Concept: secure electronic vaccination card

Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH, the Swiss Medical Association (FMH), pharmaSuisse, HCI Solutions from Galenica, Interpharma and the MIDATA cooperative have teamed up to present a concept proposal on how Switzerland can introduce a secure electronic vaccination card – in which citizens have ownership of their data at all times.

Paramount principles: robust data protection and patient data sovereignty
The feasibility study was drafted in line with certain key principles. Besides citizens’ data ownership, data protection is also essential and is given utmost priority in the drafted proposal. Furthermore, the concept proposal is public, and the standards of the proposed solution are widely applicable, meaning that the model can be expanded at will. The authors have also ensured that the proposed solution is compatible with other initiatives – in particular with the electronic patient records (EPR) system. This would allow citizens to freely move their data from one place to another. Another key point is that the electronic vaccination card could be realised quickly – as soon as a sustainable financing arrangement is in place.

Long-term financing and construction of the system as the next steps
An immunisation data ecosystem requires funding. The study lists in detail which components would have to be integrated, newly developed, maintained and operated. The next step towards implementation is to secure long-term funding, after which the system can be built and maintained. This necessitates private and public investment, as the e-vaccination card is to be available to patients free of charge.
The published study shows that a secure and broadly supported electronic vaccination card is possible for Switzerland, explicitly also that it is technically feasible to link it to electronic patient records. The study is very timely, because it is also interesting for the federal administration, who are currently working on the introduction of a vaccination card in the EPR system.

Read the study here (PDF, 4 MB)

Project partners

The FMH is committed to ensuring that all patients in Switzerland have access to high-quality and financially viable medical services - In the political decision-making process, the FMH advocates balanced representation of its members' interests and promotes cooperation between the various players in the Swiss healthcare system.
PharmaSuisse wants Swiss pharmacists to continue to serve the population as indispensable and highly qualified healthcare specialists. That is why they are committed at all levels to a strong profession in a strong healthcare system.
HCI Solutions (HealthCare Information) provides master data for the Swiss healthcare market. In addition, the company is involved in the field of eHealth to increase patient and medication safety in the Swiss healthcare system.
Interpharma, the association of Switzerland's research-based pharmaceutical industry, was founded in Basel in 1933. Interpharma informs the public about issues that are important to the research-based pharmaceutical industry in Switzerland, including the pharma market in Switzerland, healthcare and biomedical research.
The MIDATA data platform enables members of the public to compile their health records in a secure personal account free of charge and to determine if and how they are used in research projects. In this way, they can act as «citizen scientists», making an active contribution to medical research.
MIDATA serves as a data repository for its members and other participating members of the public. It is a non-profit cooperative facility that operates without offering financial incentives, similarly to blood donation services, for instance. The account holders are not paid for their intentional and voluntary «data donation». The revenue generated from the integration of their data into a scientific study is reinvested in the services offered on the platform and in a variety of smaller research projects. Start-ups, IT service providers and research groups can use the platform to offer mobile apps, such as health apps or apps for treating and monitoring patients with chronic illnesses. MIDATA is currently being used in a number of scientific health projects. In one particular project being conducted at University Hospital Zurich, for example, multiple sclerosis patients are being included in a study into the effect of treatments, which uses a tablet app to test their cognitive and motor skills. A further project, currently in development at ETH Zurich, will look at different training methods and the impact they have on muscle growth. More and more projects are being run that are directed at a wide section of the population and are of value to many – as is the case with the «Ally Science» project.


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