InterComponentWare AG

Electronic Health Card: ICW submits Connector for Approval to Gematik

The eHealth specialist InterComponentWare (ICW) has submitted its connector "Medical NTBA" for approval to Gematik, the German operation company for the national electronic health card. The approval is a prerequisite for the application of the connector in official test regions for the electronic health card.

The connector serves for the secure link-up of the IT systems of medical service providers to the future health care IT infrastructure. It will be installed for the introduction of the electronic health card in physicians' offices and pharmacies. There, it will control the access to card readers and the communication with the central IT infrastructure. The ICW Medical NTBA will now be tested in Gematik's central test lab to see whether it fulfils the connector specification part 1: "General Functions and Interfaces of the Connector V 0.4.0". This defines functions like mutual authorization of the electronic health card and the health professional card as well as offline contract data management.

The ICW Medical NTBA essentially consists of a hardware platform and the ICW Healthcare Connector Application (ICW HCCA). As a software, the HCCA implements the applications required for the connector including the signature components and is designed in such a way that it can be applied on most varied hardware platforms without extensive adaptations. For the recently submitted connector variant ICW Medical NTBA, the HCCA was implemented on an Intel platform.

For the connector variant "Healthcare Router", currently developed jointly by ICW and Cisco Systems, ICW's HCCA will run on a Cisco router. The Cisco Healthcare Router is designed as a "one box solution" and includes a network connector as well as an application connector in one single device. It therefore unites ICW's eHealth competence with the core competence of Cisco Systems in the fields of routing and network security. After its completion, this variant will also be submitted to Gematik for certification.

Besides the functions already specified by Gematik, the ICW HCCA can already generate e-prescriptions, manage emergency data and perform automatic drug interaction and contraindication checks in combination with physician or pharmacy systems. In addition, it is possible to exchange medical documents with the personal health record LifeSensor so that this data can be provided to all attending physicians and pharmacists with the patients' consent. Such an extended connector version is already in application in an initial health card field test in Walldorf, Germany.

Peter Reuschel, CEO of ICW: "We will adapt our Healthcare connector application to the respective specifications issued by Gematik in close cooperation with Cisco. With our Software Development Kit (SDK), manufacturers of medical systems can already prepare their programs comfortably for the application in the health card test today with very little effort. The SDK significantly reduces the adaptation work for new interface specifications."

The SDK contains an easy to operate programming interface (API), which is available for all common platforms and programming languages. It simplifies the creation, transfer and receipt of data exchanged between physician and pharmacy systems and the health care IT infrastructure, e.g. e-prescriptions or contract data of health insurance patients. The SDK not only contains the mandatory applications demanded and standardized by Gematik, but also supports the implementation of added-value applications, e.g. the integration of the electronic health record LifeSensor. In addition, the SDK can also be adapted to different country-specific requirements.

Three pharmacy systems by ADG and the medical practice management system Q-MED.Praxis were already prepared for the electronic health card with ICW's SDK. Further integration of medical primary systems is currently in preparation.