Swiss Post signs two deals to expand digital healthcare data delivery
Swiss Post has said it is looking to expand its position in the healthcare market through its digital communications technology. The state-owned postal service in Switzerland is partnering with two major national organisations to increase its role in delivering healthcare information to doctors and patients and other stakeholders.
The company will work with the Swiss Medical Association (FMH) and the Ärztekasse health insurance fund on their joint project, called Health Info Net (HIN).
HIN has agreed a contract to use Swiss Post’s secure digital mail system for the e-health sector, vivates, to send confidential health information electronically.
Swiss Post said it has also signed an agreement with the Professional Association of Swiss Pharmacists (OFAC) to use the vivates eHealth platform, connecting around 70% of all pharmacies.
Swiss Post said its vivates system can cover all information flows between various healthcare service providers, such as those related to medication or care plans.
At the moment, the system comprises five different modules, each of which cover the specific requirements of individual target groups within the healthcare sector. The modules can then by combined as required.
One of the modules, for example, is a referral module that allows doctors to quickly and securely transfer a patient to hospital. Other modules cover the transfer of reports, care plans and medication data between service providers.
Swiss Post said its vivantes system is “highly secure”, using encryption for all data transmitted, and leaving data stored locally by the various health service providers, with Swiss Post acting only to transmit data securely, and provide access to the data stored locally.
The postal service said it already provides an “essential role” delivering healthcare information through its letter and parcel services, but said it sees “huge potential” in the e-health sector.
The firm claimed that its internal research suggests that widespread use of the vivantes system “could save several hundred million francs per year in healthcare”.
“Because the information required is always available electronically, administrative costs can be reduced and inappropriate treatment or unnecessary repetition of med-ical tests can be avoided,” the company said in a statement.
Swiss Post said the growth in its vivantes system, already in use by various hospitals in Switzerland, comes as part of its overall strategy to connect the physical and digital worlds.
Please click here for a link to more information about Vivates, hosted on Swiss Post’s website.