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Face of a woman with digital overlay and smartphone with health card

ID and health insurance card in the app

BARMER entrusts T-Systems and Verimi with the implementation of digital identities with high-security standards

The challenge

Man in lab coat works on computer and tablet

For BARMER, too, these requirements entail an expansion of its services: a secure authentication process will, in future, allow policyholders to use their digital identity as a form of identification to directly access their electronic patient records and view electronic prescriptions and emergency data on their cell phones. The crux of the matter is that the telematics company (gematik) entrusted with these tasks set very high security standards for the identification and authentication of the policyholders and for the entire duration of data access. To meet these stringent requirements, BARMER commissioned T-Systems and its partner Verimi to provide and manage maximum security digital identities for over 8.7 million policyholders.

The gematik specification of implementing a trusted execution environment (TEE) implies that operators of an identification and authentication solution in the healthcare environment must demonstrate a technical solution that makes accessing all personal medical data impossible. Access is reserved solely for policyholders and persons authorised by them. It is, therefore, necessary to protect data not only during transmission and storage, but also at the time of processing. In addition, the TEE provides for the following: 

  • Detection, damage minimisation, and prevention of attacks 
  • Elimination of the damaging impact arising from the processing of data of one insured party on the processing of data of another insured party
  • Verifiability of the security status of the system

The highly sensitive social welfare data must also be processed in accordance with the stipulations set out in the German Social Code (SGB). In other words:

  • Data must be processed in Germany, in an EU member country, or in a comparable country given the adoption of an adequacy decision
  • Relevant employees should be bound by professional secrecy in accordance with data secrecy provisions governing data processing and social welfare services

The introduction of digital identities allows our policyholders to have easy access to our online services with the highest level of security. We are pleased to have two experienced partners, T-Systems and Verimi, and their invaluable support in offering this user-friendly solution as soon as possible.

Roland Bruns, Head of IT at BARMER

The solution

BARMER is developing such a solution for digital identities with its partners T-Systems and Verimi. Verimi has an established identification and authentication solution, while T-Systems ensures scalable operations in the Sovereign Cloud and in German data centres with European staff. All computing is carried out with the necessary geo-redundancy across multiple data centres, thus ensuring that German Social Code requirements for processing data are met. In addition, confidential computing ensures the required operator exclusion in compliance with gematik’s TEE specification: sensitive data is processed in specific memory regions of the processor encrypted by Intel® Software Guard Extensions (Intel® SGX), also known as Intel SGX enclaves. In the context of processing and storing data, this method prevents access – even with administrator/root privileges – to insured party data. 

Following the policyholder’s registration via electronic ID, the Verimi ID wallet contains the scanned and stored ID card and the health card. Biometric processes, such as Face ID, ensure unique identification. As part of the approval procedure for interoperable user accounts of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) assessed the electronic identification process and the Verimi app-based authentication via PIN. Based on the documents submitted by Verimi, the BSI confirmed the substantially suitable level of trust in the process. The same technology – with appropriate modifications – is also used by BARMER.

The customer benefit

With the BARMER-App and related online services, the health insurer already had an excellent digital service portfolio. In the future, BARMER policyholders will also be able to view their own patient records and e-prescriptions, for example, in the familiar app environment. As far as digital identities are concerned, BARMER is therefore taking its policyholders a significant step ahead and, in addition, offering them the option of direct and secure authentication with their mobile phones. The benefit: a secure process without user names, passwords and multi-factor authentication. The digital mapping and use of service processes in the health environment are simplified considerably. 

With this initiative, BARMER is assuming a pioneering role in the healthcare industry – it is developing a solution at an early stage to meet the upcoming legal and security requirements. At the same time, the solution is going to be as user-friendly as possible. BARMER’s offering is therefore expected to be particularly attractive to many new customers.

“The introduction of digital identities allows our policyholders to have easy access to our online services with the highest level of security. We are pleased to have two experienced partners, T-Systems and Verimi, and their invaluable support in offering this user-friendly solution as soon as possible”, says Roland Bruns, Head of IT at BARMER. The initiative sends a clear message to the entire industry and beyond to other market segments across Europe.

About BARMER

BARMER is one of the largest statutory health insurers in Germany. With over 8.7 million policyholders and around 14,000 employees, BARMER is one of the leading health insurers in Germany. The insurer covers treatment and care, launches initiatives for encouraging a healthier lifestyle and offers numerous services online. The award-winning BARMER-App offers policyholders a practical option to manage everything online. This includes, for example, conveniently filling out and sending forms, scheduling, and organising preventive care and vaccination appointments, and viewing policyholder data.

BARMER

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