Tech & Science : Doctors are increasingly prescribing apps on prescription

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33 digital applications are reimbursed by the cash register. In Saxony they are mainly used for a disease.

Das Gesundheitstraining „HelloBetter“ ist eine der Anwendungen, die von der Kasse übernommen werden. © Annette Riedel/dpa © Annette Riedel/dpa The health training "Hellobetter" is one of the applications that are taken over by the cash register. © Annette Riedel/dpa

whether depression, panic disorders or tobacco addiction - more and more German benefits for their recovery so -called digital health treatments (Digas), i.e. medical apps. The use has increased significantly, according to the "E-Health Monitor" study by the consulting company McKinsey on Tuesday.

carefully estimated this year 125,000 diga regulations and thus almost three times as many as in the previous year (44,000). This means that digitization in Germany's healthcare system is making something forward in some areas.

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These apps are paid

The Federal Institute for Medicines and Medical Devices (BfArM) is currently listing 33 Digas , which are reimbursed by the statutory health insurance. Among them are the "Non-Smoker hero" app against dependence on smoking, "mindable" against panic disorders, "My Tinnitus app", the fear therapy application "Invirto" and the health training "Hellobetter".

"Digas are medical devices of low risk class that should provide support in various diseases," says Hannelore Strobel, spokeswoman for the AOK Plus.

Digital Aid for the Psyche

The insured persons of the largest health insurance in Saxony are used particularly frequently for diseases of the psyche, in particular depression and sleep disorders.

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Most often doctors prescribe the "Somnio" app against recruits and sleep disorders, the depression application "Deprexis", the tinnitus app "Kalmeda", "Zanadio" against obesity and "vivira" for back pain on request from announced.

cash registers also bear further costs

The Diga regulations cost an average of 458 euros. Industry experts charge a market volume of around 57 million euros for this year. For 2023 you expect another increase.

As a rule, statutory health insurance companies cover additional costs for selected health apps that are not prescribed by a doctor. The AOK Plus, for example, will reimburse its insured up to 300 euros per year if you use the health app "Neolexon" against pronunciation disruptions in children, the neurodermatitis app "NIA" or the desire to have children "Ovularing". The prerequisite for this is a medical letter of recommendation.

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studies show health benefits

"The number of digas increases, the offer increases year after year," says McKinsey specialist Tobias Silberzahn. Reservations among doctors would be weaker, the awareness among patients increases and the feedback from the users has so far been mostly positive - therefore the prospects of this market segment are very good.

A large number of studies also show the health benefits. "Digas can be a sensible addition in chronic patients to initiate or support a change in behavior."

The "E-Health Monitor" gives an interim status of digitization in healthcare. There are bright spots like the Digas or the fact that almost all medical practices and pharmacies are now connected to the telematics infrastructure - i.e. the communication network of the health industry. The electronic prescription (e-recipe) and the electronic patient file (EPA) are only used little. (dpa/kno)

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