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Our activities

IHCHI Investigation: Health Personas

  • Health outcomes are not consistent across a population.  Factors known to influence health outcomes (described as social determinants of health) include level of education, type of employment, income, gender, marital status, migration background and level of psychosocial stress in personal and professional life (Health Equity: Facts & Figures for Switzerland).

  • While it is recognized best practice to heavily involve citizens in the design of health innovations and services, we hypothesize that those people who typically volunteer to contribute are those who are already best placed for superior health outcomes - e.g. are already engaged in taking care of their health, well educated, with good incomes. 

  • The aim of this collaborative investigation effort is therefore to develop a broad range of personas - descriptions of hypothetical individuals, each of whom represents a specific group of people with similar backgrounds, lifestyles, perspectives, behaviors and wants regarding health and healthcare services.  Our ambition is to generate personas that reflect the full breadth of society in Switzerland, including typically “neglected voices” - i.e. those who are least likely to access healthcare, least likely to get involved in healthcare design and most likely to have inferior health outcomes.  The series of personas will be used to guide health innovation and healthcare design - ensuring that innovation is geared towards those in greatest need, thus reducing health inequalities.  Participants in this research will also benefit from an increased self-awareness of how they think about and act on their health.

  • Team: Gabby Benjamin (Project Lead), Marta Lago Arenas (Strategic Advisor Human-Centered Design), Olena Protsenko (Strategic Advisor Data Science), Thomas Brenzikofer (Communication)

IHCHI Investigation 2: Health System Check

  • Blue Zones are regions where people experience natural longevity reaching to a high age in good health. It is known that what determines these favorable health conditions goes beyond the impact of a healthcare system as we know it. Determinants such as the social, economic and environmental implications are considered as if not more decisive on the health outcome on population level. Still, having studied these external factors, little has been done to translate this knowledge into measures and the design of a health ecosystems to become blue zones.  

  • In this collaborative investigation effort, the IHCHI innovation community aims to establish a set of key performance indicators that allow to measure not only the state of a given health ecosystem but also to identify the gaps that a given healthcare system should be addressing in order to become a blue zone.

  • This may open new fields for health innovation envisioning solutions on population level, especially reaching out to segments of people that are typically neglected, serving their (often unexpressed) needs.

IHCHI Health Venture Support

  • For any start-up ventures, regardless of maturity, that align with our vision of human-centered health innovation, the IHCHI innovation community is always curious to learn more about your venture, share with you their insights and support with further connections ad mentoring on your way to success. 

IHCHI Health Pod sessions

  • In these sessions we will hear from innovators, let us be provoked by thought leaders and learn from unusual endeavors and unexpected outcomes. The special format looks at specific health challenges from different perspectives and opens the mic to voices that are often overheard. The sessions will be recorded and made accessible as podcasts.


New projects

  • If you have an idea or challenge that falls within IHCHI’s scope, we would be delighted to help you harness the diverse perspectives within the IHCHI innovation community and their extended networks and find collaboration partners. While you and your team would retain responsibility for driving your initiative forward throughout, IHCHI will provide concrete support in terms of mentoring, connecting, facilitation, moderation, and communication.  Please contact us to discuss further.​

Participate, become a member, make a donation 

IHCHI supports and encourages new thinking, ideas, concepts, and solutions that fall within the following three aspects of human-centered health innovation:


  • Amplifying the extent to which people and their needs drive the innovation process, including efforts to ensure that traditionally neglected voices are heard and involved

  • Empowering people to engage in their health and that of society, including disease prevention

  • A holistic consideration of health that goes beyond disease-free status and focuses on what it means to thrive


Read more: The IHCHI position paper on what do we mean by human-centered health innovation

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