All Teachings

ETH Certificate in Advanced Studies in Digital Health, First Cohort February 2022

The promise of more personalized, patient‐centered and outcomes‐based healthcare is real, worthy, and within reach (Harvard Business Review, October 2019). Global digital health equity funding grew by 73% to reach $8.4B in Q3’20 — setting a new record. This was boosted by an all-time high of mega-rounds (23). There were 502 deals, an increase of 8% compared to the previous quarter (CB Insights, Q3, 2020). In the midst of a global pandemic and a US recession, US digital health companies raised $5.4B in venture funding across the first six months of 2020. The sector is on track to have its largest funding year ever (Rocket Health, 2020).

What are the implications and rationale behind the recent developments in the field of digital health?

With a clear focus on the prevention and management of non-communicable and mental illness, the ETH CAS in Digital Health equips participants with relevant knowledge and skills in engaging with Digital Health research, business models, and targeted applications.

Parts of the ETH CAS in Digital Health are nominated for the prestigious KITE Award 2022, which is dedicated to teaching projects and initiatives developed at ETH during its semesters of remote teaching, and which further aims at recognising the exceptional commitment of lecturers during these challenging times and honours outstanding examples.

The Problem:

  1. We face a health and economic burden of chronic and mental health conditions.
  2. Today’s intervention paradigm does not appropriately target chronic and mental health conditions.
  3. Personalized human-delivered behavioural interventions are neither scalable nor financially sustainable.

Goal of this CAS:

To support individuals interested in Digital Health to better understand the need, design, implementation and assessment of digital health interventions for chronic and mental health conditions that allow caregivers to scale and tailor long-term treatments to individuals in at sustainable costs.


After the course, participants will be able to…

  1. to understand the relevance of digital health for the prevention and management of chronic and mental conditions
  2. to understand the key concepts of digital health interventions (e.g., states of vulnerability and receptivity, digital biomarker, health care chatbot and voice assistants)
  3. to name design and evaluation frameworks for digital health interventions
  4. to understand digital health business models
  5. to critically assess digital health interventions
  6. to design and validate a digital biomarker
  7. to design, implement and evaluate a smartphone-based and chatbot-delivered just-in-time adaptive intervention
  8. to discuss the opportunities and challenges of digital health interventions

Course Structure

4 Modules

1. Introduction to Digital Health

  • The rise of non-communicable diseases in developed countries
  • Overview of the most prevalent non-communicable diseases
  • Lifestyle as medicine and prevention of non-communicable diseases
  • Digital Health Interventions

2. Assessing Digital Health Interventions

  • Overview of evaluation methods and evaluation criteria for DHIs
  • Evidence-based care
  • The role of Business models and funding for DHI

3. Designing a Digital Biomarker

  • Overview and data collection methods for digital biomarkers
  • Analysis of complex data
  • Implementation of a wearable-based digital biomarker
  • Linking digital biomarkers with digital health interventions

4. Designing a Just-in-time Adaptive Intervention

  • Overview of design frameworks for health interventions
  • Development of a conceptual model for a DHI
  • Implementation of a smartphone‐based and chatbot‐delivered DHI
  • Delivering a pitch for a business idea and digital health application


Start date: 7 February 2022

Duration: 12 months part-time

Teaching language: English

Time commitment: 15 ECTS: This reflects the overall workload of participants and corresponds to a weekly workload of around 8 hours. One ECTS credit represents 25 to 30 working hours. For details on ECTS credits, please visit: European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).

Teaching: Follows a hybrid model consisting of online teaching and in-person teaching blocks:

1 Online Teaching: The majority of content is delivered remotely and asynchronously using a virtual learning environment, allowing for flexibility and individual tailoring of learning to other commitments. Learning material and exercises are provided online via a learning platform. Regular coaching sessions will support participants with putting the learning into practice.

2 In-Person Teaching: The CAS will feature two 2-day retreats, at the start and at the end of the programme. The on-site retreats serve the purpose of providing networking, tailored support, group work and lectures from industry leaders in real time.

Interdisciplinary exchange: Group work and discussions form an integral part of the course and take place in-person as well as online. Group work projects include developing an individual digital biomarker, as well as working out a business idea for a specific target group in order to develop a smartphone-based and chatbot-delivered health intervention with MobileCoach (, an open‐source software platform for digital interventions and ecological momentary assessments. At the end of the course, each group will pitch their business idea and digital health intervention at a second retreat.


The title awarded to graduates of the programme will be “Certificate in Advanced Studies ETH in Digital Health”.

Course Prerequisites

  1. A completed Master-level degree in a relevant field such as social sciences, medicine, economics, or technological sciences.
  2. At least two years of postgraduate work experience in a relevant field.
  3. Advanced English language skills.
  4. The ability to understand and discuss scientific publications.
  5. Willingness and ability to cover the programme fees and additional costs.
  6. Ability to travel to the on-site seminar hotel retreats in Switzerland *
  7. Access to a computer that meets the following requirements: (a) Windows 7/8/10 (64‐bit), (b) MacOS 10.14.4 or higher, or (c) Linux GNOME or KDE desktop 64‐bit distribution capable of running 32-bit applications GNU C Library (glibc) 2.19 or later. For each setup, 12 GB of available disk space, a minimum of 4 GB RAM (8 GB RAM recommended), and a 13” display (15” or larger recommended) are required.
  8. Access to a smartphone with either iOS 12 (or higher) or Android Version 8 (or higher) is required to test the digital health interventions of the course participants.

*Unless the epidemiological situation in Switzerland or personal health reasons do not allow this. In such circumstances, an alternative online solution will be provided for individuals or for the entire cohort.

Fees and additional costs

Programme Fees:

  • Programme Costs: CHF 13’170.-
  • Tuition Fees: CHF 730.- (paid to ETH)
  • Total fees charged: CHF 13’900.-

Additional costs:

The below costs cannot be included in the tuition fees and will need to be paid by participants in addition to the tuition fees. Please note that these are approximate costs and are subject to change. Further updates will be provided.

  • Two in-person retreats at a seminar hotel in Switzerland: Approximately CHF 800.- in total.
  • Wearable device: Approximately CHF 250.- (subject to change as the specific model has not yet been finalised).

Additional Course Information

To learn more and apply for this course, please click on the links below:

ETH Course Description

If you have any further questions regarding the CAS in Digital Health or want to book your individual call for discussing the CAS in Digital Health, please contact Dr. Theresa Schachner.

Share this post


CAS in Digital Health, ETH Zürich, Start: February 2022. Completion: February 2023.

Blended Learning, 15 ECTS credits

Prof. Dr. Tobias Kowatsch
Prof. Dr. Tobias KowatschScientific Director, Centre for Digital Health Interventions, ETH Zurich & University of St.Gallen, Switzerland; Lead Principal Investigator, Mobile Health Interventions, Singapore-ETH Centre, Singapore; Partner, Center for Technology and Behavioral Health, Dartmouth College, USA; Assistant Professor for Digital Health, University of St.Gallen; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Dr. Filipe Barata
Dr. Filipe BarataHead of AI & Digital Biomarker Research, Centre for Digital Health Interventions
Prof. Dr. Felix Wortmann
Prof. Dr. Felix WortmannProfessor and Senior Lecturer, Institute of Technology Management, University of St.Gallen
Prof. Dr. Elgar Fleisch
Prof. Dr. Elgar Fleisch Chair of Information Management, Department of Management, Technology and Economics, ETH Zurich, and Chair of Operations Management, Institute of Technology Management, University of St.Gallen.
Prof. Dr. Florian von Wangenheim
Prof. Dr. Florian von WangenheimChair of Technology Marketing, Department of Management, Technology and Economics, ETH Zurich.
Contact Person
Dr. Theresa Schachner
Dr. Theresa SchachnerResearcher and Acting Executive Director, Centre for Digital Health Interventions, ETH Zurich & University of St.Gallen, Switzerland