Rainer Knirsch


Gematik: Green light for Telekom's digital identity

  • First approval of a digital identity for healthcare in Germany
  • BARMER to introduce technology for 8.7 million policy-holders from 2024, together with T-Systems
  • Patients demand control over their own data
Smartphone screen with health insurance Barmer’s health ID card and an electronic ID card

Gematik: Green light for Telekom's digital identity © DTAG/GettyImages/metamorworks/Juanmonino/michalPuchala/Bigmouse108/Turac Novruzova/Viktor Morozuk;Montage: Evelyn Ebert Meneses

Gematik has approved a digital identity for healthcare in Germany for the first time, giving the green light to Telekom's ID service. It is the basis for health cards and electronic ID cards to be used via digital devices such as smartphones in the future. From 2024, health insurers will be legally obliged to offer digital identities to their policyholders. This is based on the Digital Care and Nursing Modernization Act (DVPMG).

Gematik CEO Markus Leyck Dieken says: “The digital identity in healthcare – the Health ID – guarantees security and ensures greater convenience with digital healthcare services. Insurance policy-holders thus have a central key for health applications such as the electronic patient file, the e-prescription and other digital health applications in their hands."

T-Systems CEO Adel Al-Saleh: "Patients demand control over their own data."

T-Systems CEO and member of the Board of Management of Deutsche Telekom AG Adel Al-Saleh says: "We are delighted that gematik has given the green light for our ID wallet system at BARMER. Patients demand control over their own data. With their digital identity, they get secure and easy access. Technology is key to the digitalization of healthcare as a whole. Digital identities create trust. Almost every area of life will benefit from this in the future."

BARMER will introduce the technology for 8.7 million policyholders starting in 2024

BARMER commissioned T-Systems in 2022 to provide and manage digital identities for its approximately 8.7 million policy-holders. Siegmar Nesch, member of the Board of Management at BARMER, says: "The digital identity is of great importance to BARMER's policyholders and to us as a health insurance company. It will be the gateway to digital services with which we set new standards for the protection of sensitive data. For this reason, we have been intensively involved in the process leading up to approval."

T-Systems cloud in Germany – operator cannot view data

For Telekom, digital identities are a strategic issue. T-Systems developed the technical solution for this together with Verimi, in close coordination with gematik. All data is encrypted on a secure and sovereign T-Systems cloud in Germany, even during processing. 

Telekom follows the so-called "Confidential Computing" approach. This means that data cannot be viewed by third parties. T-Systems and Verimi as operators also have no access. In this way, Telekom creates a particularly high level of security for customers in the healthcare sector and the public sector. T-Systems has been a Verimi shareholder since 2017. 26 German companies have a stake in Verimi. Among them are numerous DAX-listed companies.

Telekom tests digital identities in EU field tests

Digital identities give citizens more sovereignty on the Internet. Telekom is therefore involved in recently begun EU field tests for digital identities. The company is testing the technology for unlocking mobile communications cards. The tests are taking place in Germany, France, Austria, Poland, the Netherlands, Greece and Ukraine.

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