University Medical Center Mainz taps IBM to secure health care data

Three doctors in a hospital corridor cheerfully looking at some data on a tablet
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

University Medical Center Mainz, one of Germany's largest teaching hospitals, has digitized several of its medical processes using IBM’s Cloud Satellite technology to run these processes anywhere its data resides.

The health care organization provides inpatient and outpatient care to over 350,000 people across approximately 60 clinics each year. It has worked with IBM to facilitate the secured exchange of health care data and streamline COVID-19 testing and vaccination processes.

The University Medical Center's objective was to digitize processes and work to improve patient care quickly. Over several weeks, IBM designed and implemented the solutions using the firm’s hybrid cloud capabilities and industry ability via IBM Global Business Services (GBS).

The health care organization used a hybrid cloud to ensure access to cloud services was secure and efficient to help it maintain its compliance with high data-protection requirements by keeping its data in its on-premises data center. The hardware and data are always under the sovereignty of the University Medical Center.

Among the processes updated is a new messenger system specifically developed for the hospital sector that enables doctors, nursing staff, and administration to communicate via computer or mobile devices quickly and securely. Hospital staff within a location can use this messaging system to quickly exchange information about patients’ conditions and view or update patient data.

The messenger system is currently just a pilot, but it will soon be fully available to the system’s entire network of other clinics of the University Medical Center in the coming months.

There is also a mobile app to manage the workflow of the clinic's COVID-19 test center. This allows patients to make appointments and view test results and lets the University Medical Center Mainz manage patient and testing data. After the test, the information is digitally transmitted to the laboratory, communicated to those tested, and automatically sent to Germany’s Corona Warn App, adhering to Germany’s data privacy standards.

IBM also helps build an application that digitally supports the processes for making and managing vaccination appointments. This app streamlines the process of vaccinating hospital staff.

Dr. Christian Elsner, chief financial officer of University Medical Center Mainz, said it was very important for the organization to develop and digitize processes in the medical field.

“To support these efforts, we are working with IBM to enable us to innovate in ways that help us safeguard sensitive clinic data. Hybrid cloud technologies from IBM, combined with the consulting and GBS implementation capabilities, make our transformation initiatives possible so that we can continue to treat patients and find ways to fight the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.