Interoperability in digital health sector | Facilitating health data exchange


Horst Merkle

Interoperability is a paramount aspect of digitizing health care, especially for the doctor. Some of the key features are:

  • Improves efficiency by reducing time taken
  • Does not depend on the software, medical device or programs- User-Friendly
  • Supports process automation and better resource allocation
  • Readily available and accessible data from medical devices

From a consumer/patient, interoperability is a measure of empowerment. Primarily, it provides the freedom of choice- choosing a solution depending on an individual’s’ lifestyle, trends, and budget. Also, it gives the consumer freedom to share data seamlessly without user intervention.

Manufacturers play an essential role in the workflow process in a medical organization. The process of standardization allows resource deployment toward product differentiation, not reinventing data formats. It frees developers to focus on value-added functionality and adds predictability to development. Moreover, it reduces entry barriers into high-value markets and promotes geographical expansion.

Continua Design Guidelines are the only open implementation framework for authentic, end-to-end interoperability of personal connected health devices and systems. These guidelines are based on common international standards defined by recognized standards development organizations.

Countries like Norway and Denmark have managed to create a health IT infrastructure by these guidelines.Sweden and Finland are in the process of implementing these regulations.

Digitization of health care has created an ocean of opportunities for different classes of the social strata.

  • Manufacturers: To build Continua certified products, applications, and services
  • Policy Makers & Strategies- To introduce rewarding strategy standards based on solutions over proprietary products
  • Regulators-To continue the balanced risk-based approach
  • Health Care Professionals-To activate trade association
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Philipp Mahler

Avatarion is a startup based on humanoid robots in hospitals and digital solutions for schools such as stand-alone Tablet Teaching Infrastructure. Avatar Kids is a worldwide unique pilot project which enables kids and young adults between 4 and 18 years old, to remain in contact with their familiar environment at school and at home during a long-term hospital stay. The Avatar robot “Nao” represents thereby the link between the long-term patient at the hospital and his school or family at home.

Robot technology is one of the most expensive technologies in the health care domain. The business models of companies using robot technology in health care are quite complex regarding finances and funding. The reimbursement part of the project is different for different countries. These companies have to be a part of the repayment catalog of insurance companies, for instance in Germany its public insurance.

Opening and Moderation :

Christina Rode-Schubert, TCI GmbH Mannheim, Germany / Senior Partner / Former CIC Europe Secretary General

Speakers: Horst Merkle, Connected Health Alliance Brussels, Belgium / Roche Diagnostics Indianapolis, USA

Philipp Mahler, Avatarion Technology AG, Volketswill, Swiss / Chief Technology Officer

Astrid Boger

Video URL:

Upload Date- 3rd December 2015

Video code: RS181115 04

Image credit:


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