France has always been a pioneer of smart card technology, first
deploying its use in the healthcare industry in the early ‘90s.
Simplifying the reimbursement system was essential in this country where
nearly 63 million healthcare claims were made in August 2006 alone.
Gemalto has been selected as a primary supplier for the next
generation of Vitale 2 health insurance cards with its Sealys
Health Insurance Cards
and will play - with its Allynis Issuance Services - a key
role in personalizing and issuing these cards.
The SESAM-Vitale scheme introduced a smart "Carte Vitale", containing
data to simplify administration, slash costs and provide a faster, more
efficient and secure way of submitting claims. The scheme now includes
some 53 million patient cards, 600,000 professional cards, 200,000
readers, 20,000 terminals for updating cards, 230 software applications
and 25 servers. Gemalto provided the operating system, personalization
services and cards.
The second generation, Carte Vitale 2, will be deployed over
four years starting in March 2007 with family cards issued to every person over
16 years of age eligible for French social security coverage.
Nationwide, Vitale 2 cards will gradually replace the Vitale 1 cards distributed in 1998/1999. Vitale 2 includes enhanced security features such as a new operating system, cryptographic capabilities and larger memory. Because protecting privacy is of the utmost importance, specific attention was also paid to the personalization processes in order to ensure a high level of security for each individual's data.