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TeleHealth 2009 Hannover: New impetus for telemedicine

18.02.2009: The demographic shift continues unabated, as the population continues to age and the incidence of chronic illness increases. But this development need not be considered dramatic, as confirmed by the TeleHealth congress and exhibition at CeBIT 2009.

CeBIT 2009, 3 to 8 March

The demographic shift continues unabated, as the population continues to age and the incidence of chronic illness increases. But this development need not be considered dramatic, as confirmed by the TeleHealth congress and exhibition at CeBIT 2009.

For, although information and communications technology in and of themselves are incapable of making people healthy, state-of-the-art telemedicine can at least be deployed to prevent complications - and save considerable sums of money in the process. The latest solutions from the field of IT-supported medicine will be on display during CeBIT from 3 to 8 March in Hall 9. One of the focal topics will involve the use of telemedicine for the support and treatment of chronically ill patients.

Permanent wireless medical assistance


Farsighted experts have long recognized the potential advantages of telemedicine. For the President of the German Diabetes Association, Dr. Reinhart Hoffmann, there is no doubt: 'Diabetes is virtually predestined for telemedical support,' he declares. At TeleHealth 2009 numerous companies will be presenting scenarios and live demonstrations of aids and resources for the chronically ill in the age of the Webciety.

 The BodyTel company, for example, will be featuring totally wireless communication, as supported by its GlucoTel product, developed especially for diabetics. This product even allows the patient to use his or her own mobile telephone: Compatible phones can be docked into the system, and wireless contact with a specialist can be established around the globe.

Vitaphone, one of the biggest telemedical service providers, will also be featuring offerings for diabetics. In addition, it will exhibit its CorBene solution at TeleHealth 2009, designed for patients with coronary problems. 'CorBene represents a comprehensive care solution for coronary patients in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and since recently in Saarland as well,' reports company spokesperson Benjamin Homberg. According to Homberg, a total of 2,500 patients are already benefiting from the program.


Enormous medical benefits


Telemedical contact with the experts not only provides patients with additional security - it also greatly increases the medical benefits. 'We compared the blood pressure control parameters for standard patients with those of telemedical patients in a special survey,' reports Uwe Korth, Managing Director of TeleHealth 2009 exhibitor IEM. And according to Korth, the study findings were nothing if not impressive:

After three months 90 percent of the patients receiving telemedical treatment revealed satisfactory blood pressure control results, versus only 35 percent for patients without access to telemedicine. IEM will be present from 3 to 8 March in Hannover with numerous innovative telemedical products, including the 'Klock' blood pressure monitor and the Mobil-O-Graph ambulatory blood pressure monitor.

These devices transfer the measured values to an online platform called the 'I.E.M. e-health service,' allowing the responsible doctor to react immediately. 'Telemedicine only works in close collaboration with the physician,' comments Korth.


Technical and quality standards required


It is also obvious that telemedical solutions can only be successful on a sustained basis if the devices and software solutions involved can easily communicate with one another. Plug&Play: What has become commonplace for consumer electronics is still at an early stage in telemedicine.

But that is beginning to change: The electrical engineering association VDE, also appearing as an exhibitor at TeleHealth 2009, is intensively involved in standardization efforts - in close cooperation with internationally active organizations like the U.S.-based Continua Health Alliance, which is sending a representative to speak at the TeleHealth congress.

Apart from technical standards, quality standards also play a role. That is because the mere claim of being a telemedical product does not guarantee high-tech medical assistance. 'That is why we created the certification program known as the 'VDE TeleMonitoring Application Regulations',' explains Dr. Hans Heinz Zimmer, President of VDE.

Telemedicine results in considerable savings


Improved treatment of chronically ill patient results in significant cost savings, as the rate of hospitalization or avoidable complications is reduced. 'Statistics reveal that around 30 percent of the 60 billion euros spent annually in Germany for cardiovascular illnesses could be saved by employing telemedicine,' says Zimmer. And health policymakers are already starting to take notice:

The new payment system for Germany's publicly regulated health insurers, scheduled to be launched this year, makes the treatment of chronically ill patients much more attractive than ever before. Telemedicine can thus expect additional impetus, over and above that received from TeleHealth 2009.



- Anne-Kathrin Seibt-

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/cebit-telehealth-2009-hannover-solutions-telemedicine-webciety-corberne-care-solutions---55906.html

18.02.2009 / MaP

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