German Digital Care Act: Industry Experts Examine The New Law’s Impact In 13th MedTech Radar
With the new Digital Care Act (“Digitale-Versorgung-Gesetz”, DVG), the German digital health scene is gaining momentum. However, what potential does it offer for healthcare in Germany, and where do companies still see a need for improvement? These topics will be covered in the joint publication “MedTech Radar” of the German Medical Technology Association (BVMed), Earlybird Venture Capital, the High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and the magazine medtech zwo. The13th MedTech Radar edition is available for download in German and English:
The DVG brings great hope of speeding up adoption of digital health tools in Germany. For the first time, public health insurance funds will now be able to reimburse digital health tools such as digital therapeutics and telehealth video consultation hours. Most of the medtech industry representatives welcome the law but believe that there is room for improvement in terms of the details and its implementation. The current issue of MedTech Radar covers the perspective of the medtech industry and start-ups in this space. Gottfried Ludewig, Head of Digitalization at the German Federal Ministry of Health, provides insights on the main motivation behind the new law.
“The lower barrier to entry and the patient-friendly approach make it possible for novel solutions to actually find their way into healthcare,”
says BVMed Managing Director Dr. Marc-Pierre Möll. However, the Medtech Association criticizes the fact that the new regulations initially only apply to medical product classes I and IIa.
“From BVMed’s point of view, it is necessary to broaden the scope of application to medical products in classes IIb and III. If this does not happen, the possibilities offered by digital health applications for the improvement of care will be very limited,”
says Natalie Gladkov, BVMed’s expert for digital medical devices.
For Anke Caßing, investment manager at High-Tech Gründerfonds, the DVG is an innovation driver with high potential:
“The law may not yet regulate everything perfectly, but it offers a unique opportunity for start-ups to obtain access to digital solutions and to broadly improve patient care. I am sure that founders, investors and other players will seize this opportunity, exchange experiences and make constructive suggestions for improvement.”
Thom Rasche, partner at Earlybird, also emphasizes the positive impact of the new law:
“The law will pave the way for transferring digital care to standard clinical practice. It will encourage the health insurers to try out innovations, and also increase their engagement through investments into venture capital funds. The decisive success factor of the law, however, will be its interpretation and the implementation of the text in practice. All parties involved in the healthcare system, including the regulators, should see it as an opportunity.”
Sandra Wirsching, Editor-in-chief of the medtech zwo magazine, comments:
“With the DVG, Germany will finally gain access to a growing global market. For too long, digital health start-ups in Germany struggled with market entry barriers. This should now change, providing a strong innovation boost in the long-term.”
About the publishers
Earlybird is a venture capital investor focused on technology companies in Europe. Founded in 1997, Earlybird focuses on investments in various growth phases of the company’s development. Earlybird is one of Europe’s most experienced venture capitalists, managing digital technology funds in Eastern and Western Europe and health care funds.
The German Medical Technology Association (BVMed) is a trade association representing over 230 industrial and commercial companies in the medical technology sector.
The magazine medtech zwo is published by BIOCOM AG. It reports on current developments in the fields of financing, technology, production and regulation of the medical technology industry in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
BIOCOM AG & medtech zwo
Sandra Wirsching, Director of Business Development & Chief Editor medtech zwo
T.: +49 (0)30-264 921-63
High-Tech Gründerfonds invests venture capital in young, promising technology companies that implement promising research results in an entrepreneurial manner. The third fund was launched in 2018. Its investors include the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, KfW Capital and 33 companies including Bayer, B.Braun, Boehringer Ingelheim and Dräger.