Research magazine Horizons diagnoses neglected data streams

© Granville Matheson, Oculus Illustration

Although data is collected and filed diligently in medicine, there is a lack of centralised storage, standardisation and use. Thus, many possibilities lie fallow. What is ailing the system and how can it be fixed?

Switzerland has a chronic condition: patient data cannot be used efficiently. The healthcare system urgently needs a more coordinated approach to this – for example, to create a fitter public health concept, but also for more effective personalised medicine. Horizons did a thorough investigation and can now show how individualism and privacy are sometimes unhelpful, how exhausting it is for researchers to find the right information, and how it could save more lives.

We also meet five doctoral students from overseas who are able to conduct research here thanks to a Swiss Excellence Scholarship. They tell us why they chose to come to Switzerland and what they notice about the science system here compared to their home countries.

Other highlights include a visit to PSI's massive particle physics experiment facility, a supervised nap in a sleep lab, and a conversation with Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin about Swiss research policy.

As always, the current issue of Horizons is as diverse and wide-ranging as the research it covers – and highly readable too.