Telemedicine myths clarified



Consultations in the living room: telemedicine is on the rise.

Patients in Germany can well imagine talking to their doctor via video consultation, online chat or telephone. One in four Germans sees such telemedicine solutions as a complement to healthcare - because very few people want to do without personal contact with their doctor and pharmacist. This is the result of the "Future Health" population survey conducted by the auditing company PricewaterhouseCoopers.



And it is not just since the Corona pandemic that telemedicine has played an important role in the German healthcare system. No wonder, because treatment from a distance offers a lot of opportunities and advantages, also for local pharmacies.


  • The additional offer of telemedicine makes it possible to expand customer bases in a very uncomplicated way.
  • ePrescriptions help with contactless healthcare.
  • Patients can book a video consultation with a doctor within a few hours, receive a prescription, and then pick up their medication immediately at a pharmacy of their choice.
  • Hybrid models of digital consultations and on-site pharmacies, such as those of ZAVA and NOVENTI, make the transition between worlds as easy as possible in this regard, combining the easier medical availability of telemedicine with the consultation expertise of pharmacists.

But at the same time, there are many concerns about the benefits, quality of face-to-face consultations, and certification. In a new column, "Telena, telematize!", NOVENTI will work with our partner, telemedicine provider ZAVA, to dispel these myths about telemedicine. If you also have questions on the subject, write to us and we will include them.

This is how simple telemedicine works with eRezept, using ZAVA as an example:

→ Step 1

The physician prescribes the e-prescription via ZAVA with QES (Qualified Electronic Signature).

Doctors sign an e-prescription via ZAVA after the consultation has been carried out by video consultation. This e-prescription is reported by the doctor's system to Gematik's central prescription repository. In the process, it produces the e-prescription token, which it can currently provide to the patient as a printout and soon also as a digital variant.


→ Step 2

The patient selects the pharmacy of his or her choice via app.

The patient receives an eRezept printout. The printout contains a barcode as a reference to the prescription store. The patient photographs the barcode and can use the app, for example, to select the pharmacy of their choice, request the medication, and send the e-prescription there. The patient decides whether he wants to pick up the medication himself at the local pharmacy or have it delivered to his home by courier service. If the patient has an eGK with NFC function, he or she will probably be able to assign the prescription electronically via the Gematik app from August 2021.


→ Step 3

The patient picks up medication and pays.

The patient appears at the pharmacy and presents the e-prescription as a paper or photo on the smartphone. Up to 3 prescriptions can be stored on an e-prescription, each with its own QR code. The pharmacy scans the image and the barcode is automatically recognized and the corresponding eRezept is loaded from the prescription memory into the pharmacy. This means that the e-prescription is assigned to this pharmacy and cannot be used by other pharmacies. The patient cannot use the e-prescription elsewhere.

Myth 1

Telemedicine could make local pharmacies obsolete as prescriptions are only filled online

ZAVA explains: "These concerns are unfounded. Patients are free to decide whether they want to pick up the prescribed medication on site at their pharmacy of choice within a few hours or have it sent to their home.

What is also very important is that patients' free choice of pharmacy is always guaranteed under Section 11 (1) of the German Pharmacy Act (ApoG). This means that patients can take their prescriptions to the pharmacy they trust.

Dr. Hermann Sommer adds that after the historic Corona Year 2020, we have felt more than ever the immense importance of local service providers for the functioning of our healthcare system in Germany. At the same time, however, the digitalization of the industry has once again picked up speed significantly in the Corona pandemic. So that health has a future: Our claim at NOVENTI is to shape this path into an increasingly digital future and make it viable in the interests of pharmacies, physicians, and all providers of remedies and aids - while at the same time safeguarding what has distinguished the German healthcare system to this day: competent, comprehensive, and above all personal care for people locally, even in the most difficult of times.

Myth 2

The telemedical consultations are carried out by physicians without a corresponding license.

Only licensed physicians with several years of professional experience are allowed to perform telemedical consultations with ZAVA.

With the ZAVA app, for example, the patient can choose from a number of specialists in general medicine or internal medicine with their own practice in Germany. Furthermore, the app physicians must, among other things, provide proof of compliance with the continuing education requirement and participate in training courses on the topic of telemedicine. Fulfillment of all specific technical requirements is also a condition for cooperation with ZAVA.

Through the partnership of ZAVA and NOVENTI, two pioneers of digitalization in the healthcare market are cooperating.

Hybrid models of digital consultations and on-site pharmacies, such as those of ZAVA and NOVENTI, make the transition between the worlds as simple as possible and combine the easier medical availability of telemedicine with the consulting expertise of on-site pharmacists. Another step towards a digital future of healthcare.

Myth 3

Customer loyalty to the pharmacist is lost through telemedicine.

The advantages of the cooperation between ZAVA and NOVENTI are obvious. Customers can make use of convenient medical consultations and pick up their medications within 3 hours at the pharmacy of their choice, where they will be advised accordingly as usual.

The basis of trust is thus maintained. For pharmacists, direct e-prescription processing and ad hoc communication with customers means that medications can be made available faster than by mail order.