October 6, 2020 will go down a watershed in the German healthcare system, as for the first time public insurers approved reimbursement to patients for apps prescribed by their doctors.
The first two apps eligible were Kalmeda and Velibra, treatments for tinnitus and anxiety disorders respectively. Previously, public insurance policies didn’t cover therapeutic apps. The change is likely to be transformative.
“Digital health applications have finally become part of standard healthcare and will put it on a completely new footing,” Digital Healthcare Association Chairperson Diana Heinrichs told business newspaper Handelsblatt. “This will open up a fully new market with new protagonists.”
Market researchers estimate that there are currently some 100,000 health and fitness apps available in Google and Apple stores.