Digital health made in Germany: how Germany is digitising the health sector?



Weronika Przecherska.

Analyst DELab UW
DELab UW, Faculty of Sociology UW
Graduated in sociology and applied linguistics (languages: German, English) from the University of Warsaw. She is preparing a dissertation on public policies in the health sector in the era of datafication in Poland, Germany and Estonia. Her research interests include digital sociology, digital health, and public policy.

Prof. Dr. hab. Andrzej Zybała

Warsaw School of Economics

Professor at the Warsaw School of Economics. Head of the Department of Public Policy at the Warsaw School of Economics. He focuses on public policy, public management, social and civil dialogue. Editor-in-chief of the quarterly "Studia z Polityki Publicznej", published by SGH.

He has recently published three books: "Public policies in Poland: culture, governance, development. Opportunities and threats in times of complexity and uncertainty' (2021), "Management and employee participation in Poland. From the manor model to subjectivity' (2019) and 'The Polish Mind at the Crossroads. Around mental culture in Poland. In search of the sources of failure of some of our public actions " (2016).


Andrzej Ryś

The European Commission
Director for Health Systems, Medical Products and Innovation at the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety.
He is also a deputy member of the board of the European Medicines Agency. In 2003-2006, creator and director of the Jagiellonian University Centre for Innovation and Technology Transfer. From 1999 to 2002, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Health responsible for work on the Law on State Medical Rescue and implementation of the "Integrated Medical Rescue" programme and reform of education of doctors and nurses. He was a member of the Negotiating Team for membership in the European Union. He was also the director of the Health Department of the City of Krakow (1997-1999) and the Polish director of the "Harvard-Jagiellonian Health Consortium" (1995-1999). In the years 1990-1997, he was a co-founder and then the director of the School of Public Health of the Jagiellonian University Medical College. Graduate of the Faculty of Medicine at the Medical University of M. Kopernik in Krakow. Specialised in radiodiagnosis and public health.


Analyst DELab UW

Watch the recording of the seminar

A key measu­re of quali­ty of life, and thus of a coun­try­’s deve­lop­ment, today is the health and well-being of its citi­zens and access to health care (Kick­busch, Gle­icher, World Health Orga­ni­za­tion, 2012). At the same time, howe­ver, demo­gra­phic chan­ges, staff shor­ta­ges or glo­bal health chal­len­ges such as pan­de­mics make it dif­fi­cult, or even impos­si­ble, for insti­tu­tions to pro­vi­de good health care to the­ir citi­zens. The­re­fo­re, in order to impro­ve the quali­ty of servi­ces pro­vi­ded, sta­te insti­tu­tions incre­asin­gly turn to digi­tal solu­tions when desi­gning public poli­cies. The lat­ter are sup­po­sed to impro­ve the ope­ra­tion of health care, incre­ase its effec­ti­ve­ness and redu­ce costs. With the­ir help, sta­tes also want to meet the expec­ta­tions of citi­zens accu­sto­med to servi­ces pro­vi­ded digi­tal­ly in the pri­va­te sector. 

Altho­ugh digi­ti­sa­tion of heal­th­ca­re (among other things, due to the sen­si­ti­vi­ty of data) is a par­ti­cu­lar­ly dif­fi­cult task for sta­te insti­tu­tions, indi­vi­du­al coun­tries must plan and imple­ment measu­res in this respect. Cur­ren­tly, Euro­pe­an Union coun­tries are tac­kling the digi­ti­sa­tion of health care with vary­ing degre­es of suc­cess. For exam­ple, in the Ber­tel­smann Foun­da­tio­n’s Digi­tal Health Index, Esto­nia is ran­ked first among 17 coun­tries [1] exa­mi­ned, among other things, in terms of tech­no­lo­gi­cal sophi­sti­ca­tion, stra­te­gy or use of digi­tal poten­tial in health care (Thiel et al., 2018, p. 95). Ger­ma­ny and Poland are ran­ked 16th and 17th respec­ti­ve­ly (Thiel et al., 2018, pp. 54 and 168). The pace of deve­lop­ment dyna­mics of indi­vi­du­al coun­tries depends on size (both in terms of geo­gra­phy and popu­la­tion), insti­tu­tio­nal set­tings, bud­gets allo­ca­ted to health care and its digi­tal deve­lop­ment. Cul­tu­ral fac­tors (first of all, the atti­tu­de of socie­ties to the issue of per­so­nal data) and the abi­li­ty of public insti­tu­tions to build stra­te­gies and think long-term abo­ut the digi­ti­sa­tion of the sta­te are also of key importance. 

During the semi­nar, Wero­ni­ka Prze­cher­ska will show how Ger­ma­ny – a coun­try with a popu­la­tion of over 80 mil­lion, a coun­try with a com­plex admi­ni­stra­ti­ve and heal­th­ca­re sys­tem struc­tu­re – is coping with the deve­lop­ment of digi­tal health. At the begin­ning of the third deca­de of the 21st cen­tu­ry, Ger­ma­ny is not a Euro­pe­an leader in this field, but recent years have seen dyna­mic chan­ges, such as the intro­duc­tion of elec­tro­nic medi­cal records or the pio­ne­ering of the pre­scrip­tion app solu­tion. And altho­ugh the pan­de­mic has some­what slo­wed down this dyna­mic deve­lop­ment, it has also raised awa­re­ness of the impor­tan­ce of digi­tal heal­th­ca­re solu­tions among Ger­mans who are scep­ti­cal of tech­no­lo­gi­cal innovations. 

[1] Among the coun­tries listed in the ran­king, accor­ding to the sco­re from highest to lowest, are: Esto­nia, Cana­da, Den­mark, Isra­el, Spa­in, UK (NHS England), Swe­den, Por­tu­gal, Nether­lands, Austria, Austra­lia, Ita­ly, Bel­gium, Swit­zer­land, Fran­ce, Ger­ma­ny, Poland.

Kick­busch, I., Gle­icher, D. , World Health Orga­ni­za­tion (2012). Gover­nan­ce for health for the 21st cen­tu­ry. Copen­ha­gen, Den­mark: World Health Orga­ni­za­tion, Regio­nal Offi­ce for Euro­pe. Down­lo­aded from LINK: (acces­sed 19.10.2020).
Thiel, R., Deimel, L., Schmidt­mann, D., Pie­sche, K., Hüsing, T., Ren­noch, J., Stro­et­mann, V., Stro­et­mann, K. (2018). #Smar­tHe­al­th­Sys­tems. Inter­na­tio­nal com­pa­ri­son of digi­tal stra­te­gies. Ber­tel­smann Sti­ftung, empi­ri­ca. Down­lo­aded from LINK: (acces­sed: 5.04.2021).

A series of English-language meetings to present the results of research in the field of digitisation, conducted by researchers from European Union countries.

The seminars are an excellent opportunity to learn about topics undertaken at foreign universities and to discuss them with invited guests. Due to their interactive form, they are also an opportunity to build cooperation between Polish and foreign research centres. Past seminars can be found on the DELab UW website.

Fundacja Koalicja na Rzecz Polskich Innowacji
Build Up Your Future Conference - WNE UW Student Council
Favicona DELab
wydział socjologii uw
Faculty of Sociology, University of Warsaw
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