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Innovations in healthcare: an insight into the Swiss Post case at the SEF.NextGen Camp

At the SEF.NextGen spring camp, twenty young adults explored the world of entrepreneurship and worked on tricky, realistic cases – including one from Swiss Post. During an intensive week of workshops and discussions, the budding talents developed creative solutions that could revolutionize healthcare thanks to digitization. Find out how they got on below.

Carmen Fusco

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SEF.NextGen Camp participants

From 15 to 19 April 2024, the inspiring SEF.NextGen spring camp took place with young, courageous, curious and entrepreneurial Generation Z talents from across Switzerland. The Swiss Economic Forum (SEF) has been aware of their potential for some time and has organized the SEF.NextGen Camps for many years, with an event taking place every spring and autumn. This year’s spring camp was held in Mörlialp in the Canton of Obwalden. Around twenty young adults explored the exciting world of entrepreneurship and worked on realistic cases from Alpiq, SCB and Swiss Post, which has been supporting the project as a key partner for four years.

“It took courage to get involved during the week with no prior knowledge and very little information. We had to leave our comfort zone and blindly trust the team. But this trust really paid off, and I would say the SEF.NextGen week was one of the most exciting experiences of my life”, says Aliena, who took part in the event.

Aliena Schweizer, participant at the SEF.NextGen camp.
Aliena Schweizer, participant at the SEF.NextGen camp.

The roadmap for creative solutions 

The participants used the design thinking method to solve the cases. The process comprises several phases, where teams can continually come back to their understanding of the problem to constantly improve and adapt their solutions.

Noah’s experience perfectly illustrates the iterative nature of the method used. He emphasizes how important it was to keep critically examining your ideas and integrate feedback: “We had to change what was initially a good idea right before the pitch so we could improve it. This constant reflection and critical evaluation of feedback led us to an exciting new feature.”

Participant Noah Siegwart presents the initial thoughts of the group.
Participant Noah Siegwart presents the initial thoughts of the group.

This year’s Swiss Post case focused on what young people want from a health app – a highly relevant topic. The creative young talents were challenged to come up with innovative solutions that weren’t just technically feasible, but also offered genuine added value for users.

The case: a health app for Switzerland

We use our smartphone every day as a matter of course: we stay in contact with our loved ones, book our train tickets, pay our invoices and go on virtual shopping trips. But how do we use our phone to manage our own health? That’s what Swiss Post wanted to know from young people, so it asked the participants what a health app would need to include if it was to be used by young adults aged 18 or above. In their view, firstly, the app should simplify access to the electronic patient record (EPR) or medical documents, and secondly it should add more use cases and data surrounding the EPR and personal health.

But it’s not as simple as that, as Marco tells us: “The biggest challenge was identifying the problem from a customer perspective. Swiss Post has set itself the goal of attracting and keeping Generation Z on the app by offering added value. But it wasn’t easy to identify the specific pain points that this app really ought to solve for young users.”

Participant Marco Herrmann works concentrated on the Post-Case.
Participant Marco Herrmann works concentrated on the Post-Case.

Young people’s vision for digitized healthcare

The young people have clear ideas of how the healthcare of the future might look. Noah says: “I see a more efficient, simpler healthcare system that is supported by digitization. The Swiss Post health app could play a key role in this by offering easy access to health documents and simplifying interactions with specialists.” 

Marco, on the other hand, sees the future of healthcare as a strongly connected, platform-based environment where doctors and patients interact with each other seamlessly. In addition, digitization should minimize bureaucratic delays and innovations such as telemedicine and artificial intelligence (AI) ought to improve access to medical care globally. He expects AI to increasingly make diagnoses and for operations to be made easier by robots, with remote operations also becoming more common.

Noah adds: “I also think that AI will have an impact on the healthcare system at some point. Diagnoses could be provided more quickly and securely, by comparing patterns for example. In my opinion, though, it’ll take a while before we get there – not least because of the laws in place.” 

Aliena shares her perspective as a healthcare specialist: “I can imagine that the lack of time, staff and resources that we’re currently experiencing could lead to a variety of tasks being automated and taken over by some kind of robot. However, I personally think this would be very difficult to achieve. It requires targeted planning and organization – and humans can’t be forgotten in the process.”

Swiss Post’s role 

For 175 years, Swiss Post has been securely and reliably transporting goods and information. It wants to apply this core competency to the healthcare sector, and help bring this important area of life into the digital age for the Swiss population. Swiss Post strongly believes that a digitized healthcare system and the electronic patient record (EPR) should be part of a modern Switzerland. It is providing the basis for this with the EPR IT infrastructure. Swiss Post is currently developing an app that aims to allow people to access their health data more easily from the EPR, enriched with other health data and use cases in the future. The young participants’ valuable ideas and feedback will be considered and integrated into the process.

Why not seize the opportunity yourself and sign up to the next SEF.NextGen Camp?

The SEF.NextGen autumn campTarget not accessible will take place in the Canton of Bern from 9 to 13 September 2024. Are you open, curious, willing to experiment and at least 18 years old? If so, secure a place before they’re all gone.

written by

Carmen Fusco