09 February 2006
E-health and telemedicine provide an opportunity to optimize healthcare costs while improving treatment and quality of life for patients. Patients can be treated on a continual and remote basis, which decreases the need for hospital stays and has a positive impact on healthcare costs. The development of telemedical solutions requires expertise in the areas of medicine, healthcare economics, and IT and communications technology. The synergies between Swisscom and Medgate lie in the development and marketing of telemedicine systems and programmes.
Medgate Holding AG includes Medgate AG (services for patients, physicians and health insurance providers), Medcontrol AG (services for pharmaceutical companies) and Sirius Technologies AG (software development and distribution of telemedical systems). With up to 900 telemedical patient contacts daily, Medgate has broad experience in teleconsultation, telediagnostics and teletherapy. The group currently employs 103 staff, 30 of whom are physicians trained in telemedicine, along with 15 medical consultation specialists, and 27 software developers and engineers. The company has official medical accreditation as a centre for telemedicine and is subject to all the rights and obligations of a medical practice.
The teleconsultation centre in Basel is at the heart of the company's infrastructure and can be contacted around the clock from Switzerland and abroad. Over two million insured people now have the opportunity to consult Medgate whenever they have a problem. With the development of its telemedical disease management programmes (treatment of chronic patients) and alternative treatment models, Medgate is setting new milestones in the interdisciplinary treatment of acute and chronically ill patients.
Medgate Holding's current Board of Directors comprises founders Dr. Andy Fischer (CEO Medgate AG), Lorenz Fitzi (CFO Medgate AG) and André Moeri (CEO Sirius Technologies AG), as well as Prof. Walter P. von Wartburg (Chairman) and Dr. Claude Janiak. Carsten Schloter (CEO Swisscom AG) and Christoph Brand (CSO Swisscom AG) will be joining the Board.
Swisscom already plays a key role in Swiss healthcare as an IT and communications service provider. Together with its partners, Swisscom has established an own competence centre to develop innovative solutions and services for health insurance providers and hospitals. In addition, Swisscom is supporting pilot projects specific to the healthcare sector, including the introduction of a national health card. Swisscom sees strong potential for growth in e-healthcare, which is why it is continuing to expand its position in the Swiss healthcare market. To this end, Swisscom is planning to develop a central ICT platform to address the needs of the Swiss healthcare system. This platform will be based on current projects and serve as many market participants as possible in the healthcare sector.
Swisscom Group company Accarda also serves as a partner for providers of healthcare services and acquired Medipa AG, a medical billing service provider for doctors, in July 2005.