The “Exporting Guide” published by the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to help New Zealanders reports on exporting healthcare possibilities related to Germany. Germany has the largest healthcare system in Europe with 2,000 hospitals, 2,000 medical supply stores, 1,200 rehabilitation centers, 21,500 pharmacies, and 150,000 doctors’ offices.
According to the report, Germany has the largest population of 82 million in Europe and has nearly 5 million employees with their healthcare spending accounting for over 11 percent of GDP. Germany tries to maintain high standards of quality care delivery while trying to ensure that their healthcare system remains affordable.
However, with Germany’s aging population, the country has zero or declining growth. Government funding of hospital projects has remained static but major areas of opportunity are seen for private hospitals and clinics which have a 20 percent market share.
The number of long term care homes is expected to increase to approximately 13,000 by 2020 which will provide opportunities for businesses that can offer mobility to the elderly through the use of telehealth technologies.
The e-health market accounts for approximately 30 percent of the European market equivalent to $7.9 billion in U.S dollars. The market is expected to double by 2014 reaching over $13.7 million. However, there is still a lack of interoperability particularly between hospitals and community care providers.
In general, e-health opportunities exist for clinical information systems, telemedicine, personalized health systems, integration of regional and national health information networks, and services such as e-prescribing and e-referrals.
Germany has rolled out their electronic health card and electronic network. This will give all care providers swift and secure electronic access to the data they need. By the end of 2012, approximately 50 million members of the statutory health insurance had received a new e-health card.
When the patient goes to see their doctor, the e-health card is read just like the health insurance card. This works smoothly since doctors, dentists, and hospitals are equipped with modern card readers paid for by the health insurance funds.
Germany has the third largest medical device market in the world accounting for over 7 percent of the global market. Despite Germany’s strong domestic manufacturing industry, the country imports three quarters of all medical devices.
According to the U.S Commercial Services and Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research, trends in the medical technology sector include electro medical equipment and nano-technology products. There is demand for imaging systems, prostheses and implants, telemonitoring and virtual reality medicine, operational and interventional devices and systems, high quality diagnostics and therapeutics equipment, biomaterial cardiovascular and endoscopy products, mobile medical products, along with device and system networking.