The Hamburg-based Asklepios Kliniken GmbH & Co. KGaA is investing around EUR 500 million in its digitization strategy by 2024 to accelerate its transformation into a digital health care group. Its “Digital HealthyNear” will broaden the range of digital services to relieve employees and open up new business areas. The announcement comes against the backdrop of a recent study by McKinsey, which found that the use of digital technology would allow the German health care system to save EUR 34 billion p.a.
Developing innovative and digital business segments
Commenting on the plans, Kai Hankeln, CEO of the Asklepios Group, said: “We have already successfully initiated the transformation of Asklepios into a digital and integrated health care group. Now we are significantly increasing the pace of implementation once again.” Under the plan, more than EUR 1 billion will be invested in the clinic’s network by 2024. Hafid Rifi, CFO of Asklepios, said: “Almost half a billion euros of that sum will be spent directly or indirectly on digitization. In the fiscal year 2018 alone, we invested around EUR 80 million in IT and new digital business areas.” The investments should give the group a medium to long-term head start in digital health care.
Online consultation scheduled for 2019
Nurses and doctors in Germany are presently forced to spend more than a third of their working hours on documentation, which they lack for patient care. Digital services including online appointments, digital patient files, telemedicine, automation and robotics should considerably ease the workload on staff and patients. Online consultation hours will be introduced during the current fiscal year. Digital patient files, launched across all the Asklepios clinics in Hamburg last year, are likely to be the norm by 2021 while online appointments should be standard by 2024.
Intensifying co-operation with start-ups
Asklepios also plans increased co-operation with doctors, scientific institutions and start-ups. The aim is to jointly develop services and products, e.g. software solutions for pre and post-care in certain disciplines.