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Postdoctoral Researcher in Digital Health Interventions at HSG School of Medicine (100%)

The ongoing digitisation of our everyday life offers unique opportunities for innovation in healthcare. The Chair of Digital Health Interventions is an integral part of the Centre for Digital Health Interventions, a joint initiative of the Institute for Implementation Science in Health Care at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Zurich (UZH), both the School of Medicine and the Institute of Technology Management at the University of St.Gallen (HSG), and the Department of Management, Technology, and Economics at ETH Zurich (ETH). CDHI strives to design, implement, and evaluate consumer- and healthcare provider-centric applications for the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) using ubiquitous computing technology. To strengthen the research activities of the Chair of Digital Health Interventions, we offer the position of a Postdoctoral Researcher in Digital Health Interventions (100%) at HSG School of Medicine, St.Gallen.

Background

Healthcare systems worldwide face challenges arising from the increase of NCDs such as cardiovascular disease or mental disorders, their related risk factors, and associated economic costs. A holistic intervention paradigm that focuses on physical, mental, and social health is needed to prevent and manage NCDs effectively. However, current interventions are limited in scalability and do not provide data-driven, precise, and actionable interventions. Moreover, individuals with lower socioeconomic status are substantially more affected by NCDs. It is, therefore, crucial to design health interventions that reach and engage these vulnerable individuals. To this end, the Chair of Digital Health Interventions investigates how ubiquitous technology can be leveraged to support individuals at risk in the most scalable way. This is done by detecting vulnerable states and delivering high precision and actionable interventions, for example, with the help of digital biomarkers, smartphones, smartwatches, chatbots, or voice assistants.

Job description

You will lead and represent the CSS Health Lab as Scientific Director and co-supervise several PhD students in close collaboration with Professors Elgar Fleisch (ETH Zurich and HSG, Information Management), Florian von Wangenheim (ETH; Technology Marketing), and Tobias Kowatsch (UZH, HSG & ETH; Digital Health Interventions). CSS is one of the largest Swiss health insurance companies, and the CSS Health Lab forms an integral part of the CDHI. You will plan and conduct a series of digital health intervention studies, applying different methodologies (e.g., quantitative and qualitative). MobileCoach (www.mobile-coach.eu), among other technologies, will be used to deliver the interventions.

In a highly interdisciplinary team at the intersection of behavioural medicine, clinical psychology, computer science, software engineering, and business innovation, you will contribute to the development of data-driven, high precision, and actionable digital interventions for healthy longevity in vulnerable individuals. It is important that your research studies consider key findings from implementation science so that the resulting interventions can be adopted by the Swiss healthcare system and other relevant stakeholders within and beyond the borders of Switzerland (e.g., Health Promotion Switzerland, Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, patients, family doctors, hospitals, health insurers, universities, digital health start-ups).

You will also engage in promotional activities to increase community awareness of your interventions through conferences, workshops, keynotes, seminars, and social media engagement, while also working on grant proposals, study protocols and publications for high-quality, peer-reviewed journals (e.g., Lancet Digital Health, npj Digital Medicine, Annals of Behavioral Medicine, PNAS). You will also support the teaching activities of the chair.

You will have

  • A PhD in behavioural science or related fields
  • Expertise in digital/mobile health interventions
  • Experience with public health interventions, clinical trials, and computer science
  • Familiarity with ethical, legal, and health-political challenges of medical research
  • Positive experiences with interdisciplinary collaborations
  • Strong interest in applied science
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills in English

The following competencies will be advantageous

  • Experience in using conversational agents and voice assistants
  • Experience conducting innovative trial designs (e.g., micro-randomized trials)
  • Experience with control systems theory and just-in-time adaptive interventions
  • Understanding of the digital health start-up space and MedTech companies

Are you Interested?

We look forward to receiving your application including the following documents:

  • Cover letter outlining your motivation and experience in the field
  • CV including certificates (e.g., PhD diploma and Master’s and/or Bachelor’s degree)
  • List of publications (including “under review” and “forthcoming” manuscripts)
  • Transcript of records


For further information about our research and projects, please visit
www.c4dhi.org and www.mobile-coach.eu. Applications and questions regarding the position should be directed to Professor Dr Tobias Kowatsch at tobias.kowatsch@unisg.ch, Scientific Director, Centre for Digital Health Interventions at ETH and HSG, Assistant Professor for Digital Health at HSG, Lead Principal Investigator, Future Health Technologies Programme, Mobile Health Interventions Singapore-ETH Centre, Singapore, Advisor on Emerging Technologies & Data Analytics, Center for Technology and Behavioral Health, Dartmouth, USA, and, starting August 2022, Professor for Digital Health Interventions at UZH, and Director, HSG School of Medicine

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