Germany’s Networking and the System for Processing Health Data

Abstract

With the continuous technological developments and advancements, the world has become digital as well as technical, irrespective of departments and sectors. Like many other successful applications in various domains, ICT or Information, and Communication Technology has the potential to impact massively on the healthcare sector of Germany. The caring and treatment quality significantly increases on the application of ICT and more importantly, the system security carrying all sorts of patients’ data gets highly protected. Overall, the complete expenses featuring the operation and administration decreases significantly. In this report, we have looked into the detailed situation regarding the healthcare system in Germany, the benefits and impacts it will face on the implementation of networking and ICT processing. And finally, observe the results of its implementation during the COVID-19 situation and few specific treatments. All sorts of challenges are noted and categorized with the scopes for improvement in terms of digitalizing the healthcare system.

Introduction to Germany’s Networking and its established system for processing health data

Germany is hugely developed in terms of economy and well equipped with various other beneficent facilities. Still, the healthcare sector in the country lacks the fine touches of modernization and advancements in terms of technological implementations in their system. Their neighboring countries on the other had like Austria and Poland, even though are far behind Germany in terms of development status, but are well advanced in medical aspects with their advanced and digitized healthcare systems. With all sorts of available facilities and to-be-utilized prospects, Germany has massive scopes in terms of healthcare improvisations. The current situation of healthcare systems in the country is highly dependent on the orthodox methods of treatments as well as storages. Digitizing the complete system is still far-fetched in Germany but there are lots of plans and utility structures building up for mass implementation of the same. Even a major chunk in the healthcare sector, including medical staff, diagnostic centers, patients as well as doctors are looking for a change in the system. This will allow them to access and transfer data faster than usual, benefiting a lot during times of urgency. There are long-term plans for introducing ICT to their medical systems for improving safety as well as existing issues with the medical systems. Patients will be well updated on the various technical aspects of their treatments and will be satisfied as a result of accurate digitized diagnosis results. Implementation of technologies to the healthcare system in Germany has immense potential, considering its underlying values. Keeping in mind all the boons and benefits, a huge sum of capital needs to be invested prior to application. The addition of mass digitization in the system according to a survey by the GMC or German Merged Care Association could have led to an overall realization of around 35 Billion Euros in the year 2018. The resulted figure would have been around 291 Billion Euros, which is 12% higher than the actual budget and expenses. But considering the country’s current economic status and healthcare demands in terms of improvisations, the introduction of advanced technologies to their healthcare aspects would bring out nothing but all positives. The provisions for improvisations in terms of networking are massive in Germany considering the developed IT industry and well-established cybersecurity systems in the country. The nation is well developed in digital aspects and most importantly, most of the other sectors like the railways, banking, and various other industries have incorporated digitization in their working processes. Since the healthcare sector is sensitive, concerning both the patients as well as the doctors, a lot of surveys and studies regarding the same needs to be done before final implementation. And as situations stand, the introduction of ICT in the German healthcare industry, would not only be adjustive to it but would also improve the overall efficiency of the industry as a whole. Each and every component and element of the healthcare system of a country is responsible for a country’s overall standard in terms of its display of quality service. Germany has enough potential and available resources to progress with their improvisation plans in healthcare, both in terms of economic as well as qualitative aspects. Their compliance management as well as risk management factors are some of the most important aspects of consideration concerning all the implacable changes in the existing system. Various large, as well as small scale healthcare centers, will be benefited in terms of easy data storage as well as operation and the patients will find it easy considering the availability of medicines as well as treatment facilities (Rasche, 2018).

Importance of networking as an efficient resource for healthcare in the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

Networking has been functioning as one of the most important and effective resources in the current pandemic situation. Networking has always been important in medicines and healthcare featuring patient data storage and other computing processes. But the recent effects of the coronavirus have boosted the networking opportunities in this particular sector to a whole new level. Even though the regular day-to-day on-spot networking operations have been limited to a certain extent, the areas and scopes of this domain have increased significantly due to the multiple restrictions imposed as an effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Usage of emails, video conferencing, and cyber counseling have become the most favored alternatives of regular on-hand medical activities. With the gargantuan rise in COVID-19 affected cases all around the world, most of the healthcare facilities are flooded with demands for services, which in turn increased the risk of the virus’ spread abnormally. Thus, all the hospitals, diagnostic centers, and all other medical service facilities have made themselves dependent on the digitization of the complete system following all sorts of necessary restrictions. Germany is a developed country with well-equipped cyber and IT facilities. Application of technologies was hugely lacking in this particular sector in the country. The pandemic situation has led to improvement the of networking systems and facilities to a massive scale featuring the healthcare system in Germany. Also, the correct usage of the Electronic data system has led the nation to figure out the total number of current cases as well as point out the virus dominated areas. It helped the complete health sector to act according to the needs of the communities as per the data, that was figured out. A recent survey showed that online activities like net-based jobs have increased to an exponential level during the lockdown period, thus, making people not to sit idle and work for their livings.

As recorded by the World Health Organization, Augmented reality has been an important and crucial driving tool in identifying COVID-19 cases’ hotspots. Various online modes of access to updated databases and information helped the healthcare industry to a significant extent. Users, mainly patients could use a certain application to point out active cases around his or her proximity. A continuously updated data informatics allowed the users of that specific application to figure out affected the locations. The health workers use multiple online tools for developing their diagnostic efficiency and make them more beneficial for the greater community. Germany might follow the new technique of CT scan and imaging, powered by Artificial Intelligence that is widely under practice by countries like China and South Korea. This process has made the complete system more hygienic as well as made it time-efficient. The number of human resources required for each test has also been reduced to a significant extent with the advancements in AI techniques and has made the overall process cost-efficient as well. Digitalization considering improvements in networking has huge scopes for the future and has the potential for effective evolution. The more the system gets digitalized, the more advanced becomes the sector in technical aspects. As a whole, it increases the scopes for optimization as well as boosts the monetary and time-bound efficiency of a healthcare system. The post-COVID situation has led to a lot of changes in the regular life scenarios in terms of adaptation with it. The healthcare sector has the potential to bring out all positives in this situation with the help of technologies (Mertens et al., 2017).

The situation of urgency has allowed all nations to get a security check of themselves considering their available resources and levels of technological assistance capabilities in cases of emergency (Fujita- Rohwerder, 2017). The importance of networking resources is massive in modern healthcare systems. Un-invited situations like the COVID-19 pandemic acts as a boon in disguise for emergency and sensitive sectors like health and medicine to improvise as per needs. The introduction of ICT or Cloud communication in this industry allows keeping a proper track of patients’ as well as employees’ data in a safe and accurate system, keeping the process more authentic and trustworthy. A developed country like Germany has huge scopes for improvement in this sector considering all the facilities, the common people were missing all these days. Application of technologies was hugely lacking in this particular sector in the country. The pandemic situation has led to improvement the of networking systems and facilities to a massive scale featuring the healthcare system in Germany. Also, the correct usage of the Electronic data system has led the nation to figure out the total number of current cases as well as point out the virus dominated areas. Networking has always been important in medicines and healthcare featuring patient data storage and other computing processes. And the recent effects of the coronavirus have boosted the networking opportunities in this particular sector to a whole new level. Even though the regular on-site networking operations have been limited to a certain extent as of now, the areas and scopes of this domain have increased significantly due to the multiple restrictions imposed as an effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are further scopes of improvements too and Germany is going in the right direction to improve the healthcare sector with the implementation of modernized technologies. Especially, in a country, that is dominated by the older population, it is important for e-health care to take over the regular medical facilities, that both, in turn, can reduce the possibilities of infectious hazards considering their low immunity system, as well as, reduce the unnecessary transportation efforts and charges. COVID-19 has allowed the global healthcare system to opt for the alternative contact-less mode of communication like online billing system, contactless medical delivery process, e-treatments, and many others. All these online, non-contact methods are heavily dependent on networking and other digital technologies which in turn has the potential to develop and improvise the pre-existing medical services as a whole. Networking, through the modes of ICT or Cloud storage, is already existing in the healthcare sector for the past few years. The global pandemic has acted as a boon in this scenario to focus more on the same and turn it into the most efficient and convenient mode of healthcare service.

Importance of establishing an IT framework for tailored treatments

Tailored treatments are highly personalized and require accurate evaluation of information for their treatments. Examples of such treatments are specified to acute diseases like cancer, asthma, dementia, spondylitis, acute flu, and others. Information Technology is very beneficial for Tailored treatments, where each and every data of patient could be analyzed in detail to bring out a specific and ideal process of diagnosis. Doctors as well as various medical practitioners used to maintain separate diagnostic as well as test reports for each of these patients were keeping proper tracks and records of each of them were few of the concerned problems. These data were sensitive and had the importance equivalent to that of a patient’s life. Thus, creating a structural framework of information technology is beneficial in all aspects. Proper data for individual patients would be stored in a common server which is stored in clouds and have almost zero chances of getting destroyed. Doctors get each and every analyzed report of these data separately and handle all the patients individually as well as specifically proceed with his treatment. Thus, tailored treatments with the help of Information technology and digitally processed data, are highly effective in the healthcare system. Establishing an IT framework in such treatments would not only increase the accuracy level in terms of medical limits but it would also make the patients more satisfied and help them to analyze their specific disease as well as keep a systematic track of their improvements in the long run (Blankart & Stargardt, 2020).

Treatment fidelity is another important application of IT in healthcare systems. It determines the extent up to which a treatment is carried out as planned. Its impossible to determine the progress of the business and to derive conclusions about the effectiveness of the same in its absence. Following requirements are needed to be fulfilled while implementing a Treatment fidelity monitoring plan in technologically complex healthcare units like ICU.

  1. Planned and careful considerations of the internal aspects of the information rules and protocols.
  2. Observing and identifying the important criteria that provides negative impact on the healthcare process.
  3. Develop a proper, planned checklist and establish it for proper interaction with the participation associates.
  4. Development of an evaluation plan.

A continuously updated data informatics system benefits the users of that specific application to figure out affected the locations. The health workers can use multiple online tools for developing their diagnostic efficiency and make them more beneficial for the greater community. Germany might follow the new technique of CT scan and imaging for tailored treatments, powered by Artificial Intelligence that is widely under practice by countries like China and South Korea. This process has made the complete system more hygienic as well as made it time-efficient. The number of human resources required for each test has also been reduced to a significant extent with the advancements in AI techniques and has made the overall process cost-efficient as well. Digitalization considering improvements in networking has huge scopes for the future and has the potential for effective evolution. The more the system gets digitalized, the more advanced becomes the sector in technical aspects. As a whole, it increases the scopes for optimization as well as boosts the monetary and time-bound efficiency of a healthcare system. The importance of healthcare systems in technology is massive especially in cases associated with tailored treatments.

Challenges in Germany’s healthcare system

Apart from various existing challenges in Germany like unemployment and financial crisis, problems with the healthcare industry have been a recent and most discussed issue in the country. The aging population is one of the main issues of the GHCS or the German Health care System. As the average age of the nation’s population is significantly high, the issues with health rise automatically. Germany, even being developed in the aspects of GDP and literacy rate, lacks adequate health services to meet the needs of all citizens. The overall funding system related to healthcare in Germany needs an improvement and the government so far lacks sufficient plans for significant development in this particular sector as well. Hospital and Nursing home management as well as all sorts of care facilities featuring ambulatory services of the country need a significant uplifting in terms of developmental plans and future goals. Even though the quality of services is good, the nation lacks time-bound emergency ambulatory services, which is one of the major challenges faced by them in recent years. Hospitality management services also lack proper systematic approaches in dealing with their patients, like the security system and gate-entry systems of the healthcare centers in Germany are still not well-equipped. Lack of systematic emergency services in the country’s medical system is also one of the critical issues the country is dealing with, presently. To sum up, Quality management in the German Health Care System needs to improve as a whole. They are still lacking in certain important necessities in terms of health and medical facilities, that any well-developed nation must look into for improvements with prior concern.

Recommendation

Health Information Technology is an efficient and effective tool, that Germany must use for their improvements in terms of the medical and healthcare services. With a good financial setup and stable scopes for growth, the country must look into its healthcare improvements with prior concern, especially during such an emergency pandemic situation. Digitization to the existing system like the addition of networking and cloud models like ICT and IoT would significantly provide a stable boost to the medical departments in the country. Still, there are multiple risk factors and compliance management considerations related to various components of healthcare like telemedicine, online e-healthcare technologies, documentation, and information systems. Thus, in Germany, any working corporates and software developer must abide by a few rules featuring compliance requirements. All these corporates must provide employment to the native citizens of the nation and the organization must have transparency and clearance in terms of data privacy and its responsible protection. The compliance-based service establishments must be studied and examined well enough before application or implementation. Surveys featuring the COVID-19 post-pandemic situation should be performed properly and all the observations are to be recorded for future solutions. Germany must prioritize their plans on healthcare developments and take immediate steps for improvisation considering the nation’s huge aging population. Technological improvisations not only improve the healthcare system in terms of a modernized approach, but it significantly acts towards cost-effectiveness and efficiency improvement featuring the available national resources. Thus, all sorts of businessmen, investors, software well as program developers must abide by a few basic country-specific criteria before acting on the same in terms of real-life application.

Conclusion

The detailed situation regarding the healthcare system in Germany, the benefits and impacts it is facing on the implementation of networking and ICT processing were studied. And finally, the results of its implementation during the COVID-19 situation and few specific treatments were observed. All sorts of challenges were noted and categorized with the scopes for improvement in terms of digitalizing the healthcare system. It was found that, even though Germany is well developed in terms of economy and infrastructure, it lacks significantly in the domain of technological implementations to healthcare. It must be improved considering multiple crucial factors as per discussion.

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