Today’s guest blog comes from Dr. Gerd Kraeh, Senior Director Government Affairs at Lilly Germany
We at Lilly Germany are committed to improve the conditions of people living and working with diabetes. This is why we developed the Diabetes@Work initiative. Two weeks before the German elections, the partners of Diabetes@Work seized the chance to push the topic of diabetes even higher on the political agenda for the upcoming legislative period. Specifically, we discussed key aspects of a modern and patient-centered diabetes care with one of Germany’s most influential political health care experts and Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance Jens Spahn. Along with representatives from labour unions, sick funds, regional companies and physicians, we looked ahead and discussed the essential post-election health policy initiatives.
What are the next health policy steps towards a more innovative diabetes care?
Paving the way for digital care solutions will be one of the top priorities of the new health policy agenda. Innovative applications can encourage people to have a healthier lifestyle and support patients in managing their diabetes. For example, connecting smartphones with insulin pumps for continuous and transparent glucose monitoring. Big data will also spur advances in diagnosis and individualized therapies.
However, to tap the full potential of digital innovations, policymakers and sick funds need to provide stronger incentives to implement digital care services. To transform diabetes care, the roll-out of connected solutions must be politically supported and should be integrated in a holistic political approach towards diabetes. One positive step forward would be the creation of a national diabetes strategy in Germany. Furthermore, we need more practical policy approaches that allow patients easier control of their health data and use of telemedicine services. Jens Spahn, one of the driving forces behind the digitalization of the health care sector, acknowledged the efforts of Diabetes@Work to make e-health more accessible for diabetes therapies.
For patients to receive the best possible care and support, we also need an enhanced cooperation of all parties involved. For this matter, an improved exchange of information and better coordination between general practitioners, company physicians, and sick funds would represent a significant improvement.
The event with Jens Spahn was part of a series of policy discussions with top-level political decision makers. In a continued dialogue including patients, physicians, businesses and expert groups, Diabetes@Work helps the political decision-making process and provides innovative and practical ideas for the evolution of diabetes care, specifically at the workplace. Our ongoing Diabetes@Work program addresses the pressing questions of tomorrow’s health care in an open discussion. The recognition by Jens Spahn showed that with Diabetes@Work we are on the right track to raise awareness for the required political initiatives towards modernized diabetes care.