Health Care Management

I.DiGA - Towards a better implementation of digital health applications into the statutory health insurance of Germany

Project members

  • Prof. Dr. med. Reinhard Busse
  • Dr. Dimitra Panteli
  • Hendrikje Lantzsch
  • Dr. Victor Stephani (former)

Digital health applications (DiGA) are cooperative and/or interactive applications of modern information and communication technologies to improve health care and public health (especially through the use of mobile devices). In recent years, DiGA have stimulated innovation in the healthcare sector, but - at least with regard to the DiGA used by patients themselves - have been only used in the so-called second (i.e. privately financed) healthcare market. This leads to the situation that providers, especially physicians and nursing staff, are increasingly confronted with e.g. app-based data and interventions, which their patients used independently of medical advice.

The integration of DiGA into the statutory health insurance system in Germany faces two major problems: (1) their incompatibility with the existing service segments of the statutory health insurance care and (2) the limited suitability of procedures and methods provided by the SGB V.

Within the framework of this project, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Health until the end of 2020, needs for action are to be identified and solutions are to be developed. Therefore, developed concepts are to be discussed together with experts and relevant actors in the health care system.

The project focuses on the analysis and conception of DiGA according to definitions and categorization: (1) Suitable Health Technology Assessment (HTA) procedures for DiGA, (2) Suitable study designs for proof of efficacy of DiGA, (3) Pricing and remuneration systems and other incentive structures for DiGA, and (4) appropriate procedures for the implementation of DiGA in the statutory health insurance system. Accordingly, the project is divided into five work packages, so-called metasprints (Fig. 1).