Digitalisation in preventive healthcare


Digitalisation is revolutionising preventive healthcare in Switzerland. Once it was fitness trails, now it’s digital solutions: e-health platforms and apps are today’s tools for improving health. We show how technology is being used to make preventive healthcare more effective and better tailored to the individual.

Fitness megatrends: preventive healthcare reinvented

Those who experienced the early days of the vitaparcours fitness trails in Switzerland are probably retired by now: it was in 1968 that the first of what are now around 500 trails was opened in the Zürichberg area. This type of physical exercise is still very popular today, but preventive healthcare is constantly reinventing itself, with one fitness trend after another, some surviving to this day. US actress Jane Fonda started a whole fitness revolution with her TV aerobic exercises. And yoga has been a favourite with many people ever since the Beatles discovered their love of Indian spirituality over half a century ago.

2007: the launch of the first smartphone marks the start of a boom in health apps.

Digital services and health apps

Nowadays, health awareness and technology go hand in hand. Digital services and health apps offer personalised support to people looking to lead a healthier life. These include ways to monitor heart health with a smartphone and the use of apps for mental relaxation that are not only tailored to the needs of their users, but also offer the means to manage health data securely and efficiently. The digital revolution in preventive healthcare makes it easier than ever for people to be proactive in looking after their own health.

CSS health apps

With its own health app “Well”, CSS has broken new ground to offer its clients direct access to health-promoting services. The Well app is a key component of CSS's digital services and demonstrates the company’s ambition to use modern technology for the benefit of its clients. The Well app helps users achieve their health goals by offering personalised advice and guidance based on their individual health data. The support ranges from exercise and nutrition tips to mental exercises, enabling different aspects of health to be covered holistically.

Pregnolia early diagnosis of premature birth

CSS is also promoting the use of digital applications in the medical field. One example is the young company Pregnolia, an ETH spin-off. Pregnolia has made a name for itself with the development of a device that supports the early diagnosis of premature birth and is an impressive example of how research and development are forging ahead in the medical sector. By supporting such start-ups, CSS aims to help make advanced medical solutions accessible to a wider public and to use digital innovations to boost the healthcare sector.

Wearables and health technologies

With the advent of wearable microelectronics, personal health monitoring has undergone a fundamental transformation. These small, powerful devices – including smartwatches such as the Apple Watch and fitness wristbands from Fitbit or Huawei – have revolutionised the way we manage our health. Technological advances have enabled wearables to be used for more than only simple functions like counting steps or measuring heart rate. Today’s numerous health-related functions include blood pressure monitoring and early detection of atrial fibrillation.

Technological innovation and research in the healthcare sector

These new possibilities point to the rapid technological development in the healthcare sector enabling patients to play a more active role in monitoring and improving their health. Through their integration into everyday life, wearables provide a personalised, real-time insight into each person’s health, promote a healthier lifestyle and assist with preventive healthcare actions. Recognising the value of these technologies, CSS developed the “active365” app for its clients.

To bring transparency to the confusion around digital aids, eHealth Suisse has defined nine criteria for a good health app.

Transparency in the field of digital health promotion

In today's world, digital health promotion is playing an increasingly important role in prevention and proactive health management. eHealth Suisse is the competence and coordination centre of the Swiss confederation and the cantons for digital networking in the healthcare sector and assigned itself the task of shedding light on the confusion around digital health aids and setting standards for trustworthy health apps. By defining nine criteria for high-quality health apps, the centre has created the necessary transparency and security in the digital health market. These criteria are designed to help users identify which tools are – like “active365” – reliable and effective.