Berlin Science Week 2020

Berlin Science Week is a 10-day international festival coordinated by the Falling Walls Foundation between 1–10 November bringing together innovative scientific organizations to celebrate science, to connect and to engage the international science community with the public. As a hub for interdisciplinary dialogue, their mission is to enable and strengthen an international and diverse scientific network.

The University of Zurich and Charité – Universtitätsmedizin Berlin co-organize a moderated, hybrid panel discussion with senior scientists, representatives of the government, IT, health care providers and data privacy regulations. The panel discussion will be live-streamed in German on November 4, 4:00-5:30pm (CET) via YouTube from the Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus during the Berlin Science Week.




Mobile Health Applications: Curse or Blessing? (Nov 4, 4–5:30pm)


Mobile Health Applications

Source: iStock/metamorworks

Are you tracking your health and physical activity on your mobile device? Do you consult a health app with questions regarding your physical condition? Or have you downloaded a COVID-19 tracing app?

Mobile health applications are a fast-developing and expanding field in health care that have become an important part of daily life. The opportunities that arise are huge. They may facilitate prevention and diagnostics, coordinate medical care, and support communication between patients and health professionals.

However, critical reflections are also important. Are mobile health applications effective? Do they interfere or support doctor-patient relationships? Hundred-thousands of health apps providing health care interventions are downloaded every day. Many of them are freely available, yet they are often not transparent to the user on how personal health data is sold to third parties. What happens with the data? Is my data safe?

For a wise use of mobile health applications, innovation and risk identification have to go hand in hand to guide a successful implementation that serves society as a whole. Our panel discussion and associated workshops will address these topics.

Participants in the Discussion

Prof. Abraham Bernstein, Ph.D., Director, Digital Society Initiative, University of Zurich

Dr. Nora Blum, General Manager, Selfapy

Julia Hagen, Director Regulatory & Politics

Dr. Samuel Knauss, Einstein Center Digital Future, Charité

Karsten Lemm, Moderation

Dr. Gottfried Ludewig, Head of the "Digitization and Innovation" Department

Prof. Dr. Friedemann Paul, Vice Dean Research with Clinical Focus, Charité 

Martin Tschirsich, Senior Security Analyst, Member of the Computer Chaos Club

Prof. Dr. Claudia Witt, Vice Dean Interprofessionality & Internationality, Co-Director Digital Society Initiative, Co-Director Citizen Science Center Zurich, University of Zurich

Dr. Regina Vetters, Leiterin Digital und Innovation, BARMER.i


How can Digital Health contribute to Pandemic Mitigation? Examples from Berlin and Zurich (Nov 6, 1–2:30pm)


In addition to the panel discussion on Mobile Health Applications, The University of Zurich and Charité – Universtitätsmedizin Berlin co-organize an online workshop with the aim to present and jointly locate digital research activities on Sars-CoV-2 from both universities. The workshop will be held in English and live-streamed on November 6, 1:00-2:30pm (CET) via Zoom.

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is the first worldwide epidemic in which mobile smartphone apps are used extensively to fight infection. New analytical methods, for example from the field of machine learning, are also being used.  

However, some things have not changed compared to previous health crises. Decisions need good data, and during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, these had to be collected and processed within a few months.  

What experiences have researchers and public health practitioners had with new digital tools? What old familiar and new problems have they encountered during their work? And will the surge in digitization triggered by the pandemic change the healthcare system in the long term? How can data from different systems be specified and brought together based on international standards? What challenges arise when data has to be made available quickly in compliance with data protection regulations? These and other questions will be discussed at the workshop.  

Researchers from Charité Berlin and the University of Zurich will take turns in reporting on their work and highlight differences and similarities in approach and framework conditions in the two countries.  

Learn first-hand about the digital research activities of the two universities. The event will take place digitally. 



GO TO THE LIVE BROADCAST VIA ZOOM! (no registration needed)

See the full program (PDF, 230 KB) (German only)



 Prof. Dr. Viktor von Wyl, Assistant Professor with Tenure Track for Digital and Mobile Health at the Faculty of Medicine and Member of the Digital Society Initiative, University of Zurich

Prof. Dr. Fabian Prasser,  Head of Medical Informatics Lab, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin / Berlin Institute of Health