New telehealth cooperation Extended care for COPD patients in Germany Enhanced quality of life for high-risk patients

  • Cooperation between Bosch Healthcare, Süddeutscher Krankenversicherung and Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus
  • Telehealth program with SDK policyholders
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  • October 30, 2012
  • Healthcare
  • Press releases

press release

Stuttgart/Fellbach – In October, Bosch Healthcare, Süddeutsche Krankenversicherung (SDK) and the Robert Bosch Hospital (RBK – Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus) in Stuttgart are launching the telehealth care program for SDK policyholders. The program will permit Germany-wide provision of support for around 100 critically ill patients suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Patients participating in the program use the Bosch Telehealth system to answer questions about their respiratory condition, measure vital signs such as oxygen saturation and receive information about their general state of health on a daily basis. This information is sent daily to the telehealth center at the RBK, where it is evaluated by qualified medical professionals in order to identify potential changes in the patient's health early on and, where necessary, contact the patient or attending physician. With the Telehealth system patients also receive information about coping with their medical condition, avoiding relapses and enhancing their quality of life.

Cooperation builds on working closely with general practitioners
Dr. Ralf von Baer, managing director of Robert Bosch Healthcare GmbH on the existing telehealth infrastructure: “Within the scope of the “Alltag mit Telemedizin erfolgreich meistern” (A.T.e.m.) project (“Coping with everyday life with telehealth support”) launched for COPD patients in April of this year we are already supporting a large number of Techniker Krankenkasse policyholders. Now patients insured by SDK can also benefit from the program.”

“SDK offers high-risk patients individual care and exceptional quality of treatment. With a healthcare day in September, SDK already put the topic of COPD on its agenda. With this program we hope to contribute significantly to enhancing patients' quality of life,” explains Klaus Henkel, Chairman of SDK's Board of Management. SDK is currently contacting COPD patients with an invitation to participate in the program.
“Continuous monitoring of their medical condition together with intensive patient care and education can prevent an acute worsening of patients' condition, also called an exacerbation of COPD. This can spare them one or more stays in hospital, which would otherwise be inevitable,” stresses Professor Mark Dominik Alscher, Medical Director of the RBK. “The program helps patients to feel more confident in their familiar home surroundings, which in turn improves their quality of life.”
“The collaboration between the health insurance fund, the hospital and the company is built on a strong cooperation with the patients' medical providers,” Ullrich Hipp, managing director of Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus GmbH stressed. “That's why it's important to win the support of attending general practitioners,” Medical Director Alscher adds. Without the support of local doctors, who know the patients personally and monitor their progress, a decisive component of the telehealth program would be lacking.

COPD third most frequent cause of death in Europe by 2030
Surveys conducted by the Federal Statistical Office indicate that 80 patients die from COPD every day in Germany alone. The World Health Organization (WHO) anticipates that by 2030 COPD will be the third most frequent cause of death in Europe after heart failure and stroke (World Health Statistics). According to estimates, more than six million people in Germany are currently suffering from COPD (based on the BOLD study, Geldmacher 2008). However, only around 1.5 million of these have been diagnosed (Chapman 2006).

System successfully implemented in the USA for over a decade
This program builds on the Bosch Healthcare Telehealth system that has been implemented internationally for over a decade. As well as COPD the Bosch Healthcare system is also used to successfully monitor other chronic diseases such as heart failure and diabetes. “Here we go a long way towards living up to Bosch's vision of “Invented for life”,” explains Dr. Jasper zu Putlitz, president of Robert Bosch Healthcare. Referring to the further rollout in Germany zu Putlitz says: “We are expecting other health insurance companies and insurers – also for other chronic diseases – to participate in our telehealth infrastructure in the near future.”

Bosch Healthcare is a pioneer and global market leader of telehealth solutions and a leading provider of telecare systems in Europe. The Telehealth division offers payers and healthcare providers a broad portfolio of telehealth products and services aimed at supporting patients with chronic diseases in their home environment and contributing to an efficient and sustainable healthcare system. The Bosch Telehealth System delivers educational content, records health data (incl. symptoms and vital signs), transmits the processed data to the respective healthcare provider and provides the patient with feedback. The Bosch telehealth system currently monitors over 50,000 patients with chronic diseases worldwide in order to support their care. The success of the system – documented in over 30 publications – results from the timely identification of patients at risk of their condition worsening, and from support of improved patient self-management. The Bosch Telecare division offers a range of personal emergency response systems that allow people to live securely and independently in their own homes while having access to assistance 24/7 at the touch of a button. Personal alert systems allow those living in retirement homes and other assisted living facilities to have direct access to a call button which they can press if they need to alert staff.
Bosch Healthcare has a staff of 320 and, in addition to its headquarters in Palo Alto (USA), is represented worldwide at locations in Grasbrunn near Munich, La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland) and Waiblingen near Stuttgart.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology, more than 300,000 associates generated sales of 51.5 billion euros in fiscal 2011. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 350 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Bosch spent some 4.2 billion euros for research and development in 2011, and applied for over 4,100 patents worldwide. With all its products and services, Bosch enhances the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial.

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The Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus (RBK - Robert-Bosch-Hospital) is a hospital supported by the Robert Bosch Foundation which provides secondary and tertiary care at three locations. With 935 beds, the RBK and its Klinik Charlottenhaus and Klinik Schillerhöhe locations admit some 39,000 inpatients a year. A number of certified medical centers in 17 specialized departments, a center for further education and an internationally renowned research institute, the Dr. Margarete Fischer-Bosch-Institut for clinical pharmacology, are associated with the hospital, which has a staff of over 2,000.

Further information is available online at

Based in Fellbach, SDK is the health insurance specialist of the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken cooperative banks in southern Germany. With premium income in excess of 700 million euros; SDK is one of the region’s biggest private health insurers. Over 590,000 policyholders rely on SDK for healthcare provision. Around 800 office staff and agents provide competent advice and support. With its cooperation partner, mhplus Krankenkasse, a statutory health insurance fund, SDK provides care solutions from a single source. Renowned business magazines and leading rating agencies rank SDK among the best companies in the sector. Süddeutsche Lebensversicherung with a sum insured in the region of 1.4 billion euros is one of the smaller companies. It combines highest customer satisfaction with excellent investment results. Süddeutsche Allgemeine Versicherung covers against accidents and rounds off the offering as a life and health insurer.

Further information is available online at

PI7952 - October 30, 2012

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