Technikradar Symbol Picture

November 17, 2021, Nr. 88

TechnikRadar 2021„Corona Extra“

Study with participation from the University of Stuttgart shows what Germans think about technology and health
[Picture: Acatech / Körber-Stiftung]

The measures taken to combat the corona pandemic have fundamentally changed Germans’ everyday lives – and at the same time have had some positive side-effects. Almost half of all Germans (47.5%) now feel that they have a good or very good understanding of technology.

Two years ago, only 39% of those surveyed felt that they were well informed. This is the conclusion reached by the special edition of the “TechnikRadar 2021 Corona Extra” by acatech – the German National Academy of Science and Engineering, the Körber Foundation and the University of Stuttgart’s Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies (ZIRIUS).

The representative survey also shows that the skepticism towards technology seen during the corona crisis has declined. In 2019, 65.5% of those surveyed agreed with the statement “The more technology develops, the more constraints it puts on people”, whereas in 2021 the figure had fallen significantly to 51%.

People also answered positively to questions about their health and emotional state. Surprisingly, people in Germany felt better in the months after the pandemic than before. 71.8% of those surveyed described their health as good or very good, whereas when the TechnikRadar survey was carried out in 2017 it was only 54.7%.

More than two thirds of Germans (69.9%) also believe that they haven't suffered any particular disadvantages from the pandemic compared to the average person.

Debate about measures: a more divided society in the aftermath

The TechnikRadar shows that Germans believe that the pandemic has either magnified existing problems or made them more visible. Two thirds of respondents (67.4%) say that society is more divided now than before the crisis.

The issue of data protection is a particular cause of division. “Debates such as about the corona warning app for example have made it clear once again how important data protection is to Germans. A lot of the respondents in our survey have issues with it. 52.2% think that the pandemic has shown that data protection issues makes solving practical problems too difficult. On the other hand, 14.6% of people have no problems regarding data protection”, comments Cordula Kropp, scientific project manager and sociologist at ZIRIUS.

The concern for protecting sensitive data also plays an important role in terms of how healthcare is becoming more digitalized. One in five Germans (20.2%) don’t want to use the electronic patient health record (ePA) which was introduced in 2021 – reasons for this primarily include uncertainty regarding who can see what data (53%) as well as data protection concerns (50%). It is also significant that a quarter of respondents (24.4%) don’t know what the ePA does.

The relationship between doctors and patients is also changing. More and more Germans look up any health-related complaints they might have on the Internet before going to their doctor. 27.2% of respondents in the survey said that they do this most of the time or all the time. In 2017, the equivalent figure was just 17.1%.

Doctors are therefore increasingly turning into ‘information brokers’, who don't just give diagnoses but also have to assess and correct additional information and data for their patients as well as putting it in its proper context.

 

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Debatte um Maßnahmen: Im Rückblick eine gespaltenere Gesellschaft

Das TechnikRadar zeigt, dass die Pandemie, in der Wahrnehmung der Deutschen, bestehende Probleme vergrößert oder sichtbarer gemacht hat. Zwei Drittel der Befragten (67,4 Prozent) sind der Meinung, die Gesellschaft sei gespaltener als vor der Krise.
Streitbar ist insbesondere auch das Thema Datenschutz: „Debatten, wie sie beispielsweise im Zusammenhang mit der Corona-Warn-App geführt wurden, haben nochmal deutlich gemacht, wie wichtig den Deutschen der Schutz persönlicher Daten ist. Viele Befragte in unserer Studie sehen darin ein Problem: 52,2 Prozent meinen, die Pandemie habe gezeigt, dass das Thema Datenschutz praktische Problemlösungen zu sehr erschwere. Allerdings sehen 14,6 Prozent im Datenschutz kein Problem“, kommentiert Cordula Kropp, wissenschaftliche Projektleiterin und Soziologin des ZIRIUS.

Die Sorge um den Schutz sensibler Daten spielt auch im Zusammenhang mit der Digitalisierung der Gesundheit eine wichtige Rolle. Jeder fünfte Deutsche (20,2 Prozent) will die im Jahr 2021 eingeführte elektronische Patientenakte (ePA) nicht nutzen – Gründe dafür sind vor allem Unsicherheiten, wer welche Daten einsehen kann (53 Prozent) sowie Bedenken beim Datenschutz (50 Prozent). Signifikant ist außerdem, dass ein Viertel der Befragten (24,4 Prozent) das Angebot der ePA gar nicht kennt.

Auch das Arzt-Patienten-Verhältnis ist im Wandel. Immer mehr Deutsche konsultieren heute bei gesundheitlichen Beschwerden das Internet, bevor sie zu ihrer Ärztin oder ihrem Arzt gehen: In der Umfrage geben 27,2 Prozent der Befragten an, dies meist oder immer zu tun. In der Umfrage 2017 waren es nur 17,1 Prozent. Ärztinnen und Ärzte entwickelten sich damit zunehmend zu „Informationsbrokern“, die nicht nur selbst diagnostizieren, sondern auch weitere Informationen und Daten für die Patientinnen und Patienten einordnen, bewerten und richtigstellen müssen.

Quelle Acatech

Expert Contact:

Prof. Dr. Cordula Kropp, University of Stuttgart, Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies (ZIRIUS), Phone +49 711 685-83941, E-Mail 

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