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Digital Society Initiative

Mind the Patient Lab

The Mind the Patient Lab uses digital innovations to develop a new generation of decision support tools for medical interventions. Experts from clinical medicine, medical ethics, design, computational linguistics and psychology work together with patient advocates to design evidence-based, user-friendly tools.

The goal of the Mind the Patient Lab (MtP Lab) is to use the opportunities that digitalization offers to design, develop, and evaluate innovative digital decision aids for patients’ healthcare decisions. Digitalization can improve traditional decision aids by virtue of features such as multimedia, interactivity and active involvement, access to a wealth of information, strong visualization and personalization, and possibly AI-based simulations, predictions, and recommendations.

With the emphasis on a strong design and user-experience perspective as well as solid clinical grounding, the MtP Lab aims to develop digital decision aids that a) provide genuine added value by fostering evidence-based, preference-sensitive decision-making, b) can empower patients and providers by facilitating shared decision making, and c) are appealing and user friendly for patients and health care professionals under real-life clinical conditions while adhere to high ethical standards.

In order to reach this goal, the MtP Lab brings together researchers and experts from medicine, psychology, other healthcare professions, ethics, data and computer sciences, human-machine interaction, and design research. MtP Lab researchers and experts will regularly meet and organize workshops with scholars from various DSI communities (such as «health» and «ethics») and beyond in order to define and evaluate the appropriate format, structure, and content for a series of digital decision aids on selected clinical topics. The MtP Lab will also collaborate with patient organizations and the UZH Participatory Science Academy to ensure that patient needs are duly taken into consideration. Within two years, the MtP Lab will, building on preparatory work, define the core mechanics of the MtP decision aids, develop and evaluate at least two digital decision aids, host a website dedicated to the MtP as a strategic communication/outreach tool, and publish several articles (geared at academic and lay audiences).

Project duration: 01.07.2022 - 30.11.2024

Contact: Prof. Dr. med. Dr. phil. Nikola Biller-Andorno

Project Team


Nikola Biller-Andorno

Prof. Dr. med. Dr. phil. Nikola Biller-Andorno, MHBA, is Director of the Institute for Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine at the University of Zurich. After completing her habilitation at the University of Göttingen, she worked for two years as an ethicist at the World Health Organisation in Geneva and then accepted a professorship for ethics in medicine at the Charité in Berlin. In 2005 she moved to the chair of biomedical ethics at the University of Zurich. Nikola Biller-Andorno is a member of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences and the Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation. She spent the academic year 12/13 as a visiting professor at Harvard University, and from 16 to 20 she was a fellow at the Collegium Helveticum. Since 21, Nikola Biller-Andorno has been Vice-Dean Innovation and Digitalisation at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Zurich. She was recently appointed to the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies, which advises the European Commission.



C. Meier

Christoph A. Meier

Prof. Christoph A. Meier has been Director of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University Hospital Zurich since 2020 and has been committed to patient-oriented and quality-based medicine for many years. In this context, he is a member of the Federal Quality Commission, the Newsweek expert panel for the 'Best Hospitals of the World', the SIRIS Foundation Board and as an advisor to the Obsan for the Healthcare Atlas. His interest in innovative medicine is also reflected in his activities in the Future of Health Initiative (Federation of American Hospitals and Sheba Medical Center) and as a board member of the Novartis Venture Fund. From 2016 to 2020, Prof. C.A. Meier was Medical Director and Deputy Hospital Director at the University Hospital Basel, where he and his team introduced value-based health care and PROMs, among other things. Previously, he was Head of the Department of Internal Medicine and Specialties at the Triemli Hospital in Zurich (2006-2016) and Head of the Department of Endocrinology (2001-2006) and the Laboratory of Molecular Endocrinology (1992-2006) at the University Hospital Geneva, where he is still a faculty member. Prof. Meier studied in Basel and completed his clinical training at the University Hospital of Geneva and Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA), in addition to his scientific work at the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, MD), Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston, MA) and the University of Geneva.



Anna Martin-Niedecken

Dr. Anna Martin-Niedecken directs the Institute for Design Research at the Zurich University of the Arts and is CEO & founder of the fit-tech startup Sphery. She has a background in sports science and a strong expertise in design and game/HCI research – particularly in the field of health.



Picture G. Schneider

Gerold Schneider

Gerold Schneider is a Senior Lecturer (Privatdozent), researcher and computing scientist at the department of Computational Linguistics at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. His doctoral degree is on large-scale dependency parsing, his habilitation on using computational models for corpus linguistics. His research interests include corpus linguistics, cognitive linguistics, statistical approaches, Digital Humanities, learner language, text mining, automated content analysis and language modeling. He has published over 120 articles on these topics. He has published a book on statistics for linguists. He leads the Text Crunching Center, a University platform which offers services in text processing and Digital Humanities.