Healthcare revolution: Big data and smart analytics

12 Mar 2014

Organised by: Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue and GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute

About the event

Your smart phone is already your personal medical device. You can use it to monitor your heart rate, your diet, the exercise you take. Technology will only get smarter. We will all soon carry digital interfaces that can provide us with an extremely granular snap shot of our current health.

What are the implications of this rise of digital technology in healthcare? Can it influence our daily behaviour and reduce behaviour that contributes to chronic diseases? Will technology be able to better warn us of acute conditions, such as stroke, or gradually manifesting diseases such as Alzheimer's? What will be the result on health and mortality? How will the increase in data impact the insurance industry?

These questions and more will be discussed at the event, which will be attended by leading medical professionals, data analysis experts and re/insurance professionals.

Programme and recordings

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


Welcome and introduction
Chris Singleton, Head of Medical Insurance Europe, Swiss Re


From diagnosis to personalised prognosis: Will better information lead to better decisions?
Karin Frick, Head of Think Tank, and Member of the Executive Board, GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute


Sensor innovations driving the digital health revolution
Peter Ohnemus, President & CEO, dacadoo


Reducing the burden of chronic disease through remote monitoring and management
Laurence Jacobs, Senior Research Scientist, University of Zurich Medical School


Using common data to make uncommon predictions
Ben Reis, Director of the Predictive Medicine Group at Harvard Medical School and the Children's Hospital Informatics Program




The wireless future of medicine: How digital revolution will create better healthcare
Adrian Ionescu, Professor of Nanoelectronics, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), and Chair, Guardian Angels Initiative


Healthcare analytics: From reactive to proactive decision-making
Boaz Carmeli, Manager, BioMedical Informatics, IBM Haifa Research Lab


Designing digital interventions using behavioural economics
Dominic King, Clinical Lecturer in Surgery and Behavioural Economist, Imperial College London


Using predictive analytics to create pre-approved life insurance
Edward Leigh, Innovation Lab Lead, Protection, Aviva Life & Pensions UK Limited
William Trump, Predictive Underwriting Consultant, L&H Products, Swiss Re


Coffee break


Panel discussion on healthcare revolution: What is next?
Moderated by Christoph Nabholz, Head Business Development, Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue

  • Martin Denz,  Head and Medical Director, sante24 - santémed Health Centres Switzerland, and President, Swiss Association for Telemedicine and eHealth
  • Adrian Ionescu, Professor of Nanoelectronics, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), and Chair Guardian Angels Initiative
  • Daniel Ryan, Head of Population Risk&Data Analytics R&D, Group Underwriting, Swiss Re
  • Effy Vayena, Senior Fellow, Institute of Biomedical Ethics, University of Zurich


Wrap up and farewell
Christoph Nabholz, Head Business Development, Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue






Science fiction often moves one step ahead of innovation. In Star Trek, medic Dr. Leonard McCoy, carried a medical tricorder – a simple looking device which could instantly diagnose any condition. We are not quite at this futuristic level of technology; but we are approaching it. Increasingly ubiquitous mobile devices are becoming loaded with sensors to monitor health and well-being. They create large volumes of data which can provide new insights and lead to better diagnoses and behavioural suggestions.

Read the conference summary.

Download the conference report.



Watch the interviews to the event with a number of presenters.