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Smart Hospital: Intelligent Framework Tools and Solutions (SHIFT)

Blueprint for health care digitization

The hospital of the future will be different from the one we know today. Through the consistent use of new forms of organisation, digital technologies and the networking of processes and data, the hospital is continuously being transformed into an intelligent system – the smart and liquid hospital. Here, the focus is even more on people than currently, while the needs and experiences of patients, their relatives, and heath care employees are central.

Within the framework of the Innosuisse-funded flagship, five research partners (ZHAW, USB, UNIBAS, UZH, and FHNW) and 24 practice partners are working together under the leadership of the ZHAW Digital Health Lab. The host institution is the Winterthur Institute of Health Economics. The starting signal for the 5.7 million Swiss franc project was given on 1 January 2022. With a timeframe of three and a half years, it is expected to be completed in the summer of 2025.


It is not only the recent pandemic that has revealed the need for digital transformation in Switzerland’s health care system. A variety of technology solutions face disparate data silos, lack of accountability and inefficient organisations. In addition, as digitization enters the hospital, the associated challenges and requirements for its use in everyday clinical practice are also increasing noticeably.


To meet these challenges in the future, sustainable and smart solutions are needed to harmonise people, technology and the administration process. The SHIFT project lives up to this claim by demonstrating new possibilities for digitization in everyday hospital life in a needs-oriented and integral way.


With the help of three overarching pillars and eleven interlinked sub-projects, solutions are being developed that are “smart” because they use artificial intelligence (for example) and “liquid” because they use sensor technology to offer barrier-free care for patients beyond the confines of the hospital.

The pillars of the “SHIFT” flagship

Based on three structural pillars, the flagship demonstrates how digital transformation can be implemented in the hospital. The first pillar, “Seamless Patient Path”, aims to use new technologies to enable seamless, “liquid” treatment and improve the quality of care. The 2nd pillar, “Patient & Staff Empowerment”, examines how intelligent solutions must be designed to increase staff competence while empowering patients in decision-making processes. The 3rd pillar, “Management of Hospital Systems”, refers to the individual processes of the “smart hospital” and identifies new ways in which clinical as well as supporting processes can be made more effective and efficient.

Our practice and university partners

Our practice partner

Our university partners

Associated partners of SHIFT