Health Informatics

Information is one of the six essential ‘building blocks’ of any health system. It is increasingly a crucial resource to ensure the production, analysis, dissemination and use of reliable and timely information on health determinants, health system performance and health status.

Since March 2016 the Swiss TPH is an official WHO Collaborating Centre for eHealth and Health Technology Management. The advisory role in health informatics extends to other multinational organisations and ministries in various countries.

Data for Health Systems Improvement

The overarching objective is to produce relevant and quality information to support health interventions. A particular focus is placed on setting up information system for civil registration and demographic surveillance systems. Especially low income countries lack access to timely information on epidemic and emerging diseases.

Other Swiss TPH programmes focus on clinical and public health informatics challenges. Examples are the establishment of pregnancy registries to detect complications at an urgent stage or the setup of comprehensive health management information systems to enhance clinical specializations (e.g. Radiology) or the monitoring of health indicators.

Enhanced Management of Clinical Equipment

Resources management information systems have also gained in importance as the number and types of technologies (devices, equipment, and medication) has grown exponentially in the past decades. Computerized inventory and management systems are customized and implemented in various country settings while also responding to the challenge of requisite nomenclature for medical devices, equipment and drugs.

Enhancing Clinical Decision Making

Clinical decision support systems are designed and set in place to enhance health workers performance in various settings. Examples are decision support for disease prevention on primary care in Switzerland or the decision support for frontline health care workers in conflict areas in Afghanistan and Nigeria.

eLearning to Adjust Staff Knowledge

Continuous training is vital at times when knowledge and skills proliferate at high rates. For the education of health professionals various eLearning tools and modalities are conceived, rolled out and evaluated. Examples range from multimedia tutorials for Maternal and Child care and refresher courses for the outbreak of endemic diseases.

eLearning for Childhood Illness

The Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) approach was developed by WHO and UNICEF in order to address the challenge of under five years mortality in low income countries. The introduction of IMCI at country level, however, requires a great deal of coordination among existing health programs and services. Main challenges include the adaptation of national IMCI guidelines on a regular basis as well as training and retraining of a sufficient number of staff in IMCI. In order to tackle these challenges, an eLearning Tool called ICATT (IMCI Computerized Adaptation and Training Tool). ICATT had been designed and made available to all countries
The generic version is available as down-load from the ICATT training web-site (

CRVS Digitisation in Data for Health Initiative

The Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Programme of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health (D4H) initiative is using information and communication technology to improve CRVS systems.
Processes in CRVS systems in low and middle income countries are being re-engineered to improve coordination between the stakeholders involved and to accommodate new technological tools. The introduction of these new tools aims to improve efficiency and the quality of national mortality data that is of utmost importance for sound public policy-making.

Data for Health Initiative

Decision Support for Disease Prevention at Primary Care in Switzerland

Disease prevention and health promotion is an important theme in primary care. When going for a ‘check-up’ at a primary care physician there is a surprisingly wide variation of recommendations for what screening and interventions should be done. This project is built on the latest evidence on which prevention measure has proven effectiveness for particular age groups. An information system linked to the Electronic Medical Record generates relevant scores and individualized graphics for a targeted health coaching.

Link to Project


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Selected projects at this location: