Comparing German and Danish healthcare systems

The health systems of Germany and Denmark differ fundamentally from each other. A lack of knowledge of these differences can make it difficult or even impossible for medical companies to enter the market. The project partners [is that just one? That's why I translated it with project staff *] from the Mads Clausen Institute of the South Danish University (SDU) have compiled an overview that lists the main differences between the two health systems. You can download the document as a PDF here:

Interview with the Access & Acceleration project advisory board

Portrait Anna-Maria bloch-Münster Jonas Drefeld


The project advisory board supports Access & Acceleration during the whole project lifetime. With its expert knowledge and constructive impulses from the perspective of potential users and stakeholders, the advisory board members contributes to the strategic development of the project. We have talked to Anna-Marie Bloch Münster from the Hospital of South West Jutland and Jonas Drefeld from Health Innovation Center of Southern Denmark – both members of the project advisory board- about the perspectives and potentials of the Access & Acceleration.


What would you say are the most interesting aspects of the Access & Acceleration project?


Anna-Marie Bloch Münster: For me, this includes: The development of new technologies that could offer a broader spectrum of treatment options (e.g. the treatment of smaller tumors which are difficult to access); greater safety during treatment through increased precision and the development of less invasive techniques that minimise complications for patients.


Jonas Drefeld: I am glad that the project intends to increase the focus on user needs by redesigning existing development processes in way that users (such as patients, employees from various areas of the health sector, companies) become an integral part of development activities. I especially look forward to see new insights and methods on how public and private actors can co-create user-centered medical technology without compromising current legislation. I am furthermore confident that the strong project partnership develops a sustainable innovation platform that can run without subsidies after the project period.


What do you hope will be the impact or added value from the Access & Acceleration project? Who will benefit from the project?


Anna-Marie Bloch Münster: In my opinion, it is the patients who benefit the most. The added value for them should be an increased safety during the therapy of diseases and minimised side effects. Ultimately, it should also be a goal to develop new techniques that enable the treatment of previously incurable diseases. In addition, the project will of course add value for physicians as they will be able to get new treatment techniques on hand and will be able to offer patients safer and less invasive therapies.


Jonas Drefeld: I hope that the project creates new methods for how implementation can be an integral part of the development processes of new health care technologies. In my opinion, the project would be a success if it manages to develop methods and strategies for effective adoption and scaling of technologies globally. This knowledge would enable companies and healthcare providers to implement the suitable technology that benefits healthcare workers and citizens.


Are there also other German-Danish projects you are currently involved in or were involved in? If yes, which ones?


Anna-Marie Bloch Münster: No, not yet.


Jonas Drefeld: The Health Innovation Center was a part of the German-Danish health project Demantec during its first phase. The project aim was to develop, test and implement e-Health solutions that addresses user needs for persons suffering from dementia, their relatives and healthcare workers. The Health Innovation Center tested, redesigned and implemented two technologies that improved the care and quality of life for nursing home residents suffering from dementia. Insights from the project are gathered in a go-to implementation guide for assisted living technologie

Working on overcoming market barriers

Due to the circumstances, the third Access & Acceleration project meeting, on April 30th, 2020 took place online. The partners from the Centre for Innovative Medical Technology (CIMT), the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute SDU (MMMI) and the University of Lübeck (UZL) jointly presented their results on identifying market access barriers in Germany and Denmark. It is notoriously difficult to access the Danish and German markets for healthcare products with new technological solutions. It is especially hard for SMEs that do not possess the necessary knowledge and market insight.

One of the main objectives of the partners from CIMT, MMMI and UZL is to provide access to an ecosystem which members know the healthcare sectors and have clear market access strategies. Within the Access & Acceleration project, they focus on three main activities:

  • Improvement the innovation dialogue for identifying market access barriers in Denmark and Germany;
  • Development of strategies for access to markets in Denmark and Germany;
  • Validation and dissemination of market access strategies.

The participatory approach of the partners involves in-depth interviews and workshops with relevant stakeholders on the German and on the Danish side, to reveal the kind of methods and knowledge they need to be able to enter the respective market. Preliminary results indicate that there are multiple barriers where the most significant derives from the difference in healthcare structure. While in Denmark it is public funded, the healthcare system in Germany is financed by social security contributions from all health insurers.

The lack of knowledge about the differences in legislation and the new medical device regulation are further market barriers. Additionally, there is also the language barrier since both Germany and Denmark provide information on their healthcare legislation only in their native language.
The next steps for CIMT and UZL will be to develop strategies on how to support the different stakeholders in understanding the health care structure, legislation and how to overcome language barriers to create a common understanding of the respective healthcare system.

Scoping Review on the prediction of alcohol use disorder

How to support medical staff in evaluating patient data? The project partners from the Centre for Innovative Medical Technology (CIMT) want to tackle this issue by developing a software which can store patient data and, based on that, predict the course of a disease. As a case study, CIMT uses patient data related to alcohol use disorder (AUD). In this context, CIMT published a review of literature which focused on the prediction of AUD.  A link to an abstract of this review can be found in the publication’s section of the project website at:  

Screenshot Scope Review

How to support companies from the healthcare sector in entering the market?

Project partner Florian Ege tells us about the main activities and Welfare Tech’s biggest challenges in the Access & Acceleration project.


Which are your main activities within the Access & Acceleration project?
Welfare Tech is a Danish national cluster and hub for innovation and business development in healthcare, homecare and social services. Within the project, we see our main role in promoting the project’s activities to private companies from the region. We are therefore mainly involved in the activities around project communication, but also in the ideation process and market barrier analysis.


Which of the project aims imposes the biggest challenge from your point of view?
The German and Danish healthcare systems are characterised by fundamental differences in setup and design. Understanding these differences and communicating them to involved stakeholders such as private companies will pose a considerable hurdle. Thereafter, it will be crucial to support said stakeholders in understanding the other healthcare system and transform gained insights into actionable points allowing for product development and market access.


How will Access & Acceleration change the present situation in the health sector of your region?
As a member-driven cluster organisation Welfare Tech currently experiences an especially strong interest of Danish and Nordic companies for the German market. This appears to be driven on the one side by push factors such as the uncertainties around the British Brexit negotiations and pull factors such as recent digitalization efforts made by German healthcare legislators. Germany offers great opportunities for Danish companies to scale and expand and the Access & Acceleration project seeks to support these activities.

First project workshop completed successfully

On November 19th, 2019 a workshop with the topic on market access for medical device in Germany and Denmark took place. The participants from clinics, research and industry discussed their own experiences and got inputs from the healthcare project Digital Health & Care 4.0, led by the Danish cluster organisation WelfareTech. Digital Health & Care 4.0 focused on questions about the organisation of the German healthcare sector and useful strategies for companies to enter the German market. Generally, the results of the workshop indicate that diverging national regulations and laws as well as completely different structured healthcare systems in Germany and Denmark are major obstacles when it comes to entering the German market. Solutions to tackle this issue and to support relevant stakeholders of the German and Danish healthcare sectors to overcome these obstacles will be a crucial aim of the Access & Acceleration project.
The project partner Centre for Innovative Medical Technology (CIMT) organised this workshop in Odense, Denmark. Within the project they are responsible for identifying barriers of entry on the market regarding new health technologies and products, but also for developing strategies to overcome these barriers.

Click here to stay tuned for the next workshop!




Kick-off in Sønderborg

At their first official meeting on 28 May in Sønderborg, Denmark, the German and Danish project partners of Access & Acceleration came together to set the course for the future cooperation. The aim of the six project partners is to establish a cross-border platform that will enable key players in the healthcare sector to connect and collaborate with each other in order to initiate innovative processes.

Interreg approves project application: Access & Acceleration up and running

The Interreg committee has approved the Access & Acceleration project application. The Interreg programme Deutschland-Danmark will support the project with around 1.7 million Euros over the next three years.

More information on:

Newsletter archive

Newsletter No. 2 – June 2020

Newsletter No. 1 – January 2020


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