05/02/2007

InterComponentWare AG (ICW)

First Health Card Connector

Walldorf/Berlin, April 30, 2007 – The operation company for the introduction of the electronic health card in Germany received the first connector for licensing pursuant to the current specification 1.0 today: eHealth specialist InterComponentWare AG (ICW) and network equipper Cisco submitted their jointly developed health card connector "Cisco Healthcare Router" to gematik for provisional licensing.

With grant of the provisional license by gematik, the Cisco Healthcare Router can now be applied in all German electronic health card test regions. The rollout for connectors with the current 1.0 specification in offline mode is planned for June. This connector version now allows the use of modern Secure Interoperable Chipcard Terminals (SICCT) for the first time. These terminals are also provided for application with the final version of the health card. Presently, the test regions Saxony and Schleswig Holstein still use MKT+ card readers, which are directly connected to the physicians' PCs without a connector. Together with this connector, the new terminals provide a clearly higher degree of data integrity.

The Cisco Healthcare Router with the ICW Healthcare Connector Application now submitted for preliminary licensing unites a network connector and a so-called application connector in one box. The Healthcare Router establishes a safe connection between the local physician’s office or pharmacy network and the healthcare network of the electronic health card. In the physicians' or pharmacy network, the application connector controls the flow of information between the connected card readers, the available physician practice or pharmacy software and the healthcare network. This allows the safe and comfortable use of the electronic health card applications, e.g. electronic prescriptions or personal health records using the already existing physician practice or pharmacy software.
Due to the fact that the Healthcare Router is based on a proven Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR), it can be managed more efficiently than proprietary developments. Network operators are familiar with the underlying network technology, which substantially reduces training measures required for its application.

ICW provides a software development kit for the Healthcare Router developed in cooperation with Cisco in the ICW Developer Network at http://idn.icw-global.com, which allows the fast and easy preparation of the present practice management and pharmacy information systems for the electronic health card. Physicians and pharmacists can still work in their accustomed software environment after the introduction of the new health card.