Germany’s push towards Healthcare 4.0 – A guide to the new fast-track pathway to reimbursement for digital health apps

The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) continues to be one of the hottest topics in the global life sciences and healthcare industry. The new German Digital Healthcare Act (DHA – Digitale‑Versorgung‑Gesetz/DVG) entered into force on December 19, 2019. This legislation massively pushes Germany towards Healthcare 4.0 and may usher in an era of great opportunities: not only for traditional players in the life sciences and healthcare market, but also for newcomers to this sector, including tech giants, tech startups and data-driven enterprises. Among many other groundbreaking initiatives to accelerate the digital transformation, innovation and agility of the German healthcare system, the DHA enables any physician or psychotherapist in Germany to prescribe Digital Health Applications (DH‑Apps – digitale Gesundheitsanwendungen) to the approximately 90% of the population who are covered by the country’s Statutory Health Insurance (SHI – gesetzliche Krankenversicherung/GKV). Makers of DH-Apps are being given superfast access to the highly lucrative German healthcare reimbursement system.