this area. In the conversation, they discuss measures to increase the proportion of women in healthcare and take a look across national borders.

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