HEALTH CARDS ’95 from October 24-26 in Frankfurt/Main was the third international congress on patient cards in health care in Europe in a row. Previous congresses took place in Barcelona (1991) and Marseille (1993). Again, this congress was organised in close cooperation with the national health administrations and the European Union. It took place in Germany for the first time and was held at the facilities of the Frankfurt Messe.
The congress consisted of a conference and an industrial exhibition both of which were well attended by international experts. After the successful nationwide introduction of the Health Insurance Card in Germany, HEALTH CARDS ’95 aimed at providing an international synopsis of the present state of affairs:
Which patient card applications are promising in the health sector?
Which other European countries will follow in introducing national insurance cards?
Why are professional card systems so important?
What is the present state of the European emergency pass?
Which legal conditions have to be created for a safe use of card systems?
During the congress, current applications in Europe, the USA, Canada, and Japan were presented and demonstrated. In addition to this, members of the European Concerted Action on patient and professional cards presented results of the investigation: A detailed framework on how to install card systems in national health care systems. Also, the state of affairs of the G-7 action on patient data cards was reported.
HEALTH CARDS ’95 was organised by the Coordination Office of the German Association of Public Sickness Funds (Spitzenverb‰nde der Krankenkassen), the Federal Association of Sickness Fund Physicians (Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung), the National Medical Council (Bundes‰rztekammer), and the German Society for Medical Informatics, Biometrics, and Epidemiology (GMDS) under the patronage of
Horst Seehofer, Federal Minister for Health,
Dr. Martin Bangemann, European Commissioner,
Barbara Stolterfoht, Minister for Women, Labor and Social Affairs of Hesse.
More than 90 papers were received and edited in this proceedings volume. Many papers did not arrive in the requested format and were reedited by Michael Haegele and Ursula Piccolo, who performed a tremendous job to have everything ready in time. The proceedings volume will be the second edition on health care card systems within the series “Studies on Health Technology and Informatics” by IOS. It certainly will contribute to the advancement in this specific field of telematics for health.
C.O. Köhler, O. Rienhoff, O.P.Schaefer
Frankfurt, September 1995