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December 4, 2006

Giesecke & Devrient to trial electronic healthcare cards in Germany

Gematik, the company in charge of administering Germany's forthcoming electronic healthcare insurance cards, has been testing the smart cards of various manufacturers, including Giesecke & Devrient, to assess their functionality and compliance with specifications.

By CBR Staff Writer

Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) has become one of the first smart card manufacturers to pass the tests and be given the green light to issue its healthcare smart cards in the designated test regions.

In Germany’s health system, the e-health card will interconnect 80 million

patients, 130,000 physicians in private practice, 55,000 dentists, over 2,000 hospitals, 21,000 pharmacies, and over 300 health insurance companies.

Gematik says that the cards will play a key role in the complex interaction of the various centralized and decentralized components of the overall telematics infrastructure.

The e-healthcare card developed by G&D was tested by Gematik to ensure its compliance with the designated specs, in addition to its functionality and interoperability. For example, the card must enable doctors to store electronic prescriptions and allow patients to get them filled at a pharmacy with no trouble.

Another condition for the limited certification was that the cards had to fulfill the corresponding requirements laid down by Germany’s Federal Office for Security in Information Technology.

Hans Wolfgang Kunz, group executive for G&D’s government solutions business unit, said that rollout of the cards will begin in December, marking the gradual implementation of the card-based healthcare system.

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