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10. February 2011, Koblenz

Software for Physicians Supports the Diagnosis of Rare Diseases

CompuGroup Medical invests 130 million euros in the healthcare system

Koblenz, February 10, 2011: For the affected parties, it frequently means lifelong suffering; in Germany alone, approximately four million patients and their families are afflicted by one of roughly 8000 various “rare diseases.” CompuGroup Medical has therefore developed software that compares the physician’s entries with data from the patient’s history, based on selected parameters. As soon as a rare disease is suspected, the system alerts the physician.

CompuGroup Medical AG will invest 130 million euros in the healthcare system within the next five years, for future-oriented product development. A series of ten articles provides information about the innovations. This part of the series introduces the Orphan Disease Finder (ODF).

Within the European Union, a disease is considered to be rare (a so-called Orphan Disease), if maximally five out of 10,000 people are affected by it. Currently, about 5000 to 8000 such diseases have been identified and it is estimated that between 27 to 36 million people across Europe are affected. However, many symptoms are very general or mimic commonly occurring clinical symptoms of other illnesses and it can take years until a rare disease has been diagnosed. The hectic daily routine of the doctor’s office in particular makes diagnosing a rare disorder very challenging for the physician.

CompuGroup Medical wants to support physicians in this endeavor: for some time, the company has been developing the so-called “Orphan Disease Finder.” Parallel to treatment, the system searches the electronic health record for constellations that are typical for the disease and helps physicians to recognize a pattern for the existence of a rare disease. There is a multitude of medical parameters, such as the patient’s age or gender, as well as prior illnesses or prescribed medication. As soon as a likelihood has been calculated, the intelligent software alerts the physician and helps in the initiation of further steps, as needed.

The physician’s monitor will display information about the risk of the existence of a rare disease. If the physician pursues this lead, he will receive additional information about the disease and system support with further diagnostics. In addition, the technical integration is delivered with maximum convenience: the Orphan Disease Finder can be seamlessly integrated into all of CompuGroup Medical’s doctor information systems (namely ALBIS, M1, MEDISTAR and TurboMed), without needing to start an additional program.

Medical knowledge doubles approximately every two years. Information about clinical pictures with all facets of diagnosis and therapy, along with the information about the affected patients is extremely complex and can barely be comprehended by one individual alone. In order to make this complex knowledge available to clinician’s in their daily routine and to support them in their decisions, CompuGroup Medical invests in software assisted medicine (SAM) – to improve diagnostic options – for example for rare disorders, with the help of the Orphan Disease Finder.

About CompuGroup Medical AG
CompuGroup Medical is one of the leading e-health companies worldwide. Its software products, designed to support all medical and organizational activities in doctors’ offices and hospitals, its information services for all parties involved in the healthcare system and its web-based personal health records contribute towards safer and more efficient healthcare. The services of CompuGroup Medical are based on its unique customer base of around 370,000 doctors, dentists, hospitals and networks as well as other service providers. CompuGroup Medical is the e-health company with one of the biggest coverage among ehealth service providers worldwide. The company operates in 18 European countries as well as in Brazil, Chile, Malaysia, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and in the USA and currently employs around 3,300 people.

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CompuGroup Medical AG
Barbara Müller

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