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Digital Society Initiative

One-Health Infrastructure

The aim of the project is to develop IT solutions and possible interfaces for APES (automated patient eligibility screening) at the animal hospital and for the integration of human and veterinary data. In the future, these IT solutions should be jointly usable for collaborative One Health research.

Great hopes are being placed in digitalization in the health sector. At the same time, the digital transformation involves not only technological challenges, but also open ethical and legal questions. Furthermore, social acceptance and expectations play an essential role.

The UZH pursues the transdisciplinary One Health approach, which takes a holistic view of human, animal and ecosystem health. However, there is currently no common digital structure to link data from human and animal patients or even to conduct studies with animal owners and their dogs and cats. Relevant diseases with regard to One Health in humans and pets are, for example, zoonoses, obesity, allergies and cancer.

At the Clinical Trials Center of the University Hospital Zurich (USZ), there is many years of experience with the combination of human health data from different sources. An «automated patient eligibility screening» (APES) has been tried and tested in practice to find suitable patients for clinical trials. Comparable digital structures are lacking at the animal hospital.

The aim of this digitalization project is first of all to record the needs of veterinarians and animal owners with regard to the digital transformation. Based on this, IT solutions for harmonising data from different sources at the animal hospital will be proposed. An APES is being developed at the animal hospital and tested in a pilot study on feline hyperthyroidism.

In a second step, a catalogue of requirements for the future One-Health infrastructure will be developed in – exchange with other One-Health actors at UZH.

The aim of our project is to pave the way for the digital transformation of shareable infrastructures to enable collaborative research in the field of human and companion animal health.

Project duration: 01.07.2022 - 30.06.2024

Contact: PD Dr. med. vet. Sonja Hartnack

Project Team


PD Sonja Hartnack, Dr. med. vet., MSc, Dipl. ECVPH

Veterinarian and biostatistician with research focus on Veterinary Public Health, provides statistical consulting for clinical trials at the animal hospital. Long-term collaboration with ethicists in the field of veterinary ethics.


Malwina Kowalska, DVM

Veterinarian and PhD student in Epidemiology & Biostatistics. In collaboration with 11 veterinary clinics, coordinating an international study on a new treatment method for dogs. I am very interested in the relationship between health and biodiversity.

Prof. Simon Pot, DVM, Diplomate ACVO/ECVO

Veterinarian surgeon, worked for five years in small animal and equine practice, subsequently specialising in ophthalmology. My research focuses on corneal anatomy and wound healing, and on the pathophysiology of glaucoma.