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The power of digitalization: How collecting health data improves our lives


“Health data” sounds like a dry topic reserved for specialists, but health data are everyone’s business because they are crucial for making medical progress – and they can save lives.

Imagine suddenly finding yourself in an acutely life-threatening situation, such as having a heart attack. The ambulance brings you to a hospital emergency room, but the healthcare professionals there don’t know anything about your medical history, whether you have pre-existing conditions, the fact that you take antihypertensive meds, or the results of your last blood count, for example. This information is safely stored in a drawer at your primary care provider’s practice, and valuable time is lost looking for the cause of the emergency precisely because such data are missing.

In this situation, therefore, it would be advantageous for the health data to be available in digital form so that healthcare professionals could access your medical history from anywhere. This would be helpful not just in emergencies, but also if you take a variety of meds for various conditions. So far, doctors have had to rely on your ability to list your meds yourself at the right moment, and if a mistake is made, you might be prescribed two meds that interact with each other in undesirable ways. This can have dangerous consequences.

In a video for the series “Tomorrow’s Technologies,” Tanja Ulle, Director of External Affairs and Market Access at Janssen, explains how your health data also play a role in research. In this video series, professionals offer insights into medicine’s most important topics of the future: gene therapies, mRNA vaccines, antibodies, precision medicine, and the role of artificial intelligence. The members of Interpharma, the association of Switzerland’s research-based pharmaceutical industry, are dedicated to the advancement of medicine – with the slogan #WeKeepResearching.

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