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Improving health care – a new call for funding on topical issues

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Climate change and health, digital solutions for better patient treatment, the further development of selected medical treatment guidelines: The Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) wants to further advance medical care with new funding announcements. Their implementation is the responsibility of DLR Projektträger.

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30th June 2022 — The further development of healthcare within the framework of statutory health insurance poses considerable challenges for those responsible. New treatment options must be established in everyday care and the provision of healthcare must be coordinated across sectors with regard to prevention, rehabilitation and care. The Innovation Committee of the Federal Joint Committee addresses these challenges with its three funding announcements published at the end of June for projects in health services research and the (further) development of selected medical guidelines.

Online and by telephone – DLR Projektträger advises on the application process

DLR Projektträger is responsible for implementing the legal aspects of funding and advising those interested in funding. To this end, DLR Projektträger provided intensive support to the office of the Innovation Committee at the G-BA in the conception of the new funding announcements and will take over the implementation of the funding in the future.

The health services research projects will be funded in an open-topic and a topic-specific announcement. The funding for the further development of medical guidelines is topic-specific, i.e. it concerns selected guidelines for which there is a particular need in healthcare. This concerns, for example, intensive care of seriously ill patients and their aftercare. Interested parties can submit their applications for the development of guidelines by the 27th September 2022 at the latest. The deadline for submitting research projects on health services research is the 25th October 2022.

In advance, DLR Projektträger offers the opportunity to participate in an information event on the specific requirements of the funding announcements in the form of a web seminar. Details can be found here. Staff from the Health Division will also answer questions on the content of the announcement, the process and procedure for submitting applications via a specially set up hotline (tel. +49 228 3821 1020).

Research for more sustainability and for better structures in healthcare provision

The new funding announcements are intended to help address various challenges facing the health sector: Climate change, for example, is placing an increasing burden on human health and has implications for the health sector: Measures and interventions need to be developed and tested that address these pressures and bring new knowledge into the healthcare system. It is important to note that targeted adjustments, i.e. climate-friendly approaches and sustainable strategies, are also necessary in the health sector itself, which is an important part of the national economy. In this context, the use, selection and resource consumption of healthcare services are increasingly coming into focus in order to achieve more sustainable healthcare.

There are also further challenges in aftercare that patients need after a stay in hospital, which is organised within the framework of aftercare and discharge management. However, a seamless transition is not always possible. This makes it all the more important to take a closer look at this step, which in view of the regulations on transitional care, is a new benefit provided by the statutory health insurance funds. Here, outpatient and inpatient structures, resources and processes are to be systematically recorded and evaluated. In this way, the question will be answered as to what effort is required to organise follow-up care and whether digital health applications or exchange platforms make sense.

eHealth – exploiting the potential of digitalisation

The digitalisation of healthcare is another major challenge. The introduction of digital solutions in the provision of statutory health insurance has been defined as a goal for years, but progress is slow and faces many hurdles. This concerns both applications for direct healthcare such as digital health apps or other digital medical products and other eHealth solutions such as video consultations and teleconsultations, e-prescription and the electronic patient file.

Many of the existing solutions and processes are perceived as technology-driven or not user-oriented enough. The projects planned in this context should therefore examine, among other things, how doctors and nurses as well as patients can be better integrated into existing eHealth services.

Exploiting the potential for improvement in medical guidelines

The potential of digitalisation is currently only partially exploited in the development and elaboration of medical guidelines, which is why they are also the focus of funding. In the case of more common diseases, for example, there is a need for close coordination between general practitioners and specialists, but also between people from other healthcare professions and between the outpatient and inpatient sectors. There is a need for improvement here, which the newly developed guidelines for action must take up.

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For better healthcare

To further improve healthcare for the more than 70 million people with statutory health insurance in Germany – this is what the projects of the Innovation Fund at the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) are all about. DLR Projektträger has been overseeing the implementation of the numerous projects since 2016.

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Contact at DLR Projektträger