The "Smart Hospital of the Future" - heyPatient on board at the Innosuisse flagship project

The Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) is conducting research with Swiss

universities and industry partners on how hospitals can implement the digital transformation. The Innosuisse flagship project "SHIFT" runs until 2025.

heyPatient is part of it.

A Guide to Digitisation

Hospitals are the central and largest players in the healthcare system in terms of cost

"Accordingly, we have a particularly effective lever here to better tap the potential of digitalisation. Within the framework of SHIFT, we can, in a sense, develop a blueprint for the digital transformation of the entire healthcare system".

explains ZHAW health economist Alfred Angerer, one of the two co-leaders of the research programme.

Digital technologies help hospitals to better cope with challenges such as cost pressure, demographic change or higher quality demands. One example is data-based forecasting models for predicting, planning and optimising staff scheduling. In addition, sensors and apps can help to promote the physical activity of patients after an operation and provide specialists with corresponding data for monitoring treatment goals.

Strengthening Prevention and Early Detection

"The 'Smart Hospital' is thus characterised, among other things, by more proactive care for patients and by the fact that people are even more at the centre of the processes."

says Sven Hirsch, co-leader of SHIFT and head of the ZHAW Digital Health Labs. Digitalisation will generally increase the possibilities of detecting diseases earlier or even preventing them.

"With its help, we can also adapt the treatment even better to the patients. For example, we can discharge some of them earlier from the clinic to their familiar surroundings at home and still continue to treat them," adds Jens Eckstein, internist at the University Hospital Basel and medical director of SHIFT.

The research programme comprises three areas: In the first, research is being conducted into how inpatient treatment in hospital and outpatient follow-up care for patients at home can be seamlessly linked with the help of digital technologies. The second is about developing solutions to further strengthen the ability of staff and patients to act in everyday hospital life. The third area concerns the development of effective and efficient hospital management processes.

Broad Research Network

The Innosuisse-Flagship-Project SHIFT is led by the Winterthur Institut für Gesundheitsökonomie der ZHAW School of Management and Law together with an interdisciplinary ZHAW team from informatics, health, data analysis as well as process design. In addition to the University Hospital Basel, the Universities of Basel and Zurich, the FHNW and the participating hospitals, 24 industrial partners are contributing to the integration of the project into practice. With the flagship initiative, Innosuisse promotes innovations in areas that are relevant to a large part of the economy and society. SHIFT is one of the 15 research projects approved as part of the 2021 Flagship call.