Patients are becoming more and more independent in their decisions. They are primarily limited by the healthcare system, which, compared to countries such as Estonia, Finland and Norway, is only slowly making the step into the digital world.
This is also reflected in the numbers. Only seven percent of Internet users in Germany use electronic healthcare services. The reason for this, however, is by no means the lack of demand from patients, but rather the limited range of electronic health services and the lack of acceptance among practitioners and hospitals.
Nevertheless, a significant increase in digital health services can be observed. In particular, the electronic health files from various health insurance companies, video consultation hours in medical practices and the integration of online appointment options should be mentioned.
Dental laboratories need to adapt to the new ePatients. Due to their growing market power, these can be seen as a new target group for dental laboratories, which has yet to be developed, because patients have the opportunity not only to find out about dental practices but also about dental laboratories, to compare and evaluate them.
So far, the dental laboratory has tended to operate from the background: the communication primarily takes place between the dental practice and the patient. Thanks to the improved information situation of patients and their need to get an idea for themselves, dental laboratories now have the opportunity to step out of the shadow of the dental practices and ensure a presence with the patients: because hardly anyone is aware that patients not only have a free choice among the practitioners, but also among the dental laboratories. As already mentioned in one of our articles “Demographic change in the dental laboratory”, dental laboratories are thus being transformed from mere contractors into partners on equal terms.