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Global Affairs

UZH and University of Geneva Researchers Present a Call to Action for Health Data Management in Crises

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed weaknesses in the healthcare system, particularly in the use of data for decision-making. To prepare for future crises, a joint research team from UZH and the University of Geneva presented an innovative health data management approach to members of the Swiss Parliament.

The approach distinguishes between "shareable data" and "shared data", allowing faster data access without relying on a vulnerable central storage system. It also ensures that data is only shared with authorized parties, protecting individual privacy rights.

Significant step forward

This approach promises to be a significant step forward in the use of data during crisis situations, providing a more efficient and secure way to access and share critical information while safeguarding individual privacy rights. However, implementing it will require some adjustments to current technology and laws, which align with the Swiss government's strategy for managing national data as expressed in the National Data Management program.

Preparing for future crises

The interdisciplinary research team from UZH and the University of Geneva elaborated the data management approach as part of their strategic partnership. They are now in talks with the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) to explore potential collaborations for future crisis situations.

Anne Nuria Boekhout