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Practical approaches:

Keeping up with digitalisation

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The new networked practice management of Health AG facilitates the work of dentists and their teams. The company relies on the know-how of clients and artificial intelligence to achieve customised solutions.

What do dentists actually do? Most people would answer that they simply look after teeth. That is because patients don’t see many of the complex behind-the-scenes processes – such as creating therapy and cost schedules or account settlement with service providers and health insurers.

Dr Gustav Gerstenkamp The dentist has contributed to the development of networked practice management
Dr Gustav Gerstenkamp

The dentist has contributed to the development of networked practice management

To link information from various computer programs, handwritten notes and verbal agreements and make the everyday work of dental practices easier, EOS Health Honorarmanagement AG (Health AG) has developed a system for networked practice management. In developing this system, the factoring solutions specialist for the German dental industry is building on practical suggestions. ‘No one knows clients’ needs better than clients themselves’, emphasises Jens Törper, Board Member and CEO of Health AG.


Treatment room with connected practice management

Developers encounter pragmatists

Since the end of 2015, Health AG has been putting dentists in touch with internal partners from software development, data security, merchandise management, financial control and quality management. Over 270 professionals are working together on a specially designed co-evolution development platform. Health AG presented the results in the spring of 2017: ‘Hēa – networked practice management’. The name consists of the first three letters of ‘health’ and the overline gives it a distinctive originality. Hēa offers four modules – practice management, factoring, invoicing and knowledge – for individual or combined use. ‘Hēa helps with personnel search and planning, invoicing, complete documentation of treatment via voice documentation, booking appointments and merchandise management through to comprehensive practice auditing’, says Mr Törper.

Digital organization: Plan the day’s schedule with a tablet
Digital organization:

Plan the day’s schedule with a tablet

The dentist Dr Gustav Gerstenkamp helped develop Hēa from the start. ‘The system helps with things such as preparing a treatment and cost schedule. When we enter a diagnostic finding, it automatically generates the invoicing items and necessary information for the patient’, Dr Gerstenkamp explains. Hēa also substantially simplifies documentation: ‘Before this, we write down the individual treatment stages. Hēa allows me to use my smartphone or tablet to record a voice file and converts it into a text file, so documentation can be completed more quickly and is less prone to errors’, says the dentist.

Artificial intelligence simplifies account settlement

Now his team also has less work with invoicing. ‘When we enter the services involved in a treatment, the system almost instantaneously checks whether it complies with the fee schedule for dentists (GOZ) – based on 9,000 defined rules. This simplifies and improves account settlement tremendously’, Dr Gerstenkamp explains.

Dr Jobst Landgrebe is in charge of these 9,000 rules. He is a co-evolution partner and expert for artificial intelligence (AI), computer systems that mimic human intelligence. ‘With the help of AI we have analysed millions of invoices. The system used the 253 service categories of the GOZ to define the 9,000 rules mentioned above on which the analysis is based’. Furthermore, AI is equipped with trainable and thus consistently improved recognition of the material types, treatments and explanatory text indicated. The more submissions artificial intelligence analyses, the more intelligent it becomes. ‘AI puts dentists on a level playing field with the payer organi­sations – because now their analysis and objection to invoices is often also automated’, says Dr Landgrebe.

Hēa gets better all the time. ‘We continuously optimise our product as that is the only way to keep up with digitalisation’, says Mr Törper. His next objective: ‘We are working on expanding the solution to practices such as those for oral and maxillofacial surgery. Hēa still has a great deal of potential’.

Programmed for the future


Professor Paul Sharpe of London’s King’s College is working with a team of scientists on encouraging decaying teeth to heal themselves. This is how it should work: After removal of the decayed parts, a special filling is inserted in the affected tooth. This filling uses the stimulation of stem cells to encourage the tooth to produce new dentine and thus heal itself. In the process, the filling always dissolves in line with the growth rate of the dental tissue.