The Centre for Digital Health Interventions (CDHI) is a joint initiative of the Department of Management, Technology and Economics at ETH Zurich, the Future Health Technologies Programme at the Singapore-ETH Centre, and the School of Medicine and Institute of Technology Management at the University of St. Gallen.

We are keen to see a world in which tailored digital healthcare solutions are effective and available to those in need. We would like to contribute to a clearer understanding of how non-communicable diseases can be prevented and better managed with the help of digital health applications and wearable devices. We believe that our applied research and prototype interventions offer the potential of bridging an application gap between theoretical research and care solutions. We value learning from industry and healthcare and enjoy working together towards shared goals.

Our digital biomarker research explores novel applications at the intersection of medicine, artificial intelligence, and ubiquitous computing. How can we use acoustic and inflammatory biomarkers to better understand diseases? Can we change the way we breathe to increase resilience to stress? How does a patient with congestive heart failure know when to book a medical appointment? Can we increase road safety by detecting hypoglycemia in a driver with diabetes?

Our intervention research explores how conversational agents and voice assistants can be designed to improve adherence to health interventions and thus, to support health-promoting behaviour. Can a voice assistant be part of a care package? How might a virtual healthcare coach of the future interact with you? How can an app offer timely support for first signs of anxiety and depression? And once someone uses a digital health intervention, how can we increase adherence and engagement?

These are some of the many questions that drive our research.

We recognise the complexity of mental health and physical health conditions, as well as the many barriers to behaviour change. We have a multidisciplinary approach and are fortunate to partner with excellent medical partners and collaborators around the globe. Our research team is backed up by our experienced software engineers who support our researchers with designing effective applications. The open source software projects MobileCoach and FLIRT allow us to design scalable digital health interventions and process longitudinal intensive data streams in clinical trials.

We are keen to increase the understanding of digital health in the general population and to make our work accessible. Our research is therefore largely published in open scientific databases. Our new ETH Zürich continuing education course “CAS ETH in Digital Health” demonstrates our commitment to training up digital health enthusiasts. Lastly, we make our two software packages MobileCoach and FLIRT freely accessible in an open source format.

Our research is structured into Cores which are led by our 4 Core Directors.
Details of our 4 Cores and Core Directors ⬇️.

Core AI & Digital Biomarker, Acoustic and Inflammatory Biomarkers

led by Dr. Filipe Barata

Research Goals

Our research goals are to advance patient-centered healthcare and to provide insight into biological markers by answering clinically relevant research questions in the field of health informatics.


Our approach consists of refining relevant research questions in collaboration with medical professionals, networking with data holders when needed, employing consumer-centric devices as sensing tools, and applying appropriate statistical methods (e.g., Machine Learning and Deep Learning) to develop predicting models from observational research.

Research Project Examples

Trends in voice characteristics in patients with heart failure

Digitalization of Inflammatory Biomarkers for Chronic Systemic Inflammation

Further details

More news items available at https://adamma-cdhi-eth-zurich.github.io/


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Schlieter, H., Marsch, L.A., Whitehouse, D., Otto, L., Londral, A.R., Teepe, G., Benedict, M., Ollier, J.B., Ulmer, T., Gasser, N., Ultsch, S., Wollschlaeger, B., Kowatsch, T., Scale-up of Digital Innovations in Health Care: Expert Commentary on Enablers and Barriers, Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) 24(3):e24582 10.2196/24582. [PDF]

Nißen, M.K., Rüegger, D., Stieger, M., Flückiger, C., Allemand, M., von Wangenheim, F., Kowatsch, T., The Effects of Health Care Chatbot Personas With Different Social Roles on the Client-Chatbot Bond and Usage Intentions: Development of a Design Codebook and Web-Based Study, Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) 24(4):e32630, 10.2196/32630. [PDF]

Jakob, R., Harperink, S., Rudolf, A.M., Fleisch, E., Haug, S., Mair, J., Salamanca-Sanabria, A., Kowatsch, T., Factors Influencing Adherence to mHealth Apps for Prevention or Management of Non-communicable Disease: A Systematic Review, Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) 24(5):e35371, 10.2196/35371. [PDF]

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New publication by Stefan Jokic, David Cleres, Frank Rassouli, Claudia Steurer-Stey, Milo Puhan, Martin Brutsche, Elgar Fleisch, and Filipe Barata on a novel algorithm to determine to whom a cough belongs.

Read the publication:
#machinelearning #asthma

What makes patients stick to #mHealth apps? This review reports app features that affect adherence to DHIs for various chronic conditions such as #NCDs, #MentalHealth Disorders, and Substance Use.

Report: https://www.jmir.org/2022/5/e35371
#HealthTech #eHealth #digitalhealth via @jmirpub

We are happy to welcome our new doctoral researcher Patrick Langer to our centre! Patrick studied Computer Science Engineering at Technische Universität Ilmenau. He will be working on applied machine learning and applications for digital biomarkers.

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If you have any open questions, please feel free to contact us.

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