Platform for future healthcare innovations

Health Innovation Hub opens at Switzerland Innovation Park East

May 16, 2024 | HEALTH INNOVATION HUB / EMPA

With the opening of the Health Innovation Hub, Switzerland Innovation Park East is laying the foundation for future innovations in the areas of wearables, health monitoring and disease prevention. The hub serves as a platform for initiating, promoting and accelerating innovation projects in the healthcare sector by networking experts from research and industry.

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Maria Pappa, Mayor of St.Gallen, officially opens the HEALTH Innovation Hub with a bang. Image: Switzerland Innovation Park Ost AG/Karin Tanner
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With the cardio belt, physiologically important parameters can be conveniently measured over a longer period of time thanks to embroidered electrodes. Image: Robert Stürmer /Empa

The well over than 130 guests were welcomed by Beat Tinner, member of the St. Gallen cantonal government, who emphasized: “The Health Innovation Hub will make a significant contribution to promoting innovative solutions in the healthcare sector and further strengthen Switzerland as a leading location for medical innovation.” The hub was officially opened by the Mayor of St. Gallen, Maria Pappa. She praised: “I am proud that we have created a place here in St. Gallen that promotes interdisciplinary collaboration between research, industry and healthcare. In this way, today's complex challenges in the healthcare sector can be mastered together in the interests of people.”

As a partner of the Switzerland Innovation Park East, Empa supports the activities of the Health Innovation Hub and actively participates in the associated activities. “The Innovation Health Hub offers representatives from science, technology and health a platform to exchange the latest scientific findings as well as experiences and needs for the application of new technologies,” says Simon Annaheim from Empa's Biomimetic Membranes and Textiles laboratory.

Future perspectives and innovative insights
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Empa researcher Simon Annaheim develops innovative textile sensors for better health and performance. Image: Robert Stürmer / Empa

The two speakers, sports physician Patrik Noack and MD and entrepreneur Tobias Gantner, provided inspiring insights into the world of health innovations. Gantner emphasized: “Data can heal.” This underlines the central role that digital technologies and data analysis play in the fight against diseases. Following the presentations, guests were invited to explore innovative products relating to sensor technology and health. The exhibits presented and discussions with the experts encouraged them to look into future developments and innovations.

One of the exhibits was the cardio belt developed at Empa. Thanks to plasma-coated embroidered electrodes, the supple textile belt enables precise and comfortable long-term ECG measurements. In order to “upgrade” the belt for other applications such as performance checks in sports, monitoring sleep apnea and the early diagnosis of dementia, the Empa researchers have equipped it with sensors for other health parameters. At the heart of these sensors are optical polymer fibers, which are produced using a melt spinning process and are therefore particularly flexible and suitable for processing in textiles.

Regular events and workshops

The Health Innovation Hub regularly hosts events and workshops in which needs are presented and innovative solutions are developed. The aim of the hub is to develop new solutions for current challenges and bring them to market. René Rossi, Head of Empa's Research Focus Are Health and its Materials meet Life department, adds: “We are currently putting together a research council to ensure the impact of these activities.”

As part of the Switzerland Innovation Network, which comprises six innovation parks in Switzerland, the Switzerland Innovation Park East supports collaboration between research and companies. The network makes it possible to use knowledge and research results for the development of new products and services.

Editor / Media contact

Empa - Dr. Michael Hagmann
Communications
Phone +41 58 765 4592
redaktion@empa.ch

Health Innovation Hub - Bärbel Selm
Switzerland Innovation Park Ost
Phone +41 71 277 20 40




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