Interpharma members currently invest almost CHF 9 billion annually in research and development in Switzerland (2021; source: member survey). However, Switzerland is losing much of its attractiveness in the competition between locations when it comes to innovation with digital elements (source: BAK Economics). This is because there is hardly a country like Switzerland where digital health data can be used so little to offer patients effective personalised medicine, accelerate medical progress and make the healthcare system sustainable.
In order for Switzerland to catch up in the digital transformation of the healthcare system, it must invest in building a functioning healthcare data ecosystem. This requires the cooperation of the industry, authorities, the academy and other relevant partners. On the one hand, these must work on a comprehensive and coherent strategy with a binding timetable for targeted measures. This includes, among other things, that Switzerland enacts a health data law to complement robust data protection. This should transparently regulate how health data is to be used in Switzerland – and who orchestrates this use. On the other hand, the players in the health sector must invest in lighthouse projects that make tangible the immense benefit that health data ecosystems have for society.