Welcome to the 31st annual congress of the Swiss Society for Medical Informatics!

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4414/smi.34.00410
Publication Date: 08.09.2018
Swiss Med Informatics. 2018;34:w00410

Oertle Marc

Spital Thun, Spital STS AG, Thun, Switzerland

If you have participated in international health informatics congresses during recent months, you will without doubt have noticed myriads of talks about artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain, robots and virtual reality. Some innovations in these areas are promising, some are fancy, and some will not succeed in entering the market. For example, radiologists are sometimes described as “prone to extinction” and upheavals in current healthcare settings are predicted.

It was not with this discussion in mind that the Swiss Society for Medical Informatics and eHealthSummit HIMSS composed the current programme of this years’ summit. Although the titles of talks highlight a reboot of health informatics, content will be much more down to earth, as there are several needs and ways to reboot. And especially the persons deepest and longest involved in the field of medical informatics will be able to put the idea of rebooting into a proper light. We still have plenty of homework to do, from (perhaps complete) digitalisation of our processes to standardisation and interoperability, to showing the real (and vast) impact of this digitalisation and a clear return on investment.

We want to continue this journey and we would like to achieve the best possible outcomes for our patients. However, we need a solid evidence base in order to improve, and this congress will be one possibility to add new evidence. Hopefully, during the congress we will, as always, hear success stories, but also of failures and we will be able to gather many ideas, using them as virtual Lego elements to build our (standardised, interoperable, usable, efficient, intuitive, safe, effective, persistent, sustainable, logical, interprofessional, interdisciplinary, patient centred, evaluable, analytical, supportive, affordable, performing, protected) eHealth micro-/macrocosm.

A warm welcome to the annual congress of our national society and to Swiss eHealth Summit! Talks and discussions – on stage or during networking – will enforce our intentions to foster medical informatics per se, evidence-based usage of digitalisation, creation of interoperability and many more particular topics in this still heterogeneous landscape. And last but not least: don’t be afraid to talk about failures as well; it is these topics we learn most from!


No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.


Marc Oertle MD, Spital STS AG, Krankenhausstrasse 12, CH-3600 Thun, marc.oertle[at]spitalstsag.ch

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